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Business Travel

Air Travel

University of Illinois System policy states that all travel must be by the most direct route, using the most economical mode of transportation, taking into consideration travel time, expense, length of absence from the campus, work requirements, and traveler convenience. Employees must seek the lowest available fare when making commercial airline reservations. To obtain the best fares, airline tickets should be purchased as soon as department authorization is received, preferably a minimum of three weeks prior to departure.

Purchase of Airline Tickets with TCard

The preferred method for purchasing airline tickets is with the TCard. The TCard can be used to purchase airfare through a Contracted Travel Agency or through any air travel provider that offers the needed itinerary at the most economical price, including non-contracted travel agencies, online booking tools, or airline direct websites. The traveler is responsible for retaining receipts or itineraries that are required to process an expense report.

Purchase of Tickets with Personal Funds

While the TCard is the preferred method of purchasing tickets for air transportation, employees may also purchase tickets for approved U of I System travel using their own personal funds. If this method is used, employees are reimbursed for the ticket purchase on an expense report submitted at the completion of the trip. Appropriate receipts and approvals are required. See Section 15, Travel for more information.

Internal Control of Tickets Purchased with TCard or Other Means

The unit is responsible for ensuring that any airline tickets purchased in advance with system funds, via the TCard or other means, are utilized for appropriate system business travel. The unit is also responsible for documenting such use in their unit's files.

Private Aircraft

The University of Illinois System does not cover any employee's legal responsibility or their liability when using personal planes, even if such use is for system business. The maximum reimbursement for private plane transportation is limited to the lowest available commercial discounted round-trip air fare, including the cost of transportation to and from the airport.

Effective March 1, 2024 - Reimbursement covers operating expenses of a private plane at the rate of 1.50 per air mile.

Prior to March 1, 2024 - Reimbursement covers operating expenses of a private plane at the rate of 85¢ per air mile.

Last Updated: March 4, 2024

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