Executives of the Department of Health and Human Services are routinely on the go, flying throughout the country and the world to aid those who can’t help themselves.

One upgraded trip from Los Angeles to Sydney cost $14,201. The same trip in coach would have cost $2,763.

But there’s more to the story. HHS executives also have a taste for luxury, upgrading thousands of flights to first class—with taxpayers footing the bill.

The department spent $31 million on 7,000 first-class and business-class flights between 2009 and 2013, the Washington Examiner found in records acquired under the Freedom of Information Act.

One-way tickets for 253 of these trips had a lavish price tag of more than $15,000. The Examiner reported that half of the records listed the cost of a coach ticket alongside first class.

One upgraded trip from Los Angeles to Sydney cost $14,201. The same trip in coach would have cost $2,763.

Upgrades similar to this racked up to $18.5 million—$14 million more expensive than the $4.9 million total had the executives flown coach.

Only 1,400 of the 7,000 first-class flights met the legal threshold for upgraded flights, which allows federal employees to fly first class or business if the flight surpasses 14 hours.

Former Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was one of the flyers, racking up $56,000 in charges for 14 first-class or business-class flights.

Of the flights, 5,100 were upgraded for alleged medical disabilities. Others noted “exceptional security circumstances,” sold-out coach tickets or “agency mission” requiring the upgrade.

HHS executives were not the only federal employees charging taxpayers.

The Food and Drug Administration had a bill totaling $14 million for 2,000 upgraded flights. One of the flights cost $26,469, citing medical disability as reason for the upgrade. A flight to Germany cost $23,000, also citing a medical disability.

The Examiner reports:

A flight by FDA inspector David Heiar to India cost $30,000. Inspector Robert Horan flew to Hong Kong at a cost of $21,427 when coach would have cost $5,021. Another inspector flew to Australia for $12,344 when coach was $543.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the department that manages Obamacare, upgraded 50 flights. One of the trips, from Baltimore to Phoenix, cost $3,000 each way for the first-class ticket.

By comparison, the Department of Defense flew 784 first-class flights in 2012 and 2013.