The mode of air travel is expected to be the least costly option consistent with the itinerary and particular USM Foundation business involved.
- Coach accommodations should be used at all times and travelers are expected to take advantage of advance purchase rates.
- Business or first class travel will not be reimbursed or allowed, except in cases of international travel where the flight time is 6 hours or more and then only with specific pre-approval. Travel for short distances while abroad should be booked at coach fares.
- Full coach fares that allow upgrade opportunities are unacceptable if a lower fare was available. Upgrades at the expense of the USM Foundation are not permitted.
- If a traveler elects to fly business and/or first class and agrees to pay the difference between the two fares, the difference will be calculated from the least expensive logical airfare on that particular routing. Documentation should be provided to support this calculation.
- Participation in frequent flyer programs must not influence flight selection which would result in incremental costs to the USM Foundation beyond the lowest logical airfare. The USM Foundation will not reimburse travelers for tickets purchased with frequent flier miles.
- When a trip has been cancelled after a non-refundable ticket has been issued, the ticket can be applied to a trip in the future by that traveler on that airline less a change or cancellation fee. Travelers must apply any unused ticket value towards a business trip in the future, to mitigate any financial loss to the Foundation. In most cases the traveler has a year during which that ticket can be applied towards a new ticket. If a traveler will not be able to use that credit toward a future business trip in the time period allowed they may use it for personal reasons if they reimburse the USM Foundation the full amount of the available credit.
- When a trip has been cancelled after a non-penalty ticket has been issued, the ticket must be submitted for refund. If the traveler has already been reimbursed for this prepaid expense, the traveler must return the money to the USM Foundation once they have received the refund from the airline.
- Expenses related to changed itinerary fees will not be reimbursed or allowed unless a clear business purpose necessitated the change.
- Baggage fees are allowable and reimbursable for up to two bags.