Fly America Act
Air Travel Federal requirement (known as the Fly America Act) states that "domestic grantees must use U.S. flag carriers to the maximum extent possible when commercial air transportation is the means of travel between the United States and a foreign country or between foreign countries. This requirement shall not be influenced by factors of cost, convenience or personal travel."
The detailed implementation practices adopted to conform to the Fly America Act may differ among Federal agencies. Travelers should be aware of and consult with the individual granting agency to ensure compliance with the respective agency.
For purposes of the use of United States flag air carriers, United States means the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories and possessions of the United States.
For more information, go to the Fly America Act.
Exceptions to the Fly America Act
On October 6, 2010, the United States and European Union (EU) "Open Skies" Air Transport Agreement was published by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) providing a full explanation of the multilateral agreement in place so that qualifying travelers, whose travel is supported by federal funds, may travel on European Union airlines as well as U.s. Flag Air Carriers. A list of current member countries of the European Union is available at the Europa web site. There are also Open Skies agreement with Australia, Switzerland and Japan.
For more information, go to the GSA Airline Open Skies Agreement.
There are other exceptions to the Fly America Act which may be appropriate as well. A list of exception criteria may be found in the Federal Travel Regulation Guidelines - FTR sections 301-10.135-138. Please note that lower cost and personal convenience are not acceptable criteria for justifying the non-utilization of a U.S. carrier (or an EU, Australian, Swiss or Japanese carrier depending on your destination).
Major U.S. flag air carriers:
American Trans Air
Sun Country Airlines