Airline Travel

Booking Policies

Airfare is required to be booked (recommended 14-120 days prior to departure) at the lowest economy or coach class available at the time of booking. Time en route may be used as a factor in determining the lowest fare available. The passenger’s ticket receipt or e-ticket itinerary must be submitted when requesting reimbursement. Airfare will not be reimbursed until after the trip has been completed.

Travelers may purchase refundable tickets when necessary in the best interests of the University. Any tickets refunded must be submitted to Accounts Payable no later than 30 days after cancellation.

The University will permit the benefits of airline frequent flyer programs accrued from travel paid for by the University to accrue to the traveler. Travelers are encouraged to apply these benefits toward future University travel.

Allowable Expenses

  • The University will not reimburse for air travel insurance or other personal trip insurance.
  • One piece of checked baggage at standard weight or below will be reimbursed for all airline travel. In the event that charges are incurred for overweight baggage or more than one piece of baggage is needed, the traveler will be responsible for any additional fees above the cost of one standard weight piece of baggage.
  • The reimbursement of in-flight charges for access to the Internet, phone, or other similar charges are not allowed unless travelers can show that incurring these additional expenses provide a greater benefit to the University than accessing these services pre- or post-flight at no charge.

Fly America Act/Open Skies Agreement

Use of foreign-based carriers is restricted on sponsored programs and travel paid for using federal funds. The Federal Fly America Act mandates that travel sponsored by the Federal government must be on U.S. airlines or a foreign air carrier that code shares with a U.S. Flag carrier on the flight taken. This includes flights within the U.S. If there is no U.S. carrier to your destination, you must travel on a U.S. carrier as far as possible. By law, additional cost for U.S. carrier flights is not sufficient justification to fly on foreign carriers. Please note that the same rules apply to a foreign visitor’s flights.

Exceptions to Fly America Act:

  • When there is no nonstop or direct service offered by a U.S. carrier
  • When travel solely outside the U.S. increases the number of aircraft changes en route to more than two
  • When the passenger’s travel time is extended by at least 6 hours
  • When the connecting time is 4 hours or more at an overseas interchange point

Receipt Requirements

Receipts are required for all airfare purchases, including airline penalties for changes and cancellations. Airfare receipts must contain the following information:

  • Traveler name
  • Dates and times of flight
  • Flight itinerary
  • Class of travel (must be coach/economy)
  • Total cost, including any additional service or related fees, federal excise tax
  • Confirmation of payment