In fact, the government has clarified that if you are entitled to reimburse your railway tickets for LTC, but you have instead traveled by air, you don’t necessarily travel by Air India.
The department of personnel and training (DoPT) in an office memorandum dated March 11, 2010, said that the restriction of travel by Air India only need not apply to non-entitled officers who travel by air and claim the LTC reimbursement by entitled class of rail. The office memo titled, “regulation of journeys by private airlines while availing Leave Travel Concessions” however made it clear that it would be applicable with effect from the issue of the office memo, and “past cases already settled will not be reopened”.
In July last year, the government issued an instruction saying that all air travel (including LTC), both domestic and international where the government of India bears the cost, the concerned official may travel by Air India only.
In a related development, the government may end restrictions of ministers and bureaucrats compulsorily travel only in economy class by March 31, --- a decision which resulted into junior external affairs minister Shashi Tharoor tweeting about his controversial “cattle class” comments. Though the ministers and bureaucrats have abided by the finance minister’s diktat resulting into a saving of Rs 2000 cr for the government, a few ministers raised the issue in a recent cabinet meeting.
DoPT OFFICE MEMO, dated March 11, 2010