§ Mr. Rooker
asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on his policy and practice by which civil servants accompanying overseas parliamentary delegations who are travelling economy class may use first-class air travel.
§ Mr. Tomlinson
The rules for class of air travel by Diplomatic Service staff, which are the same as those for other civil servants, are as follows. Staff in Grade 3 and above—equivalent to Home Civil Service grades of Under-Secretary and above—may travel first class by air on duty. Staff in Grade 4—equivalent to Assistant Secretary in the Home Civil Service—may travel first class by air on journeys of more than four hours' continuous flying time. Other staff normally travel economy class, though they may be authorised to travel first class in exceptional circumstances—for instance, if accompanying a Minister.
Where a Diplomatic Service officer is formally appointed to accompany a parliamentary delegation I would expect the officer concerned to travel if possible in the same class as the delegation, although the entitlements set out above would still apply.