eTravel: How to plan and book your trip


Note: When traveling to a domestic conference/seminar/workshop/field site/etc., ASC Policy dictates that you can only depart ONE day before the event and return ONE day after the event ends. Alternatively, when traveling Internationally, ASC Policy dictates that you can depart only TWO days before the event and return within TWO days after it ends. Please plan your trips accordingly and provide the Department Office enough time to assist you and always save/provide your receipts! Also, please keep track of conference/workshop programs or agendas as these are required for documentation of expenses.

 

  • Airfare: You are now required to book all business related flights through our travel agency's travel tool, Concur (click Book Travel Online to get to the appropriate portal). You can either complete this yourself with your own personal card or send your request to Natasha (preferred) with the exact flights you would like booked. You will need to provide the following information: Name on id, cell phone number, and date of birth. Once you have received a quote for the flight you prefer, if you have contacted the travel agency yourself, forward it on to Natasha so that a travel request can be created and the funds can be released to the travel agency for payment.
    • If booking yourself, your tickets will not be processed until a travel request is created and approved. Once the T# has been obtained, that number must then be entered into Concur to actually book/pay the flight. You will receive confirmation of the ticket purchase via email once completed.
    • When traveling internationally, you may book a flight on your personal card within countries where booking through outside travel agencies is impractical (For Example, using Ryan Air while in & traveling around the UK). Do let us know first, so we can make a comment in your travel for reference.
    • If you booked your flight prior to the new policy implimentation (8/1/18), you can still be reimbursed.
    • Please contact the department office for help in booking your flight when necessary.

  • Shuttle/Rail Services: Our pcard should not be used to pre-pay shuttle or rail/train services without a valid explanation and pre-approval from the department; these requests may be denied. Any expenses incurred for these services will be reimbursed after your travel with appropriate documentation, provided they comply with the University Travel Policy. Always save your receipts to turn in upon your return for reimbursement.

 

  • Registrations: Registrations can be pre-paid using the department card, provided you are using university funds. If a conference/meeting does not accept credit card payment, but instead requires a check, we can still pre-pay the conference registration for you (please ask Natasha for more information). If OSP funding must be used and the conference requires credit card payment, the employee will need to pre-pay the registration themselves and request reimbursement after they return from the travel (if you - or your PI - have an AMEX card for a grant, ask OSP if that can be used for registration first). If OSP funds are used and pre-payment via check is available/required, please see Natasha for more details.
    • If you have pre-paid registration yourself, it will not be reimbursed until after the trip has been completed.
 
  • Renting a car: Please review the Rental Car Information before booking a car; use the provided discount code and pin when booking. You are required to use the university contracted rental car agencies, which include the necessary LDW, CDW, DW and Liability insurance in rental agreements; policy also requires that a compact car (economy) be your first option and larger vehicles can only be reimbursed with valid pre-approved justification. Microbiology does not allow rental cars to be booked using the department pcard. Please review the travel policy in relation to Rental Car expenses and note what is allowable.
    • Note: If you use a university contracted agency, but do not use the University discount code and pin you will not be reimbursed for the rental.
    • You can also request a gas reimbursement with a rental vehicle (if not pre-paid with rental). You cannot request a mileage reimbursement with a rental car.

 

  • Driving Personal Vehicle: When driving a personal vehicle, you can get reimbursed for mileage only. If you are driving a certain distance/going outside of Ohio, a flight comparison must be provided (the request could be denied). Please keep in mind: Driving is not always the most cost effective travel option as the total travel time must also be considered when making this decision.
    • If a flight comparison is necessary, you will be reimbursed at the lowest possible cost. (for example, if a flight comparison is cheaper than mileage you would be reimbursed what it would have cost to fly; if the flight comparison is more than total mileage, you will be reimbursed the total cost of mileage).
    • A mileage log is required for reimbursement when driving a personal vehicle
    • Gas receipts can no longer be reimbursed when driving a personal vehicle
      • If a PI would prefer to reimburse a lower amount for mileage, this must first be discussed and agreed upon with the traveler. 
      • The Department must know beforehand so that a comment can be made on the travel noting the agreed upon amount (or please provide an email that can be attached to the request).

 

  • Lodging: Hotels can either be booked using our travel agency, PO, or with a personal credit card. Microbiology does not allow the department credit card to be used to reserve/book any type of lodging.
    • If lodging is included with the price of registration, this is allowable.
    • When registering for a conference, the suggested accommodations of the conference must be used (to obtain the conference (and usually lowest) rate). However, if it is not used or available please provide a short justification along with your reimbursement (for example: the rate was no longer available when you registered).
    • If you choose a non-traditional housing option (for example: AirBNB or VRBO), you must provide justification even if it is cheaper.

 

  • Poster Printing: It is preferable that posters be paid well in advance of a conference/meeting and that a university pcard be used where available. However, if OSP funds are used you will need to pay yourself and be reimbursed after the trip. (Note: If your PI has a pcard for one of their OSP funds, please work with the PI and OSP to use that card for the poster printing payment if allowable)

 

  • Vacation in addition to business travel: Best practice dictates that employees should not take vacation during business travel.However, it can be done using the following information:
    •  In cases when vacation time is added to university business travel, any cost variance in expenses such as airfare, vehicle rental, and/or lodging must be clearly identified and documented in eTravel to validate that the vacation time does not add additional cost to the university.  At time of airfare purchase, CTP's full service agents can split the transaction between the business payment method and a personal credit card for the additional cost due to vacation (with select airlines). 
    • You must use personal funds to cover all vacation costs per the statement above. There are no exceptions to this rule.

 

Additional Information: 

  • Do not use our pcard to use an outside travel agency. As we have a contract with Corporate Travel Planners (CTP), we are required to use their services if going through a travel agent. If you have done so, you will be responsible for having the charges reversed and provided necessary documenation.
  • If you do use your own personal funds for flights, and do not pay via the online travel tool, you will not be reimbursed (please review the Airfare section above).
  • Neither your PI or the department is responsible for paying for any non-employee travel (i.e. spouse, partner, friend, children, other family member, etc.) without a valid business purpose. If someone else is planning to travel with you, without a valid business purpose, you cannot use our department card or travel agency to book their flights or related expenses - you must use personal funds and you will not be reimbursed for any charges related to the non-employee.
  • If someone else is planning to stay in your hotel room, without a valid business purpose, you will need to provide a cost comparison to show there is no cost difference in having 1 vs. 2 guests (or more).

To review the reimbursement process, please click here.

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