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Did not get on a connecting flight

nashkn

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I got myself into some trouble. I was sent out for a tasking, and following the tasking i was given 5 days of leave (including the weekend).

The connecting flight back stopped at my home town, so I decided to get off the plane earlier than the final destination. it's a 12 hour drive to the final destination, so i rented a car and drove back on Sunday.

When i reported back on Monday, the clerk was very unhappy that i did this and said that I was financially liable for the missed flight paid for by the dnd. She passed it up my chain of command and I'm now waiting to hear back about any potential charges.

I am worried. How screwed am i? 
 

chrisf

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Not a clerk, but... why would you be financially liable???

Did you make it to your destination on time and report at an appropriate time? Are you asking the CF to cover the costs of the rental? Would anyone even had known the difference if you hadn't mentioned you drove?
 

JesseWZ

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I'll caveat this with the preface that I travel a LOT for work. In excess of 75 flights per year.

The booking agency (HRG) reports missed flights back to the travel arranger (your unit member) who could should wonder why the CF (but actually the unit or whoever's funds are being used with this travel) is on the hook for travel that was not incurred. That unit, depending on their budget size, might be quite cross they wasted XXX of dollars from the units bottom line.

It would not surprise me if the OP was on the hook for expenses. The missed connection is without a reasonable excuse (weather, delays), they simply did not get on the plane the CF paid a ticket for.
 

Jarnhamar

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[quote author=nashkn]

I am worried. How screwed am i?
[/quote]

You're not screwed - you won't be kicked out of the CAF.

You made a bad decision and will probably have to pay the price for it.
Own up to your decision, pay whatever punishment or monetary deduction you're given, learn from your mistake and move on.
 

chrisf

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JesseWZ said:
It would not surprise me if the OP was on the hook for expenses. The missed connection is without a reasonable excuse (weather, delays), they simply did not get on the plane the CF paid a ticket for.

That's insane.

The money is a sunk cost regardless if the member sets foot on the plane or not.

If he alters his travel plans, and there's no additional cost to the CF, then nothing changes.

If anything, it may come out cheaper considering excess baggage fees, taxis, etc.

If they were concerned about saving money, should have just booked him a rental car in the beginning if it was a cheaper option.

Crazy... these things make less sense once you leave CF.

Just my thoughts though, I guess not relevant to the OPs situation, but something put in the "con" column for anyone considering release.
 

Good2Golf

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Armchair quarterbacking being what it is, the preferred COA would have been to contact the OR prior to hopping off the flight midway, then they might even have been able to add a multi-day stop between flights at minimal or no additional cost, and you wouldn’t have been out the cost even of the rental.  That said, depending on the unit and, as others have noted, you could be expected to reimburse the Crown for the cost of the missed travel segment.  Whether the unit leadership wishes to take things further is an unknown. To speculate on that is difficult.  I can say that at its best, unit leadership could choose to use this as a learning event for you, noting that at the end of the day, the sunk cost of the travel paid by the Crown for you to be back at the unit did not exceed what would have been spent anyway.  So long as you are humble and regret that you didn’t plan things better to make arrangements prior to return travel, it could be a minimal as an, “okay, lesson learned, don’t do it again...”  Of course, unit’s can look at things differently, and deal with things differently.

Good luck

G2G
 

Lumber

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You can also request in advance to have it done this way. You could have simply told your OR (possibly in conjunction with an approved memo through your CoC) to not book the flight at all, and told them you were taking it under your own responsibility to get back to work.
 

nashkn

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Not a Sig Op said:
Not a clerk, but... why would you be financially liable???

Did you make it to your destination on time and report at an appropriate time? Are you asking the CF to cover the costs of the rental? Would anyone even had known the difference if you hadn't mentioned you drove?

I reported back on time.
I made it very clear that the additional expenses were out of my pocket and that i did not want to be reimbursed for it.
The reason i brought it up in the first place was that I did not want to lie on my travel itinerary. I've only been in the forces for a few months and i guess it was naivety in my part to prefer integrity over lying.
 

PPCLI Guy

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nashkn said:
I reported back on time.
I made it very clear that the additional expenses were out of my pocket and that i did not want to be reimbursed for it.
The reason i brought it up in the first place was that I did not want to lie on my travel itinerary. I've only been in the forces for a few months and i guess it was naivety in my part to prefer integrity over lying.

Not naïve at all - it is exactly what we are looking for.  You have been open and honest - expect that the system will respond in kind, until it doesn't.  In other words, form your own opinions. 

FWIW, I am of the opinion that as no additional cost was incurred, you should not be on the hook. I would be interested to see how this turns out - feel free to PM me if you wish.
 

Blackadder1916

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Or could it be looked at this way - a member was travelling on duty from point A to point B.  He was authorized leave following (starting the next day?) the completion of his duty travel.  Without informing anyone in his chain of command, or even perhaps not informing the airline that he would not be connecting with the next segment of his travel, he decided to simply stay at his home town.  Would he not be considered AWOL?
 

ModlrMike

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Blackadder1916 said:
Or could it be looked at this way - a member was travelling on duty from point A to point B.  He was authorized leave following (starting the next day?) the completion of his duty travel.  Without informing anyone in his chain of command, or even perhaps not informing the airline that he would not be connecting with the next segment of his travel, he decided to simply stay at his home town.  Would he not be considered AWOL?

That's not an outrageous interpretation. Travel days are considered duty days, even if they fall on what would normally be non-working days. That being said, I'm not convinced a JAG would authorize this charge considering that there was little to no harm to the CF from the member's actions. This does not of course preclude the consideration of an IC.
 

OldSolduer

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ModlrMike said:
That's not an outrageous interpretation. Travel days are considered duty days, even if they fall on what would normally be non-working days. That being said, I'm not convinced a JAG would authorize this charge considering that there was little to no harm to the CF from the member's actions. This does not of course preclude the consideration of an IC.

Perhaps a few wise words of counselling from the Sgt Major??
 

QM

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I honestly don't know the legalities, from a DND perspective, of skipping that last leg of a flight. I know the airlines hate it (it causes them paperwork and can cost them money - Lufthansa recently sued a guy for skipping the last leg of his flight to get a lower fare (look up 'hidden city' flights or skiplagging)). And if you do this on the outbound leg, the return ticket will be cancelled by the airline!!!! I haven't come across this in any Travel Directives I've read through. Maybe it is addressed somewhere; I just haven't seen it.

Anyhow I can see both sides of this one. As a former CO, my first concern would be whether you were ok. If I got a call from my Clerk saying you weren't on your return flight, me or the RSM or your company leadership would be dropping everything to try and find you, even after hours. We might even call the MPs to help ensure you are safe. That level and type of attention from your command group is not something you should be happy about! Once we knew you were safe, my next question to the Clerk would be: will this cause the Unit any problems with future bookings and will it cost the Unit any money?

So, your actions are not just about yourself. The impacts can be broader. Can be, but may not be (I really can't see how this could actually cost DND any extra money).

The preferred way would have been, as suggested above, to coordinate it ahead of time. I reckon you ack that point by now. Another option, and always a good idea when you are straying from a plan, would have been to call your immediate supervisor to let him know what you were doing. He may have looked into it with the OR and come back with a thumbs up. Or, he may have made a decision on the spot, and said OK. In that case, you can rightly say you asked and were given verbal authority (although that puts your boss on the spot, but oh well, he made the call). I can certainly visualize a phone call between more senior Members doing this - a Captain calling his OC or a WO calling his CSM to let them know they're starting their leave a few hours early and a few hundred KM away from Base, and there being no consequences. But, those guys will have been around long enough to know what's reasonable and what is not. But they'd likely, and wisely, make that quick phone call, rather than just disappear off the face of the Earth.

There's something to be said for acting first then seeking permission later, but that usually doesn't play so well when the benefit is personal, rather than operational.

Personally I hope they let you off with nothing. You come across as a decent guy and this isn't really so bad an 'infraction'. Whatever happens, take your lumps and hopefully your Unit isn't led and administered by asses.
 
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