Business Travel

Business Travel Frequently Asked Questions

Contracted Travel Agencies - Traveling Abroad - Lodging - Car Rental - Per Diem - Travel Advances

Contracted Travel Agencies

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Traveling Abroad

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Lodging

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Car Rental

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Per Diem

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Travel Advances

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Contracted Travel Agencies

Q. How were the Contracted Travel Agencies chosen?

A. A Request for Proposal (RFP) was conducted by the Illinois Public Higher Education Consortium (IPHEC). The agencies chosen by the University of Illinois were awarded contracts based on the services offered and competitive fees. A second RFP was conducted for International Group Travel Agency Services and contracts were awarded to agencies specializing in this type of travel.

Q. Which agency is best for my needs?

A. All agencies selected provide the same basic services. The Contracted Travel Agency Pricing Matrix Link opens MS Excel file provides a summary of each agency's fees and a link to each agency's website where additional information can be found.

Q. Do the Contracted Travel Agencies provide Internet booking capability?

A. Yes, each agency's web site uses web scraper technology to search the most popular web travel sites simultaneously to identify the most economical and efficient travel arrangements available.

Q. Can a University P-Card (Mastercard) be used to make travel reservations?

A. No, the P-Card cannot be used for travel related purchases. See the prohibited purchases list on Section 7.6, P-Card Link opens PDF file. The University Travel Card (T-Card) may be used for travel related purchases such as airfare, lodging, and car rental.

Q. Can I use the Contracted Travel Agencies for personal travel?

A. Yes, University employees may use the contracted travel agencies for personal travel. All arrangements must be paid for by personal checks and/or personal credit cards at time of purchase.

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Traveling Abroad

Q. Where do I find information regarding passports, visas, travel announcements, warnings, and background on a specific country?

A. Contact one of the Contracted Travel Agencies or visit the U.S. Department of State's Website at: www.state.gov/travel Link opens new window.

Q. Where do I find information regarding vaccinations, health tips, etc. when traveling abroad?

A. Please visit the Centers for Disease Control's Website at: www.cdc.gov/travel Link opens new window or contact one of the Contracted Travel Agencies.

Q. Does the University offer supplemental insurance for employees traveling internationally?

A. Yes, for travel related to a study abroad program, please contact your campus study abroad office.  For non-study abroad related travel, the University offers Medical Evacuation and Repatriation Insurance coverage to faculty and staff through the UPAY Travel Management Office. 

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Lodging

Q. How do I guarantee my lodging reservation?

A. Your University T-Card or personal credit card guarantees your lodging reservation. When making your reservation, always request the state/government rate and confirm that it is the lowest rate available.

Q. What are the procedures for canceling a lodging reservation?

A. When making a reservation, ask about the cancellation policy. If you book your lodging through one of the contracted travel agencies, contact that agency to process your cancellation. If you must cancel a reservation, do so before the deadline. The University is not responsible for charges incurred due to late cancellations.

Q. What are the procedures for lodging reimbursement?

A. Obtain the original hotel billing receipt to attach to the Expense Report (ER) in TEM. Carefully review the bill to insure that the room charge reflects the authorized rate and that no unauthorized charges have been added.

Q. Whom should I contact with questions regarding discount lodging programs such as Club Quarters or the Hotels.com Collegiate Reservation Program?

A. Contracted hotels and other lodging information can be found on the OBFS website under Business Travel Hotels. For additional information, employees on all campuses may contact:

UPAY Travel Management Office
Phone: 217-244-8750
E-mail: tmo@uillinois.edu

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Car Rental

Q. Should I accept the Optional Damage Waiver coverage when renting a vehicle for University business?

A. No, unless you are renting a car in a foreign country while on University business. When the vehicle is rented from a University contracted provider, National Car Rental or Enterprise Rent-A-Car, the optional Damage Waiver coverage, known as LDW or CDW, is included at no additional charge to the base rental agreement at all domestic US locations.

Q. What type of insurance should I have?

A. Car rental rates normally include liability coverage and deductible collision coverage. Any additional insurance purchased for rental cars usually only removes or reduces the deductible on collision coverage. Personal accident insurance is not reimbursable. Any fee which may be necessary to get any additional insurance coverage is not reimbursable.

Q. What should I do in case of a car accident while driving a rental vehicle?

A. Follow these steps:

  1. Report the accident to local law enforcement while still at the scene.
  2. Report the accident to the car rental company and follow their instructions.
  3. Call to report the accident to your campus motor pool (Urbana, Springfield) or Transportation Office (Chicago), and your immediate supervisor within 24 hours, or the next business day following a weekend or University holiday.
  4. Complete and submit the Illinois Motorist Report to the address on the form.
  5. Within 3 days submit a copy of your completed Illinois Motorist Report to your campus motor pool (Urbana, Springfield) or Transportation Office (Chicago). For information on how to complete the form correctly, consult the Example of a Completed Illinois Motorist Report. Your supervisor may complete the form if you are unable to do so.
      If the accident occurred outside Illinois, complete and submit the equivalent form required by that state within 3 days following the accident. Submit a copy to your campus motor pool (Urbana, Springfield), or Transportation Office (Chicago).
  6. Urbana and Springfield motor pools submit the completed Illinois Motorist Report to Claims Management.
  7. If the accident resulted in real or alleged bodily injury and/or damage to property, Claims Management (Urbana and Springfield) submits your Illinois Motorist Report (or the out-of-state form) to the CMS Auto Liability Division within the required 7 calendar days. In Chicago, the Transportation Office reports the accident directly to Central Management Services (CMS).
  8. Notify your personal auto insurance carrier. If the claim is reported after the 7-day deadline to CMS and/or the accident occurred during non-business use of the vehicle, the State of Illinois will deny the claim. Your personal insurance carrier would then become your primary insurance.

Q. Who is the authorized driver when more than one employee is traveling?

A. All persons who will be driving the vehicle should be listed on the rental contract. This will protect all persons listed and alleviate the question of who is an authorized driver.

Q. Should I inspect the vehicle?

A. Definitely. Do not accept a rental vehicle without first inspecting it for damage. If damage is noted, parts are missing, or functions are non-operational, report it immediately and have the damage or malfunction noted on the contract. This will prevent you from being held responsible for pre-existing damage.

Q. Am I allowed to make repairs on a rental vehicle if necessary?

A. No, do not make repairs on a rental vehicle without explicit permission from the rental car agency. Contact the rental car office for instructions.

Q. Should I refill the gas tank before returning the vehicle?

A. Yes. Charges are substantially higher when the vehicle is refueled by the car rental company. Please refuel prior to return.

Q. Whom should I contact if I have questions on issues related to renting a vehicle for University business travel?

A. Employees on all campuses should contact:

UPAY Travel Management Office
Phone: 217-244-8750
E-mail: tmo@uillinois.edu

or

University Payables Customer Service
Phone: 217-333-6583
E-mail: obfsupay@uillinois.edu

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Per Diem

Q. How is per diem calculated for foreign travel?

A. International Per Diem rates apply once the employee is onboard the aircraft leaving the U.S. The per diem rates are those published by the U.S. State Department. (Please see Section 15, Travel of the Business and Financial Policies and Procedures manual.)

Q. If paying for a co-worker's meals while traveling, can I claim twice the per diem amount on my TEM Expense Report?

A. No. You can only claim per diem for yourself.

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Travel Advances

Q. Can a student request a travel advance in his/her name?

A. Only if the student is also an employee and is traveling on university business (see Section 15, Travel of the Business and Financial Policies and Procedures manual for additional information).

Q. Are travel advances limited to a certain dollar amount or other regulations?

A. There is no set maximum, but travel advance requests must provide a reasonable estimate of anticipated expenses and are normally only issued for foreign travel or for domestic travel exceeding 7 days. Advances are only provided for expenses that cannot be charged on a T-Card (Travel Card).

Only one travel advance can be given at a time to the same employee. The payee is personally responsible for the safe keeping and repayment of the advance. Lost or stolen advances cannot be replaced using any type of University fund.

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Last Updated: May 21, 2013