Cost Comparison Requirements

Travelers are encouraged to book travel in Concur or utilize AAA Corporate Travel, the university’s travel agency, for all business travel. 

When personal travel is combined with business travel for domestic flights (United States and U.S. Territories), cost comparisons are not required unless the ticket is more than $400.  
  • The maximum reimbursable amount allowed for domestic travel transportation is $400 without a cost comparison.
  • The amount of travel expenses reimbursed when a cost comparison is required is the lesser of the cost comparison amount or the actual expense amount.
  • Purdue Travel based this on the average flight costs reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics. 
A cost comparison is required for all international travel to, between or within countries outside of the United States or U.S. Territories. This includes Mexico and Canada trips, but only if it includes personal travel.
  • Cost comparisons must be obtained from Concur, AAA Corporate Travel, or the airline website prior to the trip and must meet the requirements below:
    • If the personal travel is less than three (3) days before or after the business trip, no cost comparison is required. Any days over three (3) require a cost comparison.
    • The cost comparison submitted must be for the direct route to and from the business location for the days of business only
    • Any personal travel outside of the business location is not reimbursable, regardless of the number of personal days included
    • Best Practice: Get the cost comparison at the same time airfare is purchased or the travel request is completed
    • Not be limited to search results from a single airline
    • Show available flights and airlines generally with one stopover
    • Should not be one-way ticket
    • Provide a copy of a co-worker's airfare itinerary/receipt who attended the same business event with no personal or other travel destinations involved
  • In the event a traveler has not provided a required cost comparison, Purdue Travel will obtain the comparison on their behalf.
  • The amount of travel expenses reimbursed when a cost comparison is required is the lesser of the cost comparison or the actual expense amount.
A Quick Reference Guide (QRG) is available to help complete a cost comparison.