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Travel Initiative FAQs

One of the earliest Operational Excellence initiatives was focused on enhancing the travel booking process at SLU — from pre-travel approval to reimbursement for expenses. Changes to policies and reimbursement processes were approved and went into effect last year.

Since the recommendations to enhance the travel booking experience were implemented, travelers have had a number of common questions, including the following: 

Why do I have to use SLU’s travel program to book my travel?
Our travel program and its related policies exist for the greater benefit of all SLU travelers and the University. The program provides numerous benefits to our travelers, while at the same time, ensuring that we remain good stewards of the University’s assets. Participation by all University users ensures the success of the travel program for all. 

Departments, schools, colleges and administrative units should not have more restrictive policies that add complexity to the University-wide expense reimbursement process. (Note: Grant-funded travel may have some additional rules or limitations, based on contractual requirements.) 

With the changes related reimbursement, how do we ensure accountability?
SLU’s enhanced travel process is based on a foundation of trust in and respect for travelers. The success of our travel program depends on all of us being good stewards of our limited resources and travelers accurately reporting their expenses for reimbursements. As before, failure to do so is not consistent with our professional standards and can be subject to disciplinary action. 

Should I use Concur to book my flight?
Yes. Concur offers many benefits, including door-to-door business travel accident insurance, ticket exchange options, airfare point accruals, and customer service through our travel company TravelPlex and/or American Express. The top benefit, however, concerns safety. For example, if there is a natural disaster, our travel management company can quickly find out if any SLU travelers are in the affected area so that we can reach out to them to provide assistance. 

Should I use Concur to book my hotel?
Yes. Concur highlights pre-approved hotels based on SLU’s hotel allowance, which equals the federal hotel per diem, plus an additional 20 percent granted by SLU. 

If I find a less expensive hotel option, can I book outside of Concur?
Yes, but if you do, please be aware that the University may not know where you are staying, which can affect our “duty of care,” or our ability to assist you during an emergency. By booking outside of the tool, you may also be subject to additional fees and non-refundable costs related to reservation changes or cancellations. Be sure to attach documentation of the price savings to your expense report. 

When traveling for a conference, do I have to stay at the conference hotel?
No. You may stay at any hotel with a rate equal to or less than the conference rate. Just be sure that your costs for getting to and from the conference don’t negate your savings. 

What documentation do I have to submit if I stay at a non-conference hotel?
Whether you choose to stay at the conference hotel or not, you must provide documentation of the conference hotel rate when submitting your expense report. A conference brochure or a screenshot of the conference website will suffice.

For more travel-related FAQs, visit the travel section of the Business and Finance website.