Travel - Airfare

Effective: Moved to Policy Library from UPM 8.2(1)
Reviewed and Updated: August 1, 2020
Contact: Controller's Department


This policy covers the purchase of air tickets, whether through a university contracted travel agency or other sources.

Policy Statement

Travelers are encouraged to order air tickets from one of the university’s contracted agencies by using university Travel and Hospitality (T&H) Cards. No comparative quotes between contracted agencies are required. Trips arranged through university contracted travel agencies provide additional benefits to the traveler including reduced potential liability being assumed by the traveler, and ensures canceled trip credits are retained by the university.

Travelers are allowed to order air tickets through Internet sites by using their personal credit cards. Although significant savings sometimes can be realized through Internet sites, travelers need to be aware of the site's policies regarding ticket exchanges, refunds and transfers before making a purchase. Travelers may be liable for the cost of the ticket and all fees and penalties for any canceled tickets when purchased personally. Travel advances will not be made to facilitate these ticket purchases. Reimbursement must wait until the conclusion of the trip. 

Airlines may have different ticket fee structures and are constantly updating their offerings. The following should be used to identify and define appropriate airfare classes: Coach-class, which is the basic class of accommodation which allows at least one piece of carry-on luggage by airlines that is normally the lowest fare offered regardless of airline terminology used.   Coach-class may also be referred to by airlines as “tourist class,” “economy class,” or as “single class”. The least expensive class, when carry-on, baggage and other carrier-imposed fees are considered, should be used for all air travel. The traveler may not indicate a preferred carrier to accumulate frequent flier miles.

Travelers using federal funds must use a U.S. flag carrier, as provided in the Fly America Act (see Resources below).