Travel Services - Travel Arrangements
The University offers two designated full-service travel agencies, and a self-booking tool for arranging your official University business airline, hotel, rental car, and rail travel. Please ensure your travel complies with BPM E-5-1 Reimbursement of Travel Expenses. We encourage all travelers to make your official business travel arrangements through Travel Services for the following very important reasons:
- Risk Management Tracking – You are on our radar for alerts and emergencies when you book through Travel Services.
- Competitive Airfares, Local Hotel Rates, and Rental Car Rates
- Air/Local Hotel/Rental Car Discounts – Travel Services offers airline, local hotel and rental car discounts that are not available through other travel booking sources.
- 24/7 Assistance – You remain connected to our Travel Services designated vendors from the time your travel arrangements are made until you arrive back home, to assist with any need you may have. Your airline ticket remains in automated quality assurance/control systems to ensure you receive schedule changes, waitlist clearings, alerts to emergency situations (and then re-accommodation as needed), and any other communication you need for a successful trip.
- Reporting – Travel Services maintains a highly-detailed reporting system for travel data collection that is used to provide risk management tracking of our travelers, to serve as a negotiation tool for vendor discounts, to help departments better manage their travel spend, and to stimulate/improved air service to Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport.
UK Travel Services Vendors:
We encourage you to use UK Travel Services’ AAA Corporate Travel Services, Concur Travel, or Avant Travel for all your official University business travel arrangements for air, hotel (other than conference hotels), and rental cars. All travel expenses must be paid with a University procurement card (not a personal card), when possible.
AAA Corporate Travel Services is UK’s lead full-service travel agency based in Cincinnati, and is required to: (1) administer/support Concur Travel, UK’s online booking tool for air/hotel/rental car arrangements, (2) provide scheduled Concur Travel training for UK users, and (3) consolidate all UK Travel Services financial data from into a web-based reporting system for the Travel Services Director to access. AAA agents are available 24/7 by calling 859-323-5354. Service fees: domestic airline ticket - $28.00, international airline ticket - $38.00, no fee for hotel or rental car reservations.
Concur Travel is UK’s online self-booking tool, administered and supported by AAA Corporate Travel Services. Access Concur Travel through myUK. Click here to get started on Concur. Contact AAA’s Online Help Desk 24/7 for Concur Travel assistance at (877) 463-0543 . Service fees: domestic or international airline ticket - $6.00, no fee for hotel or rental car reservations.
Avant Travel is UK’s second full-service travel agency. AAA agents are available 24/7 by calling 859-233-0000. Service fees: domestic airline ticket - $28, international airline ticket - $38, no fee for hotel or rental car reservations.
Benefits of Using UK Travel Services Vendors:
Risk Management Tracking tools in place during states of emergency (domestic and international) to manage duty of care for UK travelers. You are on our radar for such alerts and emergencies when you book through Travel Services.
Airline, Rental Car, and Lexington Hotel Discounts - Travel Services offers Delta Air Lines and United Airlines discounts, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental discounts (including insurance), and Lexington hotel discounts that are not available through other travel booking sources.
24/7 Assistance – You remain connected to our Travel Services designated vendors from the time your travel arrangements are made until you arrive back home, to assist with any need you may have. Your airline ticket remains in automated quality assurance/control systems to ensure you receive schedule changes, waitlist clearings, alerts to emergency situations (and then re-accommodation as needed), and any other communication you need for a successful trip.
Group Travel Services (for 10 or more flying on same itinerary) with relaxed airline rules and reduced service fees.
Airline Ticket Voids – Tickets can be voided until 11:00 p.m. the next business day after a ticket issued, avoiding expensive airline change fees.
Complimentary Accidental Death Insurance - $200,000 on each ticket
Reporting – Travel Services maintains a highly-detailed reporting system for travel data collection that is used to provide risk management tracking of our travelers, to serve as a negotiation tool for vendor discounts, to help departments better manage their travel spend, and to stimulate/improved air service to Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport.
Alternate Vendors: PLEASE SEE TEMPORARY POLICY FOR INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL ON THE OPENING PAGE OF THE TRAVEL SERVICES WEBSITE - INTERNATIONAL TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED ONLY THROUGH UK'S AAA & AVANT TRAVEL UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
While the University prefers and encourages you to make your official business travel arrangements through UK Travel Services (AAA Corporate Travel Services, Concur or Avant Travel), you do have the option of using an "alternate vendor" instead.
An alternate vendor is any vendor other than AAA, Concur or Avant. Examples of alternate vendors are Expedia, Travelocity, Orbitz, Delta.com, ABC Travel Agency, etc.
The University procurement card is the preferred method of payment for alternate vendor tickets; however, a pesonal credit card can be used as the optional form of payment.
Effective 6/12/22, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) no longer requires travelers from a foreign country to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight to the United States. For more information, see Rescission: Requirement for Negative Pre-Departure COVID-19 Test Result or Documentary of Recovery from COVID-19 for all Airline or Other Aircraft Passengers Arriving into the United States from Any Foreign Country.
International travelers must obtain written approval to travel prior to incurring travel expenses at the level required by the college, division, department or granting agency, consistent with UK Business Procedures Manual E-5-1 Reimbursement of Travel Expenses. Following are new guidelines that will apply to all official University international travel by faculty and staff:
- Concur Travel is now open again for faculty and staff to make their international travel arrangements. All international airline tickets paid with UK funds must be purchased through UK Travel Services' AAA Corporate Travel Services, Concur Travel, or Avant Travel.
- All UK-endorsed faculty and staff international travel must be registered in the University’s international travel registry, regardless of funding source. Registration ensures that travelers receive detailed information about the travel medical and quarantine insurance that will cover them during international trips.
- International travelers are advised that the pandemic continues to affect different countries in different ways, and that testing, isolation and quarantine requirements, as well as border restrictions, may be changed or imposed at any time and without advance notice. All international travelers are strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated and boosted (if eligible) before traveling abroad. Note that a negative COVID-19 test or proof of recovery is currently required to re-enter the United States. It is recommended that travelers check the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for country-specific entry requirements.
- UK faculty and staff who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents (i.e., green card holders) may be subject to additional U.S. immigration review and should consult with UK's office of International Student & Scholar Services before traveling abroad for any purpose.
- UK-endorsed international travel by employees traveling with students, or by students traveling independently, including student employees, such as GAs, RAs, and TAs, is governed by University Administrative Regulation 4:9 and may be restricted depending on the Department of State advisory level in place for the destination country.
- More information about international travel during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with resources from UK and elsewhere, is available at this link. Questions may be directed to Director of Global Risk & Strategic Operations Jason Hope, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fly America Act
Generally, if a University traveler is traveling on funds provided by the federal government, a U.S. flag air carrier (an airline owned by an American company) must be flown, regardless of cost or convenience. However, there are times which a foreign carrier can be used through airline code sharing, open skies agreements, or time restrictive exceptions.
- Airline Code Sharing: When scheduling international travel that is being paid with federal funds, all flights, where possible, are required to be scheduled on U.S. flag air carriers or on foreign air carriers that code share with a U.S. flag air carrier. Code sharing occurs when two or more airlines "code" the same flight as if it is their own. In other words, a U.S. airline may sell a seat on the plane of a foreign air carrier; this seat is considered the same as one on a plane operated by a U.S. flag carrier. Compliance with the Fly America Act is satisfied when the U.S. flag air carrier's designator code is present on the ticket or documentation for an electronic ticket (passenger receipt). For example: Delta has a code share agreement with Air France to Paris, France. If the boarding pass (flight coupon) or e-ticket identifies a flight as DL ##, then requirements of the Federal Travel Regulations are met, even if the flight is actually on an Air France airplane.
- Exceptions to Fly America with Open Skies Agreement: On October 6, 2010, the United States and European Union (EU) Open Skies Air Transport Agreement was published by the U.S. General Services Administration. It provided full explanation of the multilateral agreement in place so that qualifying travelers whose travel is federally funded may travel on European Union airlines as well as U.S. flag air carriers. There are also Open Skies Agreements with Australia, Switzerland and Japan.
- European Union (EU) - When traveling from the U.S. to a destination serviced by an EU airline, travelers flying on federal grants or sub-awards can fly on either a U.S. carrier or an EU carrier as long as it touches down in an EU nation: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom. Because of their relations with the EU, Norway and Iceland are also included in the agreement.
- U.S. to Australia, U.S. to Switzerland, U.S. to Japan - Travelers flying on federal grants or sub-awards can fly on a foreign carrier only if a point of origin/destination is either the U.S. or Australia, Switzerland, or Japan; and there is no GSA city-pair contract flight between the two points (origin and destination). Even though UK travelers using federal funds cannot actually use GSA city-pair contract airfares, travelers are still required to use a U.S. flag carrier service when a city-pair contract exists. See this website to search city-pair contracts GSA City-Pair Contract Search.
- Exceptions to Fly America without Open Skies Agreement:
- Travel to and from the United States: Passenger service by a U.S. flag air carrier will not be considered available when the travel is between a gateway airport in the United States and a gateway airport abroad, and the gateway airport abroad is: The traveler's origin or destination airport, and the use of U.S. flag air carrier service would extend the time in a travel status, including delay at origin and accelerated arrival at destination, by at least 24 hours more than travel by foreign air carrier. Gateway Airport in the United States - the last airport in the U.S. from which the traveler's flight departs, or the first airport in the U.S. at which the traveler's flight arrives. Gateway Airport Abroad – airport abroad from which the traveler's flight last departs enroute to the U.S., or at which the traveler's flight first arrives from the U.S.
- Travel Between Two Points Outside the United States: For travel between two points outside the United States, U.S. flag air carrier service will not be considered to be reasonably available:
- if travel by a foreign air carrier would eliminate two or more aircraft changes en route; or
- if one of the two points abroad is the gateway airport en route to or from the United States, and the U.S. flag air carrier would extend the time in travel status by at least 6 hours more than travel by a foreign air carrier; or
- if travel is not part of a trip to or from the United States, and the use of a U.S. flag air carrier would extend the time in travel status by at least 6 hours more than travel by a foreign air carrier.
- Short Distance Travel: For all short distance travel, regardless of origin and destination, U.S. flag air carrier service will not be considered available when the travel time on a scheduled flight from origin to destination airport by foreign air carrier is 3 hours or less and service by U.S. flag air carrier would involve twice the travel time.
University Procurement Card (preferred method of payment) - The University has a Travel Procurement Card Program to facilitate payment of travel-related expenses (e.g., airfare, lodging, car rental, registration and other ground transportation related costs) for University business. All travelers should obtain a University Procurement Card before incurring travel expenses. The University Procurement Card must be used to pay for University business travel expenses not covered by the meal per diem or the IRS Standard Business Mileage Rates, when possible. Generally, the following expenses shall always be placed on the University Procurement Card:
- Airfare, Baggage and Seat Fees, and Other Airline Fees - A University procurement card can be used to purchase airline tickets that combine personal travel with University business travel if the actual business/personal ticket cost is less expensive than the cost comparison for business-only airfare. See section on Required Cost Comparisons.
- Lodging (excluding personal expenses such as room service, movies and mini-bars) .The University procurement card can be used to make hotel arrangements/pay hotel room/tax expenses for official University business travel through any vendor (not limited to Travel Services). Most of UK’s hotel business is booked for conferences/meetings, and the attendees receive a discounted hotel rate if they book the room through the recommended method conveyed in the meeting materials. Travel Services cannot usually compete with these rates, as they are privately negotiated and most times lower than published hotel rates. However, we do encourage all transient hotel arrangements (not for meetings) to be booked through Travel Services so that room nights can be documented and used to help negotiations for a discounted hotel rate program for our travelers. Regarding payment for hotel expenses, hotels require a credit card in the name of the hotel guest to pay for hotel expenses. Therefore, travelers who are procard holders easily meet this requirement, or a personal card can be used. However, for travelers who do not wish to use a personal credit card and would prefer the room/tax expense be charged to a procard, most hotels are accommodating to allow such “credit card authorization”. The hotel reservation must first be made and guaranteed to a credit card (can be a procard or personal card). Then, the procard holder can call the hotel to arrange for room/tax expenses to be charged to a procard that is not in the name of the hotel guest. Each hotel has their own way of handling credit card authorizations.
- Rental Cars - The University procurement card can pay for rental car expenses for official University business travel only if the card is in the name of the person renting the car. Rental car companies do not approve credit card authorizations as hotels do. When a renter picks up the car, the rental car agent requires a credit card in the name of the renter; otherwise, the car will not be released. If the renter does not have a procard in his or her name, then payment will need to be with a personal credit card with reimbursement after travel is completed. UK has entered into a direct bill to a procard agreement with Enterprise and National rental cars for several areas of campus - check with your budget officer to see if your area qualifies.
Personal Credit Card - If the use of a University procard is not available (or in the employee's name for rental cars), then a personal credit card can be used for airline tickets, lodging and rental cars.
All full-service travel agencies and many online booking tools charge a service fee to their clients, since the airlines stopped paying commissions to agencies. Our service fees for Travel Services’ designated full-service travel agencies AAA Corporate Travel Services and Avant Travel are average for colleges and universities. We are glad to advise that our service fee for Concur is among the lowest fees charged for colleges and universities.
Service fees are charged for each airline ticket issued or rail reservation made by Travel Services. Therefore, please keep in mind that if you request a change in an airline ticket that has already been issued (purchased), this may result in a new ticket being issued as well as another service fee being charged. Service fees are nonrefundable if an airline ticket is voided, refunded or exchanged. Service fees may also be charged for any other service performed that may be considered beyond a travel agent’s work scope (such as booking a ticket for a traveler directly through an airline website).
Travel Services Fees
- AAA Corporate Travel Services and Avant Travel Service Fees - $28 for domestic airline ticket, $38 for international airline ticket, and $20 for group travel ticket (for 10 or more travelers on one itinerary)
- Concur Online Booking Tool - $6 for domestic or international airline ticket
Service Fee Benefits
Our negotiated service fees with AAA Corporate Travel Services, Concur and Avant Travel are supported by the University and carry the following benefits for our business travelers.
- potential to change your reservation once ticketed
- potential to re-issue ticket when fare "drops" and results in net savings
- ability to void a ticket until 11:59 p.m. the next business day after a ticket is issued, avoiding expensive airline change fees
- extensive quality control over your reservation – 24-hour searches for lower a fare, better seat assignments, waitlist clearings, etc., up until the moment of departure
- emergency after-hours call centers with immediate response
- risk management control during states of emergency (domestic and international)
- complimentary accidental death insurance of $200,000 on each ticket
- group travel services (for 10 or more flying on same itinerary) with reduced service fees
- incorporation of your travel data into University travel management reports
- incorporation of your travel data into UK's discount programs with Delta Air Lines and United Airlines to help negotiations for improved discounts for our travelers
- Incorporation of your travel data into reports provided to Lexington’s Blue Grass Airport to stimulate and improve air service for Lexington
Special Note: Reimbursement of alternate vendor service fees will be limited to the service fees for Travel Services.
Airfare cost comparisons are required for airline tickets that combine official University business travel with personal travel, and for driving over 500 miles one-way to a business destination.
Combining Business with Personal Travel on an Airline Ticket:
The University permits combining official University business travel with personal travel on an airline ticket per the following:
- "Personal travel” is identified as any choice the traveler makes other than purchasing a roundtrip ticket for official University business travel. Personal travel choices involve travel dates, destinations, detours, upgradeable fares, originating airports other than the traveler’s “work station” airport (for Lexington based employees, Louisville and Cincinnati airports are acceptable as well as Lexington’s), or any other choice that is not considered an official University business travel choice.
- When a traveler chooses to combine business with personal travel on an airline ticket, an airfare cost comparison for business-only travel and the actual ticket receipt must be submitted with the airline ticket procard expense report or the travel expense report if the ticket was not purchased with the UK procard. Cost comparisons may be secured through Concur Travel or through UK’s AAA Corporate Travel Services or Avant Travel on the same day the actual ticket is purchased.
- Through Concur Travel – Cost comparison must be printed on the same day as the ticket is purchased. Ensure business-only travel search parameters are used based on the beginning/ending date and time of the business meeting. On the flight options list, mark or highlight the itinerary/airfare that the traveler would hypothetically choose for official University business travel. Ensure the print date shows on the cost comparison (which must match the actual ticket purchase date).
- Through AAA or Avant Travel – Cost comparison email must be secured from AAA or Avant on the same day the actual ticket is purchased. The email must show the hypothetical itinerary/airfare that the traveler would choose for official University business travel.
- If the traveler wants to know if he/she qualifies to use the procard to purchase their ticket that combines business with personal travel, then an airfare quote for the actual ticket before it is purchased must be compared with the cost comparison for business-only travel on the same day as the quote is given for the ticket.
- If the airfare quote for the ticket that combines business with personal travel is less expensive than the cost comparison, then the UK procurement card can be used to purchase the ticket.
- If the airfare quote for the ticket that combines business with personal travel is more expensive than the cost comparison, then a personal credit card must be used to purchase the ticket. After travel is completed, the traveler shall request the cost comparison airfare as reimbursement.
Driving More than 500 Miles One-Way to a Business Location:
- When a traveler chooses to drive a personal vehicle or a rental car over 500 miles one-way to the UK business destination, an airfare cost comparison and an Air versus Auto Travel Expense Form must be submitted with the travel expense report.
- The airfare cost comparison should be run at least 3 weeks prior to the start of travel, or as soon as the need for travel is known if inside of 3 weeks.
- Through Concur Travel – Ensure business-only travel search parameters are used based on the beginning/ending date and time of the business meeting. On the flight options list, mark or highlight the itinerary/airfare that the traveler would hypothetically choose for official University business travel. Ensure the print date shows on the cost comparison (which must match the actual ticket purchase date).
- Through AAA or Avant Travel – Cost comparison email must show the hypothetical itinerary/airfare that the traveler would choose for official University business travel.
- Reimbursement of personal mileage or rental car/gasoline expenses will be limited to no more than the normal expenses that would be incurred with air travel(as shown on the Air vs. Auto Travel Expense Form).
No Cost Comparison Obtained?
If an airfare cost comparison is not appropriately secured as required for one of the travel scenarios above, then a Request for Historical Airfare Cost Comparison form must be completed and submitted to the email address indicated on the form.
- Airfares will be researched for the traveler’s destination either on the actual ticket date for alternate vendor tickets or tickets combining business with personal travel or three weeks before travel for drivers.
The lowest airfare for which the traveler would have been eligible to receive will be reported on the form as the cost comparison amount. The form will then be returned to the contact person shown on the form.