Thursday, April 22, 2004


U.S. troops ordered to stay up to four additional months in Iraq won?t lose money spent on travel reservations if tickets were purchased from an Ameri'can carrier.

Though no one knows for sure, the Army believes almost 10,000 of the troops from the Germany-based 1st Armored Division had planned to fly to the States after returning from Iraq. Many already had made reservations, or their families had booked tickets for them. Their orders to stay mean any stateside reunions need to be rescheduled.

The refund deal was the result of meetings between Army officials, management of military contractor SatoTravel and major U.S. airlines.

"They're going to refund that as long as the individuals get with Sato before the travel date," said John Allred, leisure contracting officer representative with the Army's Installation Management Agency in Europe. "If they wait until afterward, then it's a no-show and they're not entitled to a refund. That's key."...

If troops or their families reserved seats aboard planes, trains or cruises through European carriers, things are less clear. SatoTravel has pledged to intervene on troops' behalf to help recoup those costs if tickets were purchased through it.

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