All airline and rail service may be booked through any available outlet. Employees should purchase the lowest commercial fare available. The definition of the lowest commercial fare is the least costly, coach-class fare that uses a regularly scheduled commercial carrier. In selecting a commercial fare, travelers should not consider their preferences for airline, type of aircraft or connecting airports but instead should choose the lowest reasonable commercial fare. Travelers may not insist on non-stop flights; as a trip may require one plane transfer both departing and returning to meet the lowest fare requirements.
Prior to booking airfare, a Travel Authorization number must be obtained from the University or System Office Travel Office. If using the State Travel Agent, reservations will not be made
without this number. You will also be required to give your name, agency name and number, employee number, and home and work telephone numbers to the Agent. Be sure to type your assigned number on the Travel Authorization form (upper right hand corner). Prior to reserving any new airline tickets, all unused unexpired airline tickets previously purchased by the University or System Office must be used whenever possible. Sufficient lead-time of two (2) weeks is necessary to secure tickets purchased through the current State Travel Agent. Use of electronic ticketing is required whenever possible.
When booking online trip packages through Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, or any other online booking agent, a cost breakdown of each travel component, such as airfare, lodging and car rental, is required prior to the trip.
Special travel arrangements that result in net savings to the University or System Office are permissible. That is, a traveler may be reimbursed for expenses such as extra days of lodging, meals, and other additional costs, if the traveler can document that the total cost of the trip is lower than it would otherwise have been.
Any difference in cost for class upgrade will be at the expense of the traveler, except where first class or business class travel is approved, as described below.
The use of first class and business class is discouraged; however, in the case of an exception, the following must be adhered to:
- Business class rather than first class must be used whenever available.
- First class is only to be used when business class is not available.
- Use of business class or first class requires the BOR President, University President or designee’s original signature and written justification for the exception, submitted on the Policy Exception Request form (exhibit F).
- Total flight time (from point of departure to destination – actual time in the air) must be a total of six (6) hours or more.
- A copy of the flight itinerary must be attached to the Travel Authorization in order to verify flight time.
A traveler may be reimbursed for the actual and necessary expense incurred for changing flight plans, subject to the approval of the fund manager. It is the responsibility of the traveler to substantiate that the charges were necessary and proper, and to obtain the appropriate approvals. Any additional charge for changing flight plans due to personal reasons or for the convenience of the traveler may be borne by the traveler.
Any service fees or processing fees charged to the traveler in conjunction with the purchase of airfare will be reimbursed to the traveler by the university.
The University will not reimburse travelers for airline tickets that had no cost, such as “free” tickets earned on frequent flier or other incentive programs.
Additional flight insurance is not reimbursable through the University or System Office. All extra expenses, e.g., upgrades, early bird check-in, paid seats, etc. are not reimbursable expenses.
Airline and other travel supplier a la carte services that are for personal use (e.g., movies, personal on-board shopping, alcohol, etc.) are not reimbursable and must be paid for by the traveler.
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