Here are the steps you should take when booking international flights.

Purchase in advance

Reserve your air travel as soon as possible—at least 14 days in advance—to obtain advance purchase discounts on coach fares.

Determine number of travelers

MIT strongly discourages traveling in groups of three or more faculty/staff members to avoid serious impact on an Institute activity in the event of catastrophic injuries during travel. MIT also discourages your department from booking group arrangements for more than 20 students on the same flight.

Review restrictions

If your travel is funded by a research cost object, check Kuali Coeus (if you have access) or with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) for any specific travel restrictions established by the sponsor. Contact your OSP representative if you have any questions.

Note that federal funding carries requirements and restrictions for air travel:

  • You must travel on U.S. flag carrier airlines to the maximum extent possible if your trip is supported by federal funds. This may include code sharing—an arrangement between airlines through which a U.S. carrier leases space on a plane owned by a foreign carrier.
  • You cannot charge business class or first class fares to federally sponsored research projects unless the sponsor specifically approves it and you document it in your travel expense report.
  • We strongly discourage travel on non-commercial aircraft for Institute business. If you are contemplating travel on aircraft you own, operate, rent, or charter, you must obtain prior permission from the MIT Office of Insurance.

You’ll find further guidance on allowable reimbursement of direct and indirect airfare costs in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21 or OMB’s Uniform Guidance section 200:474.

Use preferred air carriers

When you use MIT’s preferred air carriers, you can take advantage of negotiated fares and discounts. If you use other carriers, you must maximize savings for the Institute. In either case, book the lowest available coach fare. To get MIT’s preferred rates, use one of MIT’s preferred travel agencies The Travel Collaborative or OT&T Travel Management or book your flights on Concur, MIT's online travel booking and expense reporting tool. See details in Step #6 below.

Document lowest fares

Select the lowest-price coach flight available to ensure maximum reimbursement (note that MIT will not reimburse you for airfare, hotel, rental cars, or any other travel purchased with frequent flyer miles). Do not use frequent flyer or other rewards memberships as criteria for selecting an airline that is not the lowest price available from an MIT-preferred airline.

You may fly business class (or first class if business class isn’t offered to your destination) if the in-air flying time for any part of your round-trip airfare exceeds six hours. If you travel in a class other than coach, you must provide a comparable itinerary showing the lowest available economy rate at the time of booking. If you must travel business class as the result of a medical condition, you must submit proper documentation to MIT Human Resources. See details at Human Resources Accommodations for Disabled Employees

Book through Concur or a preferred travel agency

Concur is MIT’s online travel booking and expense reporting tool. The application makes it easy to find the lowest available fares, track and report itineraries and expenses, and sign up for automatic travel alerts.

If you want to work directly with the MIT preferred travel agency that is connected to MIT's Concur tool, call The Travel Collaborative (TTC) at 617-497-7400 for assistance. Call toll-free from North America, 1-844-445-3330; from all other locations, call 1-207-805-3340.

As an alternative to The Travel Collaborative, if you are traveling to Asia, you may consider OT&T Travel Management for discount airfares.

If you are using a departmental MIT Travel Card, you must book with The Travel Collaborative (TTC) and ensure that the ticket is issued in the name of the traveler (not the name on the Travel Card).

When you reserve your flight using Concur, The Travel Collaborative will automatically issue you an electronic ticket. Be sure to bring a printed copy of your ticket information along with appropriate personal identification (driver’s license, passport, visa as required) when you travel.

Check for high-risk areas

Note that world events can result in considerations specific to countries, airports, or destinations. You should check the MIT Office of Insurance International Travel Risk Policy (and scroll down to the Countries with Extreme, High or Moderate Travel Warnings) before every international trip. This page is updated frequently by the MIT Office of Insurance.

Check the Department of Homeland Security for updates on U.S. airports, including changing policies on carry-ons. Your airline may also post travel alerts.

The Details

Purchase in advance

Reserve your air travel as soon as possible—at least 14 days in advance—to obtain advance purchase discounts on coach fares.

Determine number of travelers

MIT strongly discourages traveling in groups of three or more faculty/staff members to avoid serious impact on an Institute activity in the event of catastrophic injuries during travel. MIT also discourages your department from booking group arrangements for more than 20 students on the same flight.

Review restrictions

If your travel is funded by a research cost object, check Kuali Coeus (if you have access) or with the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) for any specific travel restrictions established by the sponsor. Contact your OSP representative if you have any questions.

Note that federal funding carries requirements and restrictions for air travel:

  • You must travel on U.S. flag carrier airlines to the maximum extent possible if your trip is supported by federal funds. This may include code sharing—an arrangement between airlines through which a U.S. carrier leases space on a plane owned by a foreign carrier.
  • You cannot charge business class or first class fares to federally sponsored research projects unless the sponsor specifically approves it and you document it in your travel expense report.
  • We strongly discourage travel on non-commercial aircraft for Institute business. If you are contemplating travel on aircraft you own, operate, rent, or charter, you must obtain prior permission from the MIT Office of Insurance.

You’ll find further guidance on allowable reimbursement of direct and indirect airfare costs in the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-21 or OMB’s Uniform Guidance section 200:474.

Use preferred air carriers

When you use MIT’s preferred air carriers, you can take advantage of negotiated fares and discounts. If you use other carriers, you must maximize savings for the Institute. In either case, book the lowest available coach fare. To get MIT’s preferred rates, use one of MIT’s preferred travel agencies The Travel Collaborative or OT&T Travel Management or book your flights on Concur, MIT's online travel booking and expense reporting tool. See details in Step #6 below.

Document lowest fares

Select the lowest-price coach flight available to ensure maximum reimbursement (note that MIT will not reimburse you for airfare, hotel, rental cars, or any other travel purchased with frequent flyer miles). Do not use frequent flyer or other rewards memberships as criteria for selecting an airline that is not the lowest price available from an MIT-preferred airline.

You may fly business class (or first class if business class isn’t offered to your destination) if the in-air flying time for any part of your round-trip airfare exceeds six hours. If you travel in a class other than coach, you must provide a comparable itinerary showing the lowest available economy rate at the time of booking. If you must travel business class as the result of a medical condition, you must submit proper documentation to MIT Human Resources. See details at Human Resources Accommodations for Disabled Employees

Book through Concur or a preferred travel agency

Concur is MIT’s online travel booking and expense reporting tool. The application makes it easy to find the lowest available fares, track and report itineraries and expenses, and sign up for automatic travel alerts.

If you want to work directly with the MIT preferred travel agency that is connected to MIT's Concur tool, call The Travel Collaborative (TTC) at 617-497-7400 for assistance. Call toll-free from North America, 1-844-445-3330; from all other locations, call 1-207-805-3340.

As an alternative to The Travel Collaborative, if you are traveling to Asia, you may consider OT&T Travel Management for discount airfares.

If you are using a departmental MIT Travel Card, you must book with The Travel Collaborative (TTC) and ensure that the ticket is issued in the name of the traveler (not the name on the Travel Card).

When you reserve your flight using Concur, The Travel Collaborative will automatically issue you an electronic ticket. Be sure to bring a printed copy of your ticket information along with appropriate personal identification (driver’s license, passport, visa as required) when you travel.

Check for high-risk areas

Note that world events can result in considerations specific to countries, airports, or destinations. You should check the MIT Office of Insurance International Travel Risk Policy (and scroll down to the Countries with Extreme, High or Moderate Travel Warnings) before every international trip. This page is updated frequently by the MIT Office of Insurance.

Check the Department of Homeland Security for updates on U.S. airports, including changing policies on carry-ons. Your airline may also post travel alerts.

Did You Know?

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