Current Travel Restriction Guidelines and Processes

Effective June 29, University travel guidelines have been updated for all Purdue University (WL) faculty, staff and students who are traveling for work or in connection to a course, including Purdue Extension and Polytechnic Statewide.

More information on COVID-19 and the University’s overarching travel expectations can be found on the Protect Purdue website.

You may also review Frequently Asked Questions related to travel restrictions and spend reduction efforts.

Non-Essential Expenses Suspended

All non-essential expenditures – travel and conferences included – are to be suspended and new financial commitments are to be avoided until further notice.

When travel arrangements are canceled, there may be costs associated with the cancellation. An attempt should be made by the traveler to request refunds, transfer tickets or otherwise minimize financial impact to the University. All remaining expenses should be submitted using standard processes, as outlined in the Travel Regulations.

Costs associated with canceled employee travel will be covered by the University to the extent they are allowable and not recoverable through other means.

Any refunds or credits received for University employee business travel (including sponsor-funded travel) must be used for the benefit of the University (or the original funding source).

Travel Waivers and Essential Travel

Updated University travel guidelines are in place for Fall 2020. A travel waiver is still necessary and applies to all modes of transportation. Travel waivers should be approved by the appropriate dean, vice provost or vice president before travel is booked. Waivers will only be granted for the most essential requests and should be rare. If an individual travels without securing an approved travel waiver then reimbursement is unlikely.

Travelers with an approved travel waiver are expected to book travel in Concur or utilize Anthony Travel, the University’s travel agent. Employees are encouraged to use Concur for all travel as it allows the University to exercise a strong duty of care, which includes the benefit of quickly locating and assisting our traveling employees in times of emergency. If a traveler finds cheaper travel and accommodations outside of Concur or Anthony Travel, he/she may accept that option and keep the supporting documentation to include in the expense reimbursement.

If travel is not booked in Concur, a travel request should be entered in Concur and a travel waiver should be submitted with the expense report. Directions for how to create a travel request in Concur are available online.

Travel Card Limits

Travel card (T card) monthly limits were reduced to $1 in support of the previously announced travel restrictions, and these limits will continue to remain in place until further notice. In order to increase a travel card’s limit, the following must happen:

  • If travel is booked through Concur or Anthony Travel, the T card will be temporarily available to support the trip information included in the travel waiver.
  • If travel is booked outside of Concur, the traveler, or their delegate, should request a temporary card increase using the online formA travel waiver must accompany the submitted form. 

Research Funded Travel

Travel related to research conducted on sponsored fund accounts should continue when deemed essential to the research. A travel waiver is needed prior to booking. More information including guidance on other sponsored funding can be found on the COVID-19 research operations page.

Use of University Methods vs. Private Booking

The T card is the University's preferred payment method for travel expenses, and Concur or Anthony Travel are the preferred methods to book reservations because they provide a number of benefits to the traveler.

Travelers who choose to book travel arrangements or pay for expenses on their own should be aware of the requirements and warnings listed below.

  • Reservations made outside of Concur require additional documentation to receive reimbursement.
    • A price comparison at the time of purchase is required to validate that travel was cheaper to book outside of Concur/Anthony Travel.
  • Non-refundable/transferable airline tickets will not be reimbursed by Purdue if the flight is canceled.
  • Anthony Travel cannot assist the traveler with any changes to reservations if they were booked privately.
  • If using a personal credit card, an expense report cannot be submitted until travel is complete.

Travel Cancellation Reference

Registration Fees

Contact the event organizer for direction on how to obtain a refund.

Agency-booked Arrangements

Contact Anthony Travel for help with the related travel cancellations.

Arrangements Booked Directly with the Supplier or through a Third-party (e.g. Expedia)

Contact the supplier or third-party company to cancel reservations and request refunds. Anthony Travel cannot assist in this circumstance, as the travel supplier will only work with the individual who created the travel arrangement.

Supplier Issued Cancellation Waivers

Waivers may only cover the change fee and may have specific date restrictions for original travel dates, rebooking timing or new travel dates. Airlines also may provide an unused ticket/credit for future use. Any applicable airline change fees will be assessed once you use the ticket. Airline tickets are valid for one year from the date of issue. If the ticket involved is "basic economy," a waiver or refund is unlikely due to the ticket restrictions.

Travel Expense Report and Reimbursement

Expenses incurred for essential travel should be submitted using standard processes, as outlined in the online Travel Regulations. In addition to the expense documentation for transactions, the documentation listed below must be included. Exclusion of one or both of the following could result in reimbursement delay or ineligibility:

  • Travel waiver must accompany the expense report.
  • Documentation of cheaper travel and accommodations if travel arrangements are booked outside of Concur and Anthony Travel (if applicable).
COVID-19 related expense reports should also include the following comments:
  • Canceled due to COVID-19
  • If a refund was rejected, include documentation of the refund rejection from the supplier.
  • If a credit was provided, identify what type of credit was received for cancellation (e.g. booking profile credit, voucher for future travel, refund).

The following expenses are not reimbursable:

  • Expenses related to travel that are not accompanied by a travel waiver
  • Expenses paid on a personal card when the trip is canceled 

Accounting for Refunded and Canceled Travel Expenses

Any refunded amounts should be provided to your business office or finance support staff, and the accounting transaction to record this activity should return the amount to the original funding source, whether sponsored or non-sponsored funds are involved.

Questions about sponsored fund refunds should be directed to your Post Award Office administrator in Sponsored Program Services. Since a direction has not yet been provided by federal agencies, departments should track COVID-19 related charges or credits on sponsored projects in case federal agency guidance requires a change to be made.

Airfare Waivers and Refund Clarification

Partial Refunds

  • If you made a travel reservation or other travel-related expense outside of Concur or Anthony Travel and are unable to get a full refund, submit an expense reimbursement request for the non-refunded amount if the expense is allowable.
  • Provide any backup documentation you have to support the request. In some situations, the airline will not have provided any written documentation. Do your best to thoroughly document your efforts and the airline responses.

Electronic Credit (e-credit)

  • Most airlines are only issuing e-credits and not providing refunds.
  • The e-credit is issued in the name of the traveler regardless of the manner in which the travel was paid.
  • Name changes on tickets usually incur a fee of $100-150 and are not waived by most airlines. However, due to COVID-19, most airlines have waived the change fee on flights until December 31, 2020.
  • An e-credit typically requires travel to occur within a year of the original ticket purchase date. This should be verified with the airline when rebooking travel arrangements.

E-credit for Agency/Concur Booked Reservations

  • Anthony Travel will manage the inventory of e-credits and work with airlines for any required name changes or fees.

E-credit for Personally Booked Reservations

  • Anthony Travel will not be notified of these credits. You must provide your business office with the below information for arrangements booked personally through the airline or a third party:
    • Ticket number
    • Airline
    • Name used on the current ticket
    • Date the ticket was purchased
    • Your contact information
    • Where you purchased the ticket (travel agency or third-party supplier name)
      • If the traveler booked on a T card or on personal credit card, the traveler will not be reimbursed for expenses; an e-credit will be issued in the name of the traveler and can be used for personal use.
      • If the traveler is a donor or guest and the University promised to reimburse the travel, the University is honoring these commitments. If the traveler should travel to the university during the valid e-credit period, the traveler is asked to use those credits to offset expenses.

Using E-credit for Personal Use

  • If you book travel outside of Concur and paid for the reservation on a T card, you must work with your business office to return the funds to the University.
  • No additional steps are necessary if you used personal payment methods.

More information on COVID-19 and the University’s overarching travel expectations can be found on the Protect Purdue websiteQuestions may be directed to purduetravel@purdue.edu.

Online Conference and Workshop Registrations

  • A travel waiver is not required for online conference or workshop registrations. Fees of $1,000 or more should be reviewed by the appropriate business office before the conference or registration is booked.
  • Online conferences should be paid by:
    • Individual who have a Purdue Travel card:
      • Request a temporary card increase using the online form.
      • Enter the conference fee in the "Single Transaction $$ Increase to" field.
      • Select attend a Virtual Conference.
      • Submit the form.
    • Individuals without a Purdue Travel Card:
      • Department Purchasing Card should be used.
      • If the charge does not go through, contact pcard@purdue.edu for assistance. The Merchant Category Code (MCC) may need to be opened for the card to post.