Air Travel

Common Carrier Fares

Transportation by common carrier is recommended when it is more appropriate and economical than travel by state or private vehicle. Common carriers are usually preferred for out-of-state travel. Actual cost is paid or reimbursed for airline, railroad and bus fares for travel.

[1] Airlines

All employees are encouraged to travel using routes, schedules, and airlines that provide the most cost-effective, efficient travel that meets the business purpose. Economy Plus and/or Business Class airfare are authorized for any leg of international flights where the elapsed time in-the-air is eight hours or greater. First Class airfare is not authorized.

Air travel paid from federal funds must conform to the Fly America Act

Procedures for Air travel

Purchasing Airfare

Changes in UO Travel Guidelines - March 2018

ATTENTION:  If you are considering purchasing a seat upgrade for international travel (elasped flight time of 8 hours or greater) when traveling on federal grant funds, be sure to check grant rules for any restrictions prior to purchase.

Travelers and travel coordinators will submit a Concur Request with an approximate itinerary and travel cost for budgetary and programmatic approval before travel bookings are ticketed.  The request can be submitted via computer or by using a mobile device app.  An approved Concur Request will launch the Concur Travel booking tool, populate the Concur Expense report to provide a placeholder for incoming receipts, and provides location information in Concur Locate, used by UO Risk and Safety for duty of care in case of health, weather, or other emergent situations.

Travelers and travel coordinators will book air travel using Concur Travel (an online booking tool) or directly through their preferred university travel management company (TMC).  Concur Travel and TMC bookings take advantage of university-negotiated discounts and lower ticketing fees, limit the unintended purchase of basic economy fares (no-frills, unchangeable, non-refundable tickets), and ensure compliance with the Fly America Act (required for travel paid by federal grants).  Outside bookings will only be permitted if a university cost saving can be demonstrated in advance.

Travel should be based on the most cost effective, efficient travel, while traveling on official business. This is generally one day before and one day after the dates of the conference/meeting/business.  Direct route (official work location airport) is not required.

Direct Travel - UofO Travel Portal (Dedicated Travel Desk Contacts)
Direct (Peak) Travel (UO Contract)

   ** After hours 24/7 emergency only, contact 866-305-8931 (Membership code 1XN3). Calls are accessed an additional $20 fee.  

Premier Travel (UO Contract)

   ** Emergency after hours 24/7 use only: 800-628-6668 (VIT code ASF9).  These calls are assessed an additional $15 service fee.

TMCs will no longer accept personal credit cards (which are not eligible for university-negotiated discounts and rebates) to pay for airline travel except when adding personal traveler results in a higher priced fare (traveler must pay the difference).  Travelers enrolled in frequent-flier programs will still earn air miles and status for their air travel, but not personal credit card rebates or rewards.

Benefits for using UO Contract Travel Agencies



Combining Personal and Business Travel

Payment is based on the most cost effective, efficient travel, and the meal per diem and lodging to which the traveler would have been entitled to while traveling on official business. This is generally one day before and one day after the dates of the conference/meeting. Direct route (official work location airport) is not required.  A comparison quote must be prepared at the time of the ticket purchase or when planning the trip if the traveler is driving. If the cost of the combined business/personal itinerary exceeds the business only itinerary, the personal portion of the airfare must be paid by the traveler at the time of ticket purchase. Consult with the travel agency regarding a split payment. Any additional ticket fee associated with the personal portion is the responsibility of the traveler. 

Comparison Quotes

The comparison quote must be based on the business dates and the most cost effective, efficient travel that meets the business purpose. For accuracy, the quote should be obtained the same day the actual ticket is purchased. Use the same source as the ticket purchase to prepare the business comparison quote, either Concur booking tool or TMC (travel agent). If the TMC provides the quotes, show the name of the agency, travel agent, date of the quote, detailed itinerary with dates, airlines, flights, and total cost including all taxes and fees. If the quotes are from the booking tool please indicate which flight you are using as the business comparison.

Comparison Quotes After Travel: When combining business with personal travel and when a comparison quote was not prepared at the time of the ticket purchase, two quotes must be obtained at the same time to determine the ratio for the business only reimbursement. Using the Concur booking tool, use future dates to show a 21+ day advance purchase and correct days of the week, avoiding holidays which tend to skew pricing. Prepare two quotes:

  • Business only itinerary and
  • Personal itinerary including additional days/additional stops.

Provide a page or two of each quote showing the pricing grid/matrix to include with the reimbursement. If the business only quote is less, use this formula to calculate the reimbursement:

Business only divided by personal time = percentage. Actual ticket price x percentage = reimbursable amount

Example: Business only price $350. Price with personal time is $500.

$350 / $500 = .7 (percentage)

Actual ticket cost $600 x .7 = $420 reimbursable amount

Airline change fees

Airfare change fees may be reimbursed with business purpose. A receipt is required.

Care should be taken to examine and approve air itineraries within 24 hours of purchase.  Travelers must review for spelling of name (must match government-issued ID), correct travel dates, and destination(s).  Generally, change fees resulting from situations outside the control of the traveler can be reimbursed.  Generally, change fees resulting from personal error (not reviewing itinerary, not having a final conference agenda, improper planning, not using legal name on federal ID, etc ) cannot be reimbursed.

Cancelled/Unused Airline Tickets

The department or traveler must contact the travel agency or airline prior to departure to cancel a reservation in order to use a ticket for future travel credit. TMCs maintain cancelled ticket data which appears on your Concur profile.  Every effort should be made to use cancelled ticket credits when planning future travel.

Registering travel

All travel must be approved through Concur Request which provides location information to Concur Locate.  Concur Locate ensures that the university has the best knowledge to assist students, staff and faculty in the event that an emergency (medical, natural disaster, political unrest) occurs for a UO traveler.  Concur Locate provides UO Safety and Risk an opportunity to analyze the need for supplemental travel insurance available through the Office of Safety and Risk. International Travel Registration.

Travel Insurance

Insurance is provided on airfare purchases made through our UO contract travel agencies (TMCs).  Add-on travel insurance or trip cancellation policies purchased personally are not reimbursed. For international travel, check with the Office of Safety and Risk Services to obtain more information on Supplemental International Travel Insurance options. Only travel insurance policies recommended and purchased through Office of Safety and Risk Services can be paid.

[2] Taxis and Shuttle Services

Taxi and shuttle service is authorized between terminals, lodgings, and work stations.

Procedure - Claiming Taxi Expense

Expenses must be itemized by date and destination to indicate business purpose. Itemized receipt is required if $75 and above, per ride. Tips may be reimbursed up to standard tip allowance of 15%.

[3] Railroads

All employees are encouraged to travel using routes and schedules that provide the most cost-effective, efficient travel that meets the business purpose. A roomette is allowed when sleeping accommodations are needed due to overnight travel. A bedroom is allowed if no roomette is available or if special accommodations are approved because of the trip's nature or the traveler's health. Applicable meal and incidental expense per diem may not be claimed if a meal is provided and consumed as part of the roomette or bedroom rate.

[4] Bus Lines

Scheduled or charter buses may be used.

[5] Travel Awards and Frequent Flyer Mileage

Because the cost of record-keeping outweighs any monetary benefit, the university will not recapture airline bonuses awarded employees for frequent flyer miles. Frequent flyer bonuses may be used by employees as they choose unless the terms of a grant or contract require otherwise. The university will not reimburse or trade tickets purchased using frequent flyer miles.

[6] Payment in Lieu of Air Travel (Driving out of state)

Common carriers (e.g., airlines, railroads) are usually preferred for out-of-state travel. An employee may choose to travel by private vehicle instead. In such a case, the traveler may be reimbursed for ground transportation expenses, including standard mileage, parking, and tolls, up to the cost that would have been incurred had s/he traveled by common carrier.

The following costs associated with air travel can be used as a basis for comparison:

  • The cost of round-trip commercial air fare that would have been incurred. A Concur booking tool quote should be obtained prior to the travel dates.
  • Private vehicle mileage to and from the air terminal that would normally be used for departure.
  • Lodging, meal, and incidental expenses that the employee would normally incur with air travel
Procedure - Driving out of State

When driving out of state is a personal choice, provide a comparison airfare quote prepared when the trip is planned.  If a comparison was not prepared during the trip planning, use quote dates that most closely reflect the season and days of week that the traveler would have flown.  See Comparison Quotes under (1)Airlines for additional information.  Use Expense Type 'Airfare in Lieu of Mileage".  To calculate, divide the total amount claimed by the standard mileage allowance and enter this mileage amount into the form. 

Example:  Airfare Eugene to San Francisco - $450     $450 / .58 =  775 miles