Reminder: To be reimbursed, all travelers must retain and submit original receipts that support proof of payment. The transportation expenses that qualify for reimbursement by UConn Health are:
Employees should purchase the lowest reasonable commercial fare available. The definition of the “lowest reasonable 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. Likewise, travelers may not insist on non-stop flights; a trip may require one plane transfer both departing and returning. An employee’s flight should depart from the airport nearest to the employee’s official duty station or home, but an employee may use a different airport if that airport is documented to be more cost effective for the University once additional expenses for parking, mileage, and resulting overnight stays are included. Cost comparisons must be documented by the traveler when requesting travel authorization.
Travelers should purchase non-refundable tickets, unless a refundable ticket is documented to be cheaper. The employee should take advantage of round trip fares.
All air travel will be reimbursed at no more than the published coach rates for domestic flights. Business class will be reimbursed for international flights with a flight segment exceeding 8 hours. First class air travel rates will not be paid. Use of private or individual-charter aircraft will not be authorized unless documented to be a cost savings.
Claims for trips involving air travel not booked through UConn Health’s preferred travel agency must include the original air ticket receipt and an airline boarding pass. In the absence of a boarding pass, in addition to the air ticket receipt, further documentation is required that the travel took place such as a hotel receipt, restaurant receipt or an original receipt indicating that the destination was reached.
Special air travel arrangements, which would result in net savings to UConn Health, including the cost of extra day lodging, meals or other additional cost, are permissible. It is the responsibility of the requesting employee to demonstrate to the supervisor approving the travel that the proposed arrangements are the most economical for UConn Health. Such documentation should be included with the travel reimbursement request.
Cancelled non-refundable tickets or tickets ordered without an approved TA will be charged to the departmental operating account. Changes during the actual travel period due to weather or changes in schedule can be made on tickets already issued by calling the travel agency from which the tickets were obtained.
UConn Health will not reimburse a traveler for an unused ticket purchased by the traveler.
If the traveler purchased a ticket using Sanditz, which direct bills UConn Health, then the traveler’s department should contact the agency to determine if the ticket is reusable. If the ticket is reusable, the department will need to track the ticket and use it for future business travel. If the ticket is refundable, the agency will apply the credit to the UConn Health’s credit card number on file. Tickets purchased by UConn Health remain property of the institution, and may not be used for personal purposes. Unused tickets may not be charged to sponsored awards unless the tickets are reused, and such reuse inures to the benefit of the same sponsored award. Departments are encouraged to check with Sponsored Program Services if there is a question as to the application of reused tickets. Departments should also note that they may incur name change fees to change a ticket from the original traveler.
Restrictions on Foreign Travel
Examples: Federal research awards, Federal pass through awards, and other awards with restrictions on foreign travel.
It is the travelers’ and principal investigators’ responsibility to make sure that when foreign travel is booked, the air fare is booked on a U.S. flag carrier. The U.S. flag carrier regulations require that a U.S. carrier be used to the final destination or, in the absence of a direct or through service, to the farthest interchange point on all foreign trips charged to a federal research award. Foreign travel includes travel outside the U.S. Canada is considered to be foreign travel.
U.S. carriers have “code sharing” arrangements with many foreign airlines. It is imperative that the ticket or documentation for an electronic ticket identify the U.S. carrier’s designator code and flight number when using a code sharing arrangement.
Note: Confirmations that identify the foreign carrier and its flight number do not meet the U.S. flag carrier guidelines and will be rejected. Only original ticket (electronic or paper) will be accepted.
Ground versus Air Travel
A traveler may use ground transportation (vehicle or rail) for personal reasons, even if air travel is a more time- effective mode of transportation. Under these circumstances, the cost for the ground transportation, meals and lodging, parking, mileage, tolls, taxis, and ferries may be reimbursed as long as these costs do not exceed the cost of airfare, based on the lowest reasonable commercial fare available from a standard commercial air carrier, plus transportation costs to and from the airport. It will be the traveler’s responsibility to provide documentation for this amount.
The traveler must document the cost comparisons of ground travel vs. air travel using itineraries from Sanditz dated at the time of booking, and include the documentation with the Travel Reimbursement Form.