A GAO Report obtained by CBS News reveals widespread air travel abuse amongst various Federal Agencies, with Federal employees treating themselves to improperly taken premium class upgrades. Of 53,000 premium class tickets purchased @ $230 million, two out of every three of upgrades made broke federal rules costing taxpayers $146 million.
Cited, were abuses, such as a USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Executive, whose ten trips to Western Europe escalated from $9000 to upgrades totalling $62,000. Another Agriculture Department official broke the rules with a $7500 improperly upgraded fare from the $900 coach flight that was required.Federal rules have been easily broken up until now because Federal agencies were only required to track and record first class ticket purchases, not business class, where most of the abuses have occurred. According to CBS, all that is about to change, with past offenders being culled from bank records and earmarked for possible paybacks of the funds.