Frequently Asked Questions - Travel

Travel Authorization

A Travel Authorization is required when a University of Arizona Employee, Student, or Designated Campus Colleague will be on travel status (at least 35 miles outside of their duty post) and travels on behalf of University business, regardless of expenses incurred by the University.
The original fully approved Travel Authorization must be on file in the Travel Office prior to the departure date of the traveler. This requirement is due to auditing purposes to ensure the employee is authorized to travel on behalf of the University. If the Travel is to a country under a State Department Advisory Level, please forward to the Travel Office at least 30-days prior to departure to ensure approval by the Provost Office.
No. The Travel Authorization with original signatures is required in order to ensure the traveler is authorized to be away from their duty post.
It depends. The Traveler is not required to sign the Travel Authorization if no travel advance is being requested. If a Travel Advance is necessary the traveler must sign and the original signatures is required to disburse the funds to the traveler.
Unfortunately, this functionality is currently not available; however, business units can request a copy to be emailed to them by sending a request to: fso_travel_pay@fso.arizona.edu or by calling the Travel Office at 621-9097.
No. The business office or traveler can send an email to the Travel Office at fso_travel_pay@fso.arizona.edu indicating the new departure and end date of travel. The Travel Office will update the original signed Travel Authorization and no additional paperwork is required.
The traveler's supervisor or principal investigator (sponsored project accounts) must review and approve/sign the travel authorization. If the travel is split funded the department approving the traveler's timesheet within UAccess Employee should hold the responsibility. Departments can negotiate exceptions as needed depending on the circumstances of the travel.
Yes. Travelers or a delegate must complete a travel registry, http://ua-risk.terradotta.com/ for all international travel, including travel to the U.S. territories. (Example: Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Island, and U.S. Virgin Islands).
There are limitations to services, safety factors, and health coverage in U.S. territories that have raised concern with educational institutions to classify this as international travel in these areas thus, a travel registry, export control, DBA insurance are reviewed and approval by the International Travel & Safety committee (ITSOC) is required.

Lodging

A copy of the conference flyer or website indicating the lodging information for the event.
The business office should ‘tell the story’ within a note on the Disbursement Voucher indicating the business purpose for exceeding the lodging rates and the decision to approve the overage amount. Examples include the conference hotel was sold out or meetings conducted during site visit required specific location for traveler.
Yes, Employees may be reimbursed for Travel expenses incurred while conducting University business, when accommodations such as Airbnb, VRBO or Home Away establishments are economical and a cost savings to the institution. Travelers utilizing these services qualify for lodging and meal reimbursement/per diem, not to exceed the published state limits. While there is no central administration requirement to provide a comparison or justification for these expenses, departmental business units are encouraged to consider requesting from the traveler, when/if appropriate.
Additional consideration should be placed on the safety of the employee with respect to well-lit facilities, surroundings, public activity, and in some cases hotel security when booking lodging.

Travel Advance

Travel Advances are issued up to seven days prior to the departure date of the trip, and will be directly deposited into the employee's primary bank account as indicated in UAccess Employee. A check can be issued if a note is placed on the Disbursement Voucher stating that the payee prefers a check disbursement. Please update the Disbursement Voucher with the employee’s home address and click the ‘check enclosure’ box.
Yes. Provided the traveler has the Travel/Hotel enhancement, the Pcard may be used for hotel expenses (room and tax only). Please visit the PACS Pcard website for additional information https://pacs.arizona.edu/purchasing_card .
The Accounts Payable Office has the ability to prepay hotel room/tax charges with a Single Use Account (SUA) credit card. The business office should book the reservation, print the confirmation, and initiate a Disbursement Voucher (DV) directly to the hotel for the amount due and attach all the supporting documentation (Example: hotel reservation confirmation, hotel credit card authorization form, etc.). Please use the Y – Prepaid Travel Expense Payment Reason Code to alert Accounts Payable of the expenditure pending. Accounts Payable receives a daily UAccess Analytics report of all pending Prepaid Travel Expenses and will begin the process to prepay for room and tax for the hotel stay.
Yes. Provided the traveler/department card has the Travel/Hotel enhancement, the Pcard may be used for hotel expenses (room and tax only). Please visit the PACS Pcard website for additional information https://pacs.arizona.edu/purchasing_card .

Meal Reimbursements

Tracking time of departure and return of the traveler is no longer required as the traveler receives 75% of the full-day rate on the departure and return days of travel. Meals that are provided at no cost to the traveler on the departure and return day must be deducted at the full-day rate from the 75% reimbursement.
If reimbursement rates are not available for the city you are traveling to/lodging in, then the corresponding county rates should apply. To locate the county, look up the city using the NACO guide. If the county is not listed in the lodging/meal reimbursement rate tables, the default rates should be utilized, which are the first entry on every page of the Continental United States rate tables and 'Other' on the International and AK-HI-US Territory rate tables.
A traveler may be reimbursed for actual costs of meals, although the amount cannot exceed the meal reimbursement rates for the day.
University policy allows for meal reimbursement rates while on University business travel, although meals provided should be deducted from the meal reimbursement claim.
Meal reimbursements without an overnight stay may be provided up to $13 for a minimum of six hours but less than 12 hours or $20 if the travel exceeds 12 hours. These single day reimbursement rates must be reduced by any meals provided during the day and the amount reimbursed for the meals is taxable income to the traveler.

Air Fare

While University and State of Arizona policy mandate that the travelers select the most economical means of transportation, it is incumbent upon the traveler and travel arrangers to recognize these new restrictions and accommodate accordingly. Traveling on behalf of the University of Arizona must be reasonable in nature; however, we recognize that the restrictions imposed upon the most economical fares may ultimately result in higher travel costs.
Travelers and those arranging University travel are encouraged to review costs associated with the Basic Economy fare to determine whether this option will truly provide the most economical means of transportation for the traveler.

Mileage

Yes. Mileage to and from the airport may be reimbursed at the current state mileage rate based on the departure time of the traveler. Travel to the Tucson International Airport during normal business hours may be reimbursed based upon 20 miles round trip with no supporting documentation required. If departure time occurs outside of normal business hours, including holidays and weekends, a traveler will be reimbursed for mileage to and from their residence. Supporting documentation should include odometer readings or an internet based map such as MapQuest or Google maps.
Mileage to and from the Phoenix International Airport may be reimbursed with supporting documentation to include odometer readings or an internet based map such as MapQuest or Google map.

Miscellaneous

No. If the employee is on travel status (away from their duty post) and unable to physically sign the TER, the business office may arrange with the traveler to approve the Disbursement Voucher within UAccess Financials. The traveler will need VPN access to log in UAccess Financials. If this option is not available the business office can email a copy of the TER to the employee's UA email address for review. The traveler may then reply (from their UA email address) with approval or disapproval, indicating necessary changes, and the email can be printed and attached to the supporting documentation as the electronic approval.
Yes. Travelers may submit partial reimbursement(s) for expenses or deposits incurred in planning for the business travel. Reimbursements must be supported with a paid receipt/invoice and in some circumstances, proof of payment may be required. In the event the travel is cancelled, the traveler must repay the University for monies received for the travel event.
It depends. Discretionary incidental expenses are included in the Meal Reimbursement rate and individual incidental expenses are not reimbursable. Examples of discretionary expenses include laundry service, tips to concierge, bellhop, housekeeper/doorman, newspapers, magazines, etc. Expenses incurred for business purposes such as tipping at the airport for excessive baggage for equipment, may be reimbursed with a receipt or detailed explanation of expenditure.
Yes. Fees incurred for business expenses while traveling internationally are reimbursable. The traveler may provide a bank statement for the supporting documentation for the expenses, however they should redact any personal information displaying only the fees incurred for the business trip.
It depends. Travelers should consult with their supervisor and UA Risk Management https://risk.arizona.edu/insurance to determine if a medical claim is required.