Travel by air is limited to the lowest, logical, non-refundable, coach/economy class fare available unless otherwise noted. All flights must be booked through Concur or the university’s contracted travel agency. Certain associated fees are payable/reimbursable. Cost comparisons from the university’s contracted travel agency are required for trips including personal travel.
- NCAA-funded travel has specific requirements, some of which may be less restrictive than university policies or rates. NCAA-funded travel will be governed by NCAA policy.
- Sponsored projects (e.g., fund 144 or 133) are subject to the terms and conditions of the specific award, as well as applicable program guidelines, which may restrict the use of funds for certain types of expenses. Contact the Research and Sponsored Programs accountant (https://www.rsp.wisc.edu/accountantsearch.html) for your award with any questions.
- What to Book. Travel by air shall be limited to the lowest, logical, non-refundable, coach/economy class fare available. The additional cost for premium class or seat assignment fees for premium class (first class, business class, or premium economy) travel is not payable/reimbursable unless:
- The traveler has been granted an ADA exemption through the Employee Disability Resources Office, or,
- It is an international flight with eight hours or more of total flight time, including domestic segments (allowable upgrade to Premium Economy class only).
- Booking Methods. Airline reservations—for both employee and non-employee travel—must be made with a university contracted travel agency or via the Concur self-booking tool. Exceptions requiring supporting documentation are:
- Foreign, Intra-Country Flights: Though rare, some international airline tickets cannot be purchased by a designated travel management company or are available at significantly higher rates. Some remote international carriers must be purchased in-country. If purchasing airfare abroad, the origin and destination must both be international locations. Flights purchased under this exception may be booked directly with the airline.
- Independent Study Abroad: UW–Madison students traveling for programs provided wholly by international institutions of higher education or third-party affiliates.
- University Organized or Faculty-Led Programs: When UW–Madison students are traveling for the primary purpose of participating in a university-organized or faculty-led program, students are allowed to purchase travel on their own and first meet as a group at an international location. Applicable university-organized or faculty-led programs are reviewed and approved by the University International Travel Committee and the IAP Faculty Advisory Committee.
- Associated Fees.
- Baggage: The first piece of baggage within the airline's weight and size limits is payable/reimbursable. Costs for additional baggage beyond the first piece and overweight or oversized baggage may be payable/reimbursable with a business justification.
- Aisle, Window, or Exit Row Fees: Additional fees associated with booking a coach/economy aisle, window, or exit row seat at check-in or at the gate are payable/reimbursable. This is not to be confused with fare class upgrades to economy plus/economy comfort, which are typically not allowed.
- Change/Cancellation Fees: Fees charged for changing a non-refundable ticket are payable/reimbursable if justified by circumstances outside of the traveler’s control (i.e. meeting dates changed).
- Booking Fees: Travel agency and online booking fees are payable/reimbursable.
- Federal Excise Taxes: Federal excise taxes are payable/reimbursable.
- Cost Comparison. Travelers must obtain a cost comparison under the following circumstances:
- Indirect routing, extra stops, and/or days for personal reasons.
- Departing from/returning to a city other than Madison, Milwaukee, or Chicago for personal reasons – while it is allowable, travelers must consider potential extra costs for transportation, lodging, meals, tolls, parking, etc. when choosing to travel to/from Milwaukee or Chicago.
- Any other situation where the traveler’s itinerary is modified for personal reasons.
Either the traveler’s actual flight or their comparison flight—whichever is less expensive—is payable/reimbursable. The University will not pay/reimburse excess costs related to personal travel. Cost comparisons are not required for non-employees. Acceptable cost comparisons include Concur screenshots, ITA matrix screenshots, or designated agency documentation (such as emailed quotes). Due to airfare pricing and availability fluctuation, accurate cost comparisons must be done at the time of booking to be valid.
- Airline Promotions. Benefits from any airline promotion, such as free tickets for frequent fliers, merchandise, etc., that accrue as a result of UW paid travel belong to the UW and must be used for UW-related business only; however, benefits that accrue as a result of voluntary bumping may be retained by the employee. An employee may not be reimbursed or compensated for business use of personally earned frequent flyer vouchers, vouchers for bumping, discount coupons, or other instruments of value.
Consequences for Noncompliance
Noncompliant airfare purchases will not be paid or reimbursed by the university.
- Traveler/Travel Arranger:
- Register for Concur access and create a Concur travel profile.
- Understand and comply with university travel procurement and payment policies.
- Obtain prior travel approval from departmental/divisional authorities, if necessary.
- Obtain a cost comparison, when necessary.
- Retain all required receipts.