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:

Receipts that show the method of payment are required for the following:

  • Airfare: Receipt (e-ticket email confirmation acceptable) showing the airline ticket number (13-digit number; exceptions are Jet Blue and Virgin Airlines)
  • Lodging: Itemized checkout statement showing form of payment
  • Car Rental: Receipt showing rental contract number and mileage in and out
  • Registration Fee: Conference agenda, itemized receipt, or other supporting documentation including conference schedule
  • Meals: Receipts will not be required unless it appears that the traveler is treating the cap as a per diem by routinely claiming the full M&IE amount. 
  • Local/Non-Local Transportation (taxi, shuttles, etc.): Log or receipts over $75
  • Miscellaneous: Parking, tips, internet, etc. if over $75

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.

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:

Use Connexxus the UC managed travel program to make your car rental reservation with UC discounted rates.

UC has negotiated rates with Hertz, Enterprise, National, Dollar and Thrifty. The UC rates available through these car rental agencies are the same whether booking through BCD Travel or SWABIZ.

UC policy allows for car rentals up to the intermediate level without prior authorization. Additionally, upgrades may be available if you have a loyalty membership with the agency.

To enroll in rental agency loyalty programs follow the links in Connexxus so that your loyalty program profile will associate you with UC and all the benefits that provides. Additional benefits include waived annual fees, car upgrades, and points toward free rentals. Learn more by logging in to Connexxus, choosing "Book Online Now" and selecting "Why Connexxus," "UC Rates & Benefits," "Cars."

  • 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: Effective October 15, 2017, Hotel rate will be capped at $275 per night for trips within the lower 48 states, before taxes and other hotel fees. If the traveler is in a higher cost city and is unable to secure a room at or below $275, the traveler must submit written justification as to why a rate under the cap could not be obtained and provide screen shots of price comparisons within the proximity of the meeting location. The price comparison should be performed at the time of booking.

Meals & Incidentals:

  • $79.00 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.  

Per Diem for Foreign Travel:

Rates may be obtained via the web at:

Currency Conversion Resource: - The Currency Site.

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: $31 per person
  • Lunch: $54 per person
  • Dinner: $94 per person
  • Refreshments: $22 per person


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 Travel Insurance and Benefits are available at no cost to UC employees and students traveling on UC business or sponsored activities and programs. Coverage also extends to spouses, domestic partners and dependents.  

UC employees and students are automatically covered.  Registration allows UC to provide UC travelers with emergency assistance, services and information during their travel.  This broad coverage includes medical care and evacuation, loss of personal property (UC employees only), extraction for political and weather related reasons, emergency travel services and more.

There are two steps to register your travel:

  1. Arrange your travel through Connexxus or at your discretion.  Travelers who arrange their travel through Connexxus  []  are automatically enrolled for the UC Trip Insurance and Benefits. 
    • Southwest Air:  Please complete the traveler registration profile below.
  2. Complete the traveler registration profile at:

Once registration is completed, you will receive a Travel Assistance Member ID Card.  A “Welcome Email” by iJET/Worldcue will be sent to each traveler.  iJet/Worldcue will automatically alert travelers to local circumstances that warrant their attention.

For pre-travel planning, global travel tips concerning security, health, culture, transportation, legal, financial and language, are available by using your UCI Single Sign- On at the following link:

Risk Services is available and happy to provide your school or department with more information about the UC Travel Insurance and Benefits program.  Please let us know how we can support you in all your travel insurance and benefits needs.

For additional information or questions regarding UC Travel Insurance and Benefits Program, visit click on “Travel Insurance and Benefits” or contact Nida Niravanh, Risk Manager, at or (949) 824-6510.