Travel FAQ

  • What do I do if I purchased airfare and the trip gets cancelled?

    Most air tickets purchased are non-refundable but may be used at a later date, it’s the department’s responsibility to track any credits.  Be sure to write an explanation on the claim for any changes and/or credits.  Air credits on a purchasing card are processed on a Non Travel Purchasing Card Claim.

  • If the details of a trip change between the time the original trip authorization is signed and the time it is submitted, are new signatures required?
    Travel Reimbursement Claim: No, you do not need to get new signatures if the trip details change as long as the reason for the change is well documented in the trip comments.
    Purchasing Card Travel Claim: Same
  • Is there anything extra I need to do before traveling internationally?
    Before you travel to a foreign country you should always contact International Programs and Risk Management.  They will help you determine what is required for the country that you will be visiting.   It is important to ensure that you will be covered by insurance, if the airfare you are wanting to purchase complies with the Fly America Act, and what paperwork will be necessary to enter the foreign country. 

  • If I have already paid for Registration, do I have to wait until I get back from the trip to process a claim?
    No, you can turn in a claim for early reimbursement of your registration costs before the trip has occured.
  • Who needs to sign the travel claims?
    Travel Reimbursement Claim:  As long as the traveler and the supervisor have signed the trip authorization, the claim only needs to be signed by the traveler and one other person from the department designated to sign the claims.  The Supervisor does not need to sign the claim if they have already specified how much can be spent and that the trip can be taken on the trip authorization.
    Purchasing Card Travel Claim:  Same
  • What do I do if my paid conference registration gets cancelled?
    You should receive a credit from the conference registration, it’s the department’s responsibility to track any credits.  Be sure to write an explanation on the claim for any changes and/or credits.  All credits on the purchasing cards are processed on a Non Travel Purchasing Card Claim.
  • May I use my Pay Pal account to purchase registration?

    The UI does not allow employees to setup a personal Pay Pal account or use their personal Pay Pal account when making purchases or collecting revenue on behalf of the University.  But if the vendor you are paying uses Pay Pal such as the registration to process the payment, the purchasing card can be used to make the payment. 

  • Will I be reimbursed for lodging if I shared the room with a member of my family?

    Yes, but only at the single or conference rate, and you cannot use a P-card to pay for the lodging if the rate is higher because of the additional guest.

  • May I use my UI rental car for personal use while in travel status?
    The rental charge would need to be prorated to be reimbursed for business travel only and you cannot use a Pcard to pay for the car rental or fuel.
  • May I keep my UI rental car overnight and park it at my residence?
    No, due to risk factors.
  • What do I enter in the description section of the airfare expense?

    The name of the airline and the ticket number.

  • What do I do if I drive my personal vehicle but want fuel reimbursement only?
    In order to meet the IRS Accountable Plan regulations, the traveler is entitled to mileage only.  Fuel is only reimbursed for a Rental Car or New Employee Moving Expenses.  The department may limit the amount of the reimbursement to the cost of the fuel if both the traveler and the department agree.
  • How do process a promotional meal paid for while in travel status?
    Based on the APM 70.21, the correct method is to reimburse the meal on a claim voucher or non travel purchasing card claim.  The payment should include an attached Entertainment Form that was approved by the Dean or department head prior to the event.  The form needs to include the purpose of the meal, who will be attending, and if there will be alcohol served at the meal.

  • What do I do if more than one UI employee was in attendance at a promotional meal?
    Other UI employees in travel status should either pay for their own meal, or they cannot claim per diem for the meal, need to note this in comments on the claim.  Alcohol is not allowed on the purchasing card.
  • May I be reimbursed for expenses before the trip occurs?
    Yes, if they have been paid or the expense has been downloaded to the Travel Ledger Accounts and you have the receipt.
  • What do I do if I lose a receipt?

    Refer to APM 70.04 B.  First check with the individual colleges, they may have a different ruling on this item.  If it is approved by the colleges and you have made a good will effort to obtain the receipt, you will need to include a note regarding the expense and signed by your supervisor.

  • What gratuities are covered in the per diem?

    Per Diem is defined as reimbursement for meals, meal gratuities, and fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, etc.

  • What documentation is needed when airfare is purchased for multiple destinations that combine personal travel with business travel?
    Document a cost comparison of personal vs. business fares as if personal wasn’t added.  You cannot use a P-card for this type of ticket, use personal funds and submit receipts and documentation for reimbursement.
  • Is there a timeframe that travel claims must be submitted?
    If an advance is used the claim must be submitted within 15 business days.  The UI suggests within 60 days and not to cross a fiscal year if possible.
  • Is tipping a reimbursable expense?
    Tipping is included in Per Diem.
  • What documentation does the traveler need to provide when using airline points to purchase or change a ticket?
    Reimbursement will only be for the amount actually paid for a ticket.
  • How much text/detail is needed in the comment section of a claim?
    Include enough that an auditor knows where you’ve been, but depending on the funding of your travel expenses, you may need to include enough details that demonstrate it is an allowable expense.  When in doubt, write a book!
  • If I purchase airfare with a UI P-card for someone coming for a job interview/campus visit, how do I process that expense?
    As a non-travel P-card claim.
  • Am I reimbursed for mileage from my home or my workstation?

    Mileage is allowed from the official work station only unless the distance between your home and the destination is less.

  • When filling out a travel form, what do I put in the description field?
    When filling out a Travel Reimbursement Form it is important to include the company name that the airfare, lodging, etc is being purchased from in that description.
  • Is lodging the night before a business flight an allowable expense?
    It is allowable for a traveler to be reimbursed for lodging the night before a flight as long as the lodging is more than 50 miles from where they work. The traveler cannot claim per diem during this time.