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AD SLACPortal > Accelerator Research Division > ARD Administration Department > Travel Reminders

Reminders concerning Conference Travel & “Fly America Act”

(information needs to be checked)

There is still a little confusion about conference travel and the “Fly America Act” that governs travel funded by DOE. This memo summarizes what the traveler has to do in order to ensure smooth approval of travel before the trip and full reimbursement of travel after the trip is over. Please remember that it is the traveler’s responsibility to make sure that she/he is following the rules for official travel. In particular, the traveler must ensure that their domestic or foreign travel request is submitted and approved prior to travel.

1. Conference Travel

All conferences, workshops, meetings, seminars, retreats, symposiums, or similar events that involve official travel require a “Conference Authorization” form (CAF) to be filled out and approved. Some meetings (e.g. collaboration meetings) do not need a CAF, however unless the traveler is CERTAIN of this, he/she should assume that a CAF is needed. This CAF requirement is in addition to the domestic or foreign travel approval form that the traveler fills out. In order to ensure that there is sufficient time to register for conferences and take advantage of cheaper travel and hotel arrangements, the CAF will be submitted 75 days in advance of the conference start date. In the Accelerator Directorate, Deborah Lilly is responsible for preparing the CAF. Travelers should check to make sure that the CAF for their conference exists and that their name is on it BEFORE submitting the travel authorization form. Failure to do may jeopardize trip approval or reimbursement.
If the meeting has a registration fee, the traveler also needs to fill out a training request form accessible from https://www-bis2.slac.stanford.edu//slaconly/training/Default.aspx.
With the new financial model, conference travel must now be charged to a program account. The only exceptions are where attendance at the conference is entirely service work, such as for the conference chair. The traveler should identify what program will support the trip and get an account number from the appropriate account manager. Naomi or Joan can help with the more common ARD accounts but it is the traveler’s responsibility to ensure that they have a correct number. The traveler should explicitly add the account manager as an additional approver if they are not already on the list.
Travel funded completely by non-DOE sources still require the traveler to fill out the same travel forms as for DOE funded travel. This is because DOE still pays the traveler’s salary during the travel. The obvious and only exception to this rule is if the traveler uses vacation to attend the conference.

2. Fly America Act

It is essential that ARD travelers understand the requirements of this act in order to be reimbursed for their official travel. The “Fly America Act” is the law of the land and we do not have the option to ignore it. Ignorance or excuses such as “cheaper” or “more convenient” CANNOT be used to bypass the “Fly America Act” rules.
Simply put, the rule says that the traveler must purchase tickets on flights that have US Carrier flight numbers to the closest airport to the traveler’s destination that has US carrier flights. If a US carrier flies to the destination airport, then this means all of the flight segments to the destination airport must have a US code. (This is different from the previous interpretation which only required a US flight number across the ocean. With the new guidelines, flying to London and then catching a connecting flight with a non-US flight number to the final destination is NOT allowed, if a US carrier flies there). The traveler should be especially careful when flying on code shared flights. The following examples give a sense of what is allowed and what is not:
Reimbursable:
· Ticket issued by United, airplane operated by Lufthansa, flight number United.
Not Reimbursable:
· Ticket issued by United, airplane operated by Lufthansa, flight number Lufthansa.
 
The “Fly America Act” rules outline certain well defined exceptions to the rule, but the traveler is advised to check with the “Travel Reimbursement Department” if he/she has ANY doubts how these exceptions work. Travelers are also reminded that Canadian airlines are NOT US carriers.
Travelers may find it convenient to use the Stanford Orbitz for Business website at https://www.orbitzforbusiness.net/Secure/OFBSignIn?affiliate=MzAwMDAwNDEzNQ which flags possible combinations of flights as “In Policy” or “Out of Policy” to warn of possible problems.

3. Reduced Per Diem

For certain common destinations and for certain conferences, SLAC or ARD may choose to reduce the amount of hotel and/or per diem that will be paid for travel. This typically happens when the official per diem rates are generous and allows SLAC to send more people to a particular conference. It is up to the traveler to find out whether reduced reimbursement rates apply to their travel and fill out the expense reports accordingly.

4. Useful Reference Material

The following web sites contain useful information on official travel.
The Travel Reimbursement Department web site:
The Travel Reimbursement Department FAQs (including an air travel section)
The Travel Reimbursement Department travel guidelines
The Travel Reimbursement Department travel do’s and don’ts
The Budget Office’s guidelines on conferences
Federal Acquisition Regulations : FAR 52.247-63 Preference for U.S.-Flag Air Carriers.
 

 

 

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