Frequently Asked Questions

Are there specific airlines I must fly on during a foreign trip?

Yes, travel must be on a U.S. Flag Carrier (FAR 52.247-63) according to the Fly America Act, unless limited exceptions apply. A traveler must abide by Fly America regardless of price or convenience. 

View the Fly America Act on our website for more information.

Can anyone visiting SLAC arrange for direct billing for travel expenses?

No. There is a list of approved Administrative Assistants that are authorized to make reservations for invited visitors. Contact travel@slac.stanford.edu for direct billing information.

Can I purchase my entire airfare using frequent flier miles?

You can only use your mileage points to upgrade your flight, not purchase it outright. In order to reimburse the payment, you must provide a document showing that the points were purchased for the value of the ticket.

Do I have to book Basic Economy fares that do not allow seat selections and use of overhead bins?

No, you are not required to choose basic economy fares. These fares are not offered in the SLAC Egencia booking tool and do not need to be included in any fare comparison documentation for expense reimbursement.

Do I need authorization to rent a car? How do I get authorization?

Yes, travelers need to obtain authorization to rent a car. 

  • Domestic travel: travel authorization
  • Relocation: offer letter
  • Visitor: invitation letter
Does SLAC have agreements with any car rental companies?

Yes, SLAC has agreements with the following car rental companies:

  • Enterprise Bay Area airport rate (SLAC ID code: L23J105; SLA
  • Enterprise other airports rate (SLAC ID code: L23J106; SLA)
  • Avis (SLAC ID code: ADW A382311)
Does the 2:1 business to personal day rule also apply to domestic travel?

Please note that the 2:1 ratio does not apply to domestic travel.

How can I sign up to take the HTSOS training?

You can begin the sign up process by following the instructions found on the Security Requirements webpage.

How do I know whether an expense is reimbursable or not?

Please view our Travel Policy for information about reimbursable and non reimbursable expenses. 

For individual questions you may reach out to the Travel Office at: travel@slac.stanford.edu.

How do reimbursements for personal automobiles compare to airfare?

Personal automobile expenses will be reimbursed based on GSA mileage rates and will be reimbursed up to but not exceeding the lowest available airfare.

The traveler is responsible for obtaining a quote of the lowest available airfare from the Egencia website within a few days of receiving trip approval. The flight itinerary should be the same as if the traveler would be flying (i.e. one day before the event and one day after).

How does taking personal days work on foreign trips?

When taking personal days on foreign travel, a traveler may not exceed a two business day to one personal day ratio (2:1). Travel days are counted as business days. (See the business days FAQ for information on what constitutes a business day.)

  • Example: If a traveler’s business trip is six days, the maximum personal time they can take is three days.

If a traveler’s total trip is an odd number of days, the total number of days should be rounded down when calculating the 2:1 ratio.

  • Example: If a traveler’s business trip is nine days, a traveler would round the total down to eight, and would be allowed four personal days.

Exceptions to this 2:1 rule require Associate Lab Director Approval. Please email travel@slac.stanford.edu for more information regarding exceptions to this rule.

Note: The 2:1 rule only applies to foreign travel. Domestic travel does not have to follow this rule.

I am traveling to a foreign location for vacation. In what scenarios do I need to submit a foreign pre-trip request in Concur?

If you are traveling on vacation, but you happen to do some unrelated and incidental SLAC work while abroad (i.e. checking work email, calling into SLAC for a short phone conference or working on some work notes), that doesn't qualify as official SLAC travel. In this case, you do not need to report your foreign vacation. However, if you are combining your vacation with attending a conference or meeting with a collaborator to talk about SLAC business, then you will need to submit a foreign trip request in Concur.

I don’t have a foreign trip planned yet but would like to take the HTSOS training to be prepared. Can I take the training?

Yes, you can.

I have a question about Concur.

All of our information on Concur can be found on our Quick Start Guide page.

I prefer airline "A" over airline "B". Airline "B" has a lower fare for a similar itinerary. Do I have to use airline "B"?

Yes. As long as the lower fare is a U.S. Carrier with a U.S. Carrier flight number. Airline "A" may be used if the traveler pays for the incremental difference.

I went to the airport late at night on Calendar Day 1, took a 1:00am red eye of 13 hours to the foreign destination on Calendar Day 2 and arrived in the morning of Calendar Day 3. How will my meals and incidentals per diem for the travel days be calculate

When you cross the international dateline (IDL), your actual elapsed travel time will be used to compute your per diem entitlement rather than calendar days. You will be paid 75% M&IE plus a day of M&IE for a total of 1.75 of M&IE for your travel days. In general, travel to most foreign destinations will be entitled 1.75 for the travel days to the foreign destination.

If I decide to extend my foreign trip exceeding the 2:1 ratio, will my expenses be reimbursable?

No. Business and personal travel expenses will not be reimbursed for any foreign trip if the number of personal days exceeds the 2:1 business to personal days ratio.

May I add extra days for personal reasons to the business location? What additional documents are required?

Yes, but you will not be reimbursed for additional expenses. You may add up to one day of personal for every two days of business for foreign travel. Travel days may be counted as business days.

A printed airfare comparison with the actual business dates and normally traveled route to the business destination must be done at the time of booking the actual flight. This airfare comparison should be attached to the expense report.

May I book my airfare and lodging through online travel vacation packages?

Online booking services that offers travel packages may not itemize individual components (i.e. airfare, lodging etc). Such reservations for business travel should only be booked after traveler has confirmed that each component will be separately itemized (i.e. itemized hotel charges and airfare). Non itemized receipts are not sufficient documentation for reimbursement. SLAC's preferred booking tool is Egencia.

May I use my personal expense or personal frequent flier miles to upgrade my air ticket?

Yes, you may travel on an upgraded class at your own expenses or through the redemption of your personal frequent flier miles. Please note on your expense report when an upgraded class is taken and the way this class was paid (personal expense, mileage, ETC). 

Note: SLAC will not reimburse for any sort of upgraded class, seat upgrade or preferred seat. 

My trip was canceled and I had already purchased my airfare. What should I do to get reimbursed?

To get reimbursed for airfare that wasn't used, you will need to fill out an Unused Ticket Affidavit and attach it to your expense report along with the canceled flight itinerary.  Please note that any credit you receive for the cancelation must be used in the future for SLAC related travel.

Should I purchase insurance? What are the exceptions?

No. Stanford is self-insured. The purchase of any additional insurance such as LDW (Loss Damage Waiver), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance) or EP (Extended Protection) will not be reimbursed. The exception is when travel is to a foreign country, including Canada and Mexico, and to Hawaii and Alaska.

What are the DOE Sensitive and T3 countries?
What class of service must I fly? What are the exceptions to the rule?

Coach/Economy class.

Exceptions:

  • Upgrade through the redemption of personal miles.
  • No space available in coach-class wtihin the period of business days *
  • Disability, medical condition, or other special need *
  • Airfare is paid in full by a third party, non-government agency

* Documentation is required and subject to approval by the Controller.

What companies/expenses can be used for direct billing?

Lodging:

  • Stanford Guest House
  • Cardinal Hotel
  • Pacific Inn of Redwood City
  • The Red Cottage Inn

Lodging direct bills should only include room and taxes, amenities should not be direct billed to SLAC.

Car rental:

  • Enterprise Car Rental 

Relocation:

  • Steven Worldwide Van Lines
  • Ace World Wide (Atlas Van lines)
What determines if a code-share is reimbursable as a U.S. Carrier?

The ticket has a U.S. Carrier's flight number for the code-share portion of the flight.

 

Reimbursable

  • Ticket issued by Air Canada, airplane operated by Air Canada, flight number United.

  • Ticket issued by United, airplane operated by Air Canada, flight number United.

Not Reimbursable

  • Ticket issued by United, airplane operated by United, flight number Air Canada.

  • Ticket issued by Air Canada, airplane operated by United, flight number Air Canada.

What do I do if I get in an accident?
  • Request names, addresses, and phone number of all persons involved, including any witnesses
  • Obtain name of the legal owner of the vehicle.
  • Do not admit liability or make any statement, except to police officers.
  • Accidents on campus report to Stanford Police at (650) 723-9633.
  • Accidents off campus report to local police.
  • Promptly notify Risk Management  (650-723-0042) 

For more information, see Emergencies and Insurance

What is the approval flow in Concur for Trip Requests and Expense Reports?

Travel requests (pre-approvals) route to:

  • Supervisor
  • CAM
  • Travel Office (if foreign travel and/or with conference*)

*Travel requests with conference that's already on the event list and not DOE-sponsored would bypass Travel Office's approval

 

Expense reports route to:

  • Supervisor (if the expense report exceeds the threshold of being 10% or $100 over approved travel request amount)
  • CAM
  • Business Approver
  • Travel Office
What is the Fly America Act and Open Skies? What are the exceptions that allow me to fly on a foreign carrier?

For information about the Fly America Act/Open Skies Agreement and exceptions please visit our Fly America Act page. 

 
What is the schedule like for FACT? Can I guarantee when my training will happen?

FACT training occurs every week, Monday through Friday, except for weeks with a federal holiday. While we hope training can be received the week of your preference, we recommend adding alternate dates for your course when filling out our application form, as trainings can fill up.

What Should a Traveler do returning from Domestic or International?

If you (or a spouse/housemate) are returning from travel, you will need to receive clearance by the SLAC Occupational Health Center (OHC) prior to coming on site. The OHC clinicians will conduct phone interviews as part of the risk assessment process, with clearance typically granted after 14 days. This includes personal travel.

Link to new SLAC policy: https://policies.slac.stanford.edu/covid-19

What size car rental does SLAC reimburse? What are the exceptions?

Compact, economy or standard car

Exceptions:

  • Free upgrade (provide printed documentation)

  • Transporting SLAC equipment

  • More than one SLAC supported travelers in the car

  • Physical and medical limitations (must be pre-approved by the SLAC Occupational Health Center)

What type of receipt is required for airfare reimbursement?

A detailed invoice/itinerary that shows:

  • all times of departure,

  • flight numbers,

  • class of service,

  • fare basis,

  • ticket or confirmation number,

  • cost of the ticket,

  • proof of payment (i.e. credit card charged).

What type of receipt is required for car rental reimbursement?

A reimbursable car rental receipt must show the following information:

  • Car rental dates
  • Car rental company
  • Car rental class (EX: A, B, CCAR, ICAR)
  • Itemization with individual taxes and fees shown
  • Total cost
  • Proof of payment 
When will I be reimbursed?

After submission, your report will be approved by the Business Administrator as well as the Travel Team. In some cases for non-citizens, ISO will be first to approve.

Then after all approvals are received, you will see funds posted to your account in 3-5 business days.

Note: The funds in your account will be labeled as Concur.

Where are visitors required to lodge if SLAC is paying the expense? What kinds of exceptions are allowed?

Visitors are required to stay at the Stanford Guest House, unless it is sold out or the visitor has a valid reason for why the Guest House doesn’t meet the traveler’s needs.

If a traveler does not stay at the Stanford Guest House, the lodging may not exceed the per diem rate

Where can I get help on acquiring a visa?

Contact CIBT for assistance on obtaining a visa for the country to which you are traveling.

Where can I go for health advice and necessary vaccinations?

Check with your physician or the SLAC Occupational Health Center (OHC) at x228. Ensure that you are aware of safety and health issues of the country you are visiting.

For more detailed information, visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC): Travelers Health Page

Which insurance should I purchase when I travel to a foreign country, including Canada and Mexico, or in Hawaii and Alaska?
  • Collision damage waiver
  • Loss damage waiver
  • Supplemental liability protection
Why can my Sponsored Guest not log into Concur?

The invitation links which allows Sponsored Guests to log into Concur expire after one week. After this you will have to reset the password for them. 

Will weekends and holidays be counted as business days or personal days?

Weekends, holidays and other necessary standby days may be counted as business days only if they fall between business travel days. If non-business days are at the beginning or end of a traveler’s business activity, and the traveler arrives early or remains at the business destination for non-business reasons more than 24 hours before or after the business activity, those days will be counted as personal days.