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Air Travel and Airfare Equivalency

Air Travel

Air travel accommodations must be coach or special fare class only. First class air travel is not an allowable expense. Travelers are responsible to book air travel at the most economical rates using normally traveled routes. Travelers should make every effort to take advantage of all advance purchases, Saturday night stay, promotional flights, reasonable non-direct flights, conference fares, special negotiated fares, departing and arriving at times slightly less than convenient and any other reasonable savings opportunities which do not compromise the effectiveness and purpose of the trip.

Air carrier selection cannot be biased by a traveler’s frequent flyer affiliation. The lowest cost air travel will take precedence over frequent flyer programs. Any employee choosing a more expensive flight plan to take advantage of a promotional program such as a frequent flyer plan will be required to pay for any differences personally in excess of $50.

Enhanced coach, seat upgrade fees, or other airfare ancillary fees must be approved by the traveler’s university department. Travel agents will record the verbal approval that the additional fees have been approved in the traveler’s record.

Frequent flyer miles earned on travel funded by the university are maintained and redeemed individually by university travelers. Any frequent flyer miles earned while traveling on university business may not be exchanged for cash. Likewise, the university cannot reimburse travelers for their use.

When booking air travel, travelers must provide the fully approved Pre-Approval number and the university approved billing account to the on-site travel agent. Travel cannot be booked unless the trip has been fully approved.

If during consultation with a travel agent it is determined that an outside vendor is a better option over a university fare, the travel agent may send an email authorizing the purchase from the outside vendor. Both the receipt of purchase and the email authorization must be included on the Travel Expense Report.

Unused airline tickets and residual funds are the property of the university and must be used for future business trips by the traveler. Travelers should notify their travel agent of unused ticket(s) and/or residual funds when booking their next trip. Tickets and residual funds being held for exchange on a later trip may not be used for personal travel unless the value of the ticket is paid personally by the university employee.

Travelers that book their airfare using the university central bill or university corporate/travel card will automatically receive, at no cost to themselves or the university, $500,000 travel accident insurance from JPMorgan. Additionally, all university business travelers have coverage under the university's blanket travel insurance policy. Questions about insurance coverage should be addressed to University Risk Management at 801-422-4468.

Airfare Equivalency

Whenever a traveler elects to drive instead of flying the Airfare Equivalency Worksheet for Travelers Electing to Drive should be completed prior to travel. This form allows travelers to claim the mileage reimbursement between the departure and destination cities at the current reimbursement rate set by the IRS or a calculated airfare equivalency (whichever is less). Per diem and hotel expenses for transit days may not exceed what would have been needed if the traveler would have flown to destination instead of electing to drive

A traveler electing to travel by rail or bus should similarly document that their expenses do not exceed that which would have been incurred had they flown.

Airfare Equivalency Worksheet