Travel and Entertainment Policy
|In order to be reimbursed for airfare, reservations MUST be booked through American Express Business Travel.|
Lowest Available Airfare:
All airline tickets must be booked and expensed at the lowest available airfare as determined by American Express Travel Services at the time of booking. The following criteria will be utilized to determine lowest available airfare:
- The flight's departure or arrival time is within four hours before or after the requested departure or arrival time;
- One stop or connecting flights are required if savings of $200.00 or more can be achieved and the one-way total elapsed trip time (origin to destination) does not increase by more than two hours for outbound or return;
- Travelers may not specify a preferred carrier;
If the traveler is requesting a fare other than the lowest available fare, the traveler must document the reason and obtain the appropriate pre-approval. Refer to the Required Approvals/Exceptions Table.
All exceptions to the lowest available fare will appear on the monthly departmental/University travel management reports issued to the company by American Express.
Only economy class fares will be considered for reimbursement for travel.
First Class and Business Class:
Incremental costs for first Class and business class fares are not reimbursable.
- A traveler may use their personal frequent flyer miles to upgrade fares. The traveler must book the economy class fares with American Express and contact the airline directly for the upgrade.
- A traveler may choose to fly business or first class and personally pay the difference in the fare. The traveler must, at the time of booking the fare, determine the lowest available fare as defined above and must received prior approval and agreement on the reimbursable amount from their supervisor and fund administrator.
For any international travel that will be charged to a federally-sponsored agreement, the airfare must be from a US Flag Air Carrier. For further information, please contact Sponsored Programs.
Frequent Flier Programs:
Travelers may retain frequent flier program benefits. However, participation in these programs must not influence flight selection, which would result in any incremental cost to the University beyond the "lowest available airfare" as defined above.
American Express Business Travel Accident Insurance automatically provides accidental death and dismemberment insurance coverage for Saint Louis University employees when the Common Carrier trips are charged to the American Express Business Travel Account. Employees will receive up to $350,000 door-to-door coverage for business trips from their departure, through their trip (up to 30 days) and until they return.
American Express Baggage Insurance Plan provides coverage against loss or damage to checked and carry-on baggage. Employees will automatically receive the following coverage amounts when the American Express Business Travel Account is used to purchase Common Carrier tickets for a trip.
- Carry-On Baggage - up to $1,250. Reimbursement for carry-on baggage is based on its actual cash value (replacement cost minus depreciation).
- Checked Baggage - up to $500, in excess of coverage provided by the Common Carrier. Reimbursement for checked baggage is based on its full value (the total original cost).
All airline reservations made through the University's designated American Express travel office or via the American Express On-Line Booking tool (AXO) must be cancelled through the same channel used to make your original reservations.
Electronic tickets and Paper tickets carry a dollar value. As a result all cancelled trips need to be reported immediately to American Express to determine if the ticket holds value. To ensure that no unnecessary costs are incurred, cancellations must be made directly with American Express Business Travel by calling the telephone number listed on your itinerary prior to departure. Related re-issuance fees due to changes in existing reservations are reimbursable.
Cancellation or change penalties cannot be charged to federally-sponsored agreements unless the Federal Government caused the change (e.g., the Feds cancelled the symposium or meeting.) Changes for the convenience of the traveler are not allowable.
Required Method of Payment:
Payment for airfare must be made exclusively with the American Express Corporate Travel Card. All travelers' profiles will be loaded with the appropriate Amex Corporate Travel Card account number. The University Business Travel (BTA) account number will be used for airfare.
Required Documentation: American Express Business Travel Invoice Detail. Refer to My Travel Plans for instructions on obtaining the Invoice Detail.