Travel Guidelines

**Travel reimbursement requests must be submitted to the Engineering Purchasing Reimbursements Office for processing within 45 days from the end of the trip**


Required Documentation:

Original receipts that show the method of payment are required for the following:

  • Airfare: original passenger receipt (e-ticket email confirmation acceptable) and document showing the airline ticket number (13-digit number; exceptions are Jet Blue and Virgin Airlines)
  • Lodging: original itemized checkout statement showing form of payment
  • Car Rental: original receipt showing rental contract number and mileage in and out
  • Registration Fee: conference agenda, itemized receipt, or other supporting documentation including conference schedule
  • Meals: log or receipts (for domestic travel, original receipts required if requesting at or near the $74 max routinely each day)
  • Local/Non-Local Transportation (taxi, shuttles, etc.): log or receipts over $75
  • Miscellaneous: parking, tips, internet, etc.


Connexxus--The University of California Travel Program:

Connexxus is your web portal for arranging business-relatged travel for faculty, staff and host guests of UC Irvine. By using Connexxus, you can choose to make your travel arrangements online of through a travel agent. After booking your travel, your trip is automatically registered with the UC Travel Insurance Program. Find out more about the Connexxus by going to the Zot Portal/Finances/Travelers/Connexxus Travel Program


Internet Travel Packages are NOT Allowed if breakdown of charges is not included (e.g., Expedia, Travelocity, etc.):

Reimbursement of these packages is not allowed unless they provide a breakdown of the charges. If you are interested in obtaining a travel package, but are not sure if the vendor will provide a breakdown of the expenses, inquire with the vendor prior to purchase. You may need to call the vendor to obtain this information.


Fly America Act and Open Skies policies on using US Flag carriers for foreign travel when using Federal contract/grant funds:

Federal Travel Regulations require that U.S. carriers must be used for travel that is to be reimbursed from federal grants and contracts. This policy is called the Fly America Act. Allowable exceptions are noted below.

  1. Travel that is to be reimbursed from federal grants and contracts must be booked through U.S. air carriers except in the following circumstances:
    • Travel to and from the U.S. - when the use of a U.S. airline service would:
      • Extend travel time (including delay at origin) by 24 hours or more
    • For travel between two foreign destinations - when the use of a U.S. airline service would:
      • Increase the number of aircraft changes required by two or more
      • Extend travel time by at least six hours or more
    • Short Distance Travel (3 hours or less) - when the use of a U.S. airline service would:
      • Require twice the travel time of a foreign carrier
    • When the costs of transportation are reimbursed in full by a third party such as a foreign government or an international agency
  2. When one or more of the above circumstances apply, provide an explanation indicating the appropriate exception in the Notes section of the PayQuest Travel Voucher.
    • Please note that the availability of a flight at less cost is not an adequate justification to use a foreign carrier service.
  3. Code-sharing agreements with foreign air carriers, whereby American carriers purchase or have the right to sell a block of tickets on a foreign carrier, comply with the Fly America Act Regulations. The ticket or documentation for an electronic ticket must identify the U.S. carrier's designator code and flight number.
  4. Some funding sources may not recognize code-sharing as being compliant with Fly America Act regulations. When the fund source policy is more restrictive than UCI travel policy, the more restrictive policy applies.

Open Skies Agreements criteria may also serve as exceptions to the Fly America Act. More information on Open Skies Agreements can be found here. (PLEASE UPDATE)


List of American Flag Carrier Airlines:

For International Destinations

These U.S. carriers and their foreign code share partners travel to major cities in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and South America:

  • Alaska Airlines (AS)
  • American Airlines (AA)
  • Continental Airlines (CO)
  • Northwest Airlines (NW)
  • United Airlines (UA)
  • US Airways (US)
  • Delta Airlines (DL)
    • (Delta also has flights to Polynesia, check availability)

All airlines are obligated to inform the traveler of code share flights. Additional information on airline code share alliances is available on:

Reminder – A code share flight must be documented with the U.S. flag carrier airline code.


For Domestic Travel and Travel to Canada

  • Airtran Airways (FL)
  • Alaska Airlines (AS)
  • America West Airlines (HP)
  • American Airlines (AA)
  • American Trans Air (TZ)
  • Continental Airlines (CO)
  • Delta Airlines (DL)
  • Frontier Airlines (F9)
  • Hawaiian Airlines (HA)
  • Jet Blue (B6)
  • Midwest Express (YX)
  • Northwest Airlines (NW)
  • Southwest Airlines (WN)
  • Spirit Airlines (NK)
  • United Airlines (UA)
  • US Airways (US)
  • Virgin America (VX)

Note: *Air Canada is NOT a U.S. flag air carrier*.


Car Rental Agreements:

The University has rental car agreements with Enterprise, Hertz and National that allow University travelers to receive good rates and free liability insurance when renting a vehicle. To obtain contracted rates, you need to reference the University's corporate ID number when placing reservations (see http://snap.uci.edu/viewXmlFile.jsp?resourceID=245 (PLEASE UPDATE) for proper procedures and information).

  • Rental Car Companies with UC Contracts:
    • Enterprise (800) 325-8007 Contract # XZ32E02
    • Hertz Corporation (800) 654-3131 Contract # 72105
    • National Car Rental System (800) 227-7368 Contract # 5007820


Rental Car Insurance:

When a vehicle is rented from one of the rental car companies with UC contracts, the traveler should decline the loss damage waiver (LDW), collision damage waiver (CDW), and the supplemental liability insurance (SLI) as these are included in the basic UC agreement rate with the above agencies.

Traveler is responsible for obtaining liability insurance when renting a vehicle from a company other than the ones listed.

Purchase of rental car insurance will not be reimbursed unless:

  • None of the preferred rental car agencies were available at the location the rental car was needed.
  • If the type of travel requires a vehicle that is not covered under an agreement, e.g. some vans, trucks and SUVs, then collision damage coverage (CDC) may be purchased and is considered a reimbursable expense.


Rental Car Upgrade Restrictions:

  • Only the cost of a Compact or Economy car will be reimbursed unless a larger car is required for the business purpose of the trip or a larger car is more economical due to the number of travelers
    • Free upgrades may be accepted, or the additional cost may be paid by the traveler if they choose to upgrade
  • Additional upgrades such as GPS are not reimbursable expenses.


Lodging for UCI guests:

If you need to find lodging for visitors to the University several local hotels offer special negotiated University rates. You may find a list of Orange County hotels with these agreements through this link - Hotels.


Maximum Amounts Allowed for Domestic Travel:

Lodging: maximum lodging amounts per location can be found at the US General Services Administration website. Only actual lodging expenses up to the maximum lodging rates can be reimbursed and must be supported by original hotel receipts.

Meals & Incidentals:

  • $74.00 daily maximum for trips longer than 24 hours.
  • These rates, however, should not be treated as a flat per diem rates. The traveler should only request reimbursement for actual amounts spent, and a meal log should be provided. Meal receipts are required when requesting at or near the $74 max routinely each day.


Per Diem for Foreign Travel:

Rates may be obtained via the web at: http://aoprals.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=184&menu_id=78 (PLEASE UPDATE).


Currency Conversion Resource:


Business-related Entertainment/Meals:

A business meal differs from a Per Diem meal in that the traveler is having a business meeting during the meal and is serving as host by paying for the food/beverages of other attendees. Such meetings must have a business purpose in accordance with the UC Policy, BUS-79, on Expenditures for Business Meetings, Entertainment, and Other Occasions. Reimbursement requires submission of a list of attendees, an itemized receipt, and statement of business purpose. University policy allows such meals to be reimbursed at entertainment rates as follows:


Entertainment Allowable (Amounts include tax, gratuity and any applicable service charges):

  • Breakfast: $27 per person
  • Lunch: $47 per person
  • Dinner: $81 per person
  • Refreshments: $19 per person


Mileage:

When private vehicles are used on Official University Business, the traveler is required to have adequate liability insurance coverage in order to be reimbursed for Private Car Mileage.

It is not necessary to provide proof of said insurance, but the traveler's insurance must meet University standards.

Please refer to Vehicle Use & Insurance at the University of California and to UC Business & Finance Bulletin Page 20, Section D for further information.


University of California Traveler Insurance Coverage:

UC employees who travel on official University business are eligible to be covered for a wide variety of accidents and incidents while away from campus. This coverage is automatic for trips within California. However, to be eligible for coverage during business trips out of state and to foreign countries, an online Traveler Insurance Form (PLEASE UPDATE) must be completed to register your trip in advance of the travel.

This insurance provides protection to Regents, Faculty, Staff, or any person designated by UC while traveling at the direction and approval of UC. Coverage can also be provided to a spouse/domestic partner and dependents(s) when traveling with them.

For complete details about this insurance, please visit UCOP's Traveler Insurance website at: http://www.uctrips-insurance.org/ (PLEASE UPDATE)