Airfare

  • The University established negotiated rates with preferred vendors that must be utilized when possible.
  • Employees are required to fly economy class for flights less than 14 hours. Business class is permitted for flights that are 14 hours or longer.
  • First class fares are not allowable.
  • An exception to purchase a higher class ticket (excluding first class) may be requested from Purdue Travel when one of the following conditions is met:
    • When use of other than coach class is necessary to accommodate a medical disability or other special need. For short-term medical conditions, this is approved on a trip-by-trip basis. For ongoing conditions, this can be approved annually for a year.
    • When exceptional security circumstances require other than coach class accommodations (e.g., use of coach class accommodations would endanger your life or University property)
    • Coach class accommodations on an authorized/approved foreign air carrier do not provide adequate sanitation or health standards.
  • Employees must attempt to arrange/purchase airline tickets 14-30 days in advance.
  • When booking a cheaper fare that would require an additional overnight stay (generally a Saturday night), the discounted airfare, additional lodging, fixed meals and any other expenses incurred due to the additional stay must not exceed regular economy/coach fare for the business trip.
  • The Fly America Act requires employees to use a U.S. Flag Carrier if the trip is federally funded. The Act further provides that in the absence of satisfactory proof of the necessity to use a non-U.S. Flag Carrier, any expenditure of federally appropriated funds for foreign travel other than on a U.S. Flag Carrier is not allowable. The expenditure of federal funds for service furnished by a non-U.S. Flag Carrier is allowable only when service by a U.S. Flag Carrier is not available.
    • When a non-U.S. Flag Carrier ticket is purchased, a Fly America Act certification statement or a Fly America Act Certification (per Federal Travel Regulations § 301-10.141 and 301-10.142), must be attached to the expense report.
    • Reimbursement for airfare utilizing non-U.S. Flag Carriers on federal funds will not be made without the certification.
    • There are certain projects funded by foreign governments to which these instructions are not applicable because the contract requires the use of a non-U.S. Flag Carrier. If such a situation arises, documentation should be provided and attached to the expense report.
    • Concur Travel & Expense displays a shield icon on international flights if the airline meets the Fly American Act.
  • A codeshare flight is an agreement between airlines to sell seats on each other's flights to provide more choices.  A codeshare flight may be between two U.S. airlines or a U.S. airline and non-U.S. airline. Codeshare flights are displayed as flights for both the operating carrier (the airline used for the flight) and the marketing carrier (partner that sells the seats on the operating carrier).
    • When the codeshare is between a U.S. air carrier and a non-U.S. air carrier, the ticket documentation must identify the U.S. airlines designator code and flight number as the marketing carrier to be in compliance with the Fly America Act.
    • For example, a flight with a marketing carrier of United Airlines and an operating carrier of Lufthansa is allowable when paying with federal funds, but the opposite is not.
    • Other methods of transportation (such as privately owned aircraft, bus, train) are allowable using the most economical means possible (with documentation of comparable costs).
  • Traveling employees may retain frequent flyer program benefits. However, participation in these programs must not influence flight selection, which could result in incremental cost to the University.
  • Reimbursement is not allowable for items provided free of charge, such as airline tickets provided through the use of frequent flyer miles, loyalty award programs and airline travel vouchers/certificate.
  • Airline club memberships and usage are not reimbursable.
  • Employees may not voluntarily be “bumped” from a flight for cash or cash-equivalent incentives.
  • Early check-in fees are allowable for airlines that do not assign seats (e.g. Southwest) or those that do not assign seats until check-in (e.g. Frontier). This does not apply to early boarding fees when seats have been assigned.
  • When personal and business travel are combined, airfare will be reimbursed up to $400 for domestic trips with no cost comparison required. International travel must complete the detailed cost comparison to determine the allowable reimbursement amount when business and personal travel are combined.
  • Expenses subject to documentation requirements.