Transportation Travel Expenses
The approving authority has the responsibility to determine the most appropriate and cost effective means of transportation consistent with the authorized business purpose of the trip, and to consider all associated costs (e.g. employee work time, overnight lodging, meals, mileage).
If you are purchasing airfare with federal funds, the Fly America Act restricts your choice of airlines. Generally, PIs must use an airline owned by an American company (i.e., “flag carrier”), regardless of cost or convenience.
Foreign carriers may be used for flights if a U.S. carrier “code-shares” with a foreign airline. A “code-share” occurs when two or more airlines “code” the same flight as if it was their own. For example, Delta and Air France code-share a flight to Paris, France. If the researcher’s boarding pass or e-ticket identifies the flight as a Delta flight, even if “Air France” is shown on the airplane, the researcher has met the requirements of the Fly America Act. However, if the researcher’s boarding pass or e-ticket indicates an Air France flight, the traveler is not in compliance with the Fly America Act and the trip cannot be reimbursed with the federal grant funds.
The U.S. government has entered into several air transport agreements that allow researchers using federal funds to use certain airlines in the European Union, Australia, Switzerland, and Japan. These agreements allow researchers to arrange air travel on foreign carriers in certain circumstances. Researchers who will travel to, from, or within these areas/countries, should contact OSP to discuss travel within these regions. Please be certain to indicate that the travel is associated with a federal grant or contract.
exemptions to the fly america act
Travelers are not required to use U.S. flag carriers in these circumstances:
- When there is no non-stop or direct service offered by a U.S. carrier.
- When travel outside the U.S. increases the number of plane changes to a destination by more than two.
- When the passenger’s total travel time is extended by at least six hours.
- When the connective time at an overseas interchange point is four hours or more.
- Personal vehicles may be used for activities on your sponsored project.
- Reimbursement is provided at the College’s standard mileage rate for personal vehicles (e.g., cars, trucks, vans).
- Business mileage will be reimbursed at the IRS authorized mileage rate in effect on the date of travel using the most direct route.
- For personal vehicles, this rate is $0.575/mile.
- For determining if vehicle transportation makes the most economical sense, Map Quest or Google Maps are the standard applications for calculating time and distance.
Carthage Fleet Vehicles
Carthage maintains a fleet of vehicles for official College use. Fleet vehicles may be reserved and driven only by “authorized drivers” of the College. The Carthage Fleet Vehicles page has additional information on use, policy, and authorized drivers.