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Business Travel

Business Travel Frequently Asked Questions

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

Contracted Travel Agencies


Car Rental

Per Diem

Travel Advances

Contracted Travel Agencies

Q. How are Contracted Travel Agencies chosen?

A. A Request for Proposal (RFP) was conducted by the Illinois Public Higher Education Consortium (IPHEC) for a Full Service Travel Agency and Online Booking Tool. The agency chosen by the University of Illinois System was awarded based on the services offered and competitive fees.

Q. Does Collegiate Travel Planners provide internet booking capabilities and full service assistance?

A. Yes, Collegiate Travel Planners (CTP) offers a robust online booking tool (iTravel) and full-service travel agent assistance.

Q. Why should I use iTravel instead of booking on an airline website?

A. Through iTravel, you have access to all carrier availability and pricing, including Southwest airlines.

Q. Why should I use CTP instead of one of our previous contracted vendors?

A. You will pay significantly lower booking fees through CTP and still receive expert travel assistance. Also, CTP is the system's only contracted travel agency that is exempt from the competitive bid process for a single domestic group trip that exceeds the bid limit.

Q. What are the service fees associated with Collegiate Travel Planners and the online booking tool?

A. CTP's Agency fees are posted on the iTravel Resource Page. 

Q. How do I log into iTravel?

A. In December 2019, iTravel was integrated with the U of I System's single sign-on authentication process so all employees should have access using their  Net ID and password.  If your Net ID and password do not work, please e-mail for assistance. 

Q. Should the name in my iTravel profile match my Government ID?

A. Yes. Make sure your first, middle, and last name is entered exactly as it appears on the gov't issued photo identification you will be presenting at the airport. Due to increased airport security, you may be turned away at the gate if the name on your identification does not match the name on your ticket.

Q.The name in my iTravel profile does not match my Government ID, how do I get this fixed?

A. Email the Travel Management Office at Be sure to provde them with the correct name as it appears on your gov't issued photo identification.

Q. I am one of several Travel Arrangers for my unit. How do we get Travel Arranger permissions in the iTravel booking tool?

A. Travel Arrangers must set up a profile in the iTravel booking tool then email the Travel Management office at and request Travel Arranger permissions.

Q. How do I book travel for other employees of the U of I System?

A. Set up a profile for yourself in the iTravel booking tool then email the Travel Management office at and request Travel Arranger permissions. Once permission is granted, you will see two options under Trip Search; Booking for myself and Book for a guest. Click on 'Book for a guest'. There will be a drop down listing all employees who have designated you as their Travel Arranger. Click on the employee you are booking travel for and proceed with his or her travel arrangements.

Q. How do I book travel for guests of the U of I System?

A. Set up a profile for yourself in the iTravel booking tool then email the Travel Management office at and request Travel Arranger permissions. Once permission is granted, you will see two options under Trip Search; Booking for myself and Book for a guest. Click on 'Book for a guest' and proceed with the travel arrangements entering all the required information.

Q. How does an employee designate a Travel Arranger to book travel for him/her?

A. Verify that the Travel Arranger has a profile in iTravel with Travel Arranger permissions. If yes, then the employee logs into their own profile; scrolls down to the Assistants and Travel Arrangers section, clicks on Add an Assistant then clicks on the name of the employee they want as their Travel Arranger.

Q. Can I add my frequent traveler program numbers to iTravel?

A. Yes, you can store all your frequent traveler programs in your iTravel profile.

Q. How do I put an airline reservation on Hold?

A. On the very last screen of the booking process you will be given the option to put the reservation on Hold. It is very important that you read the messaging and note the time allotted for the reservation to be on Hold before the fare expires. No fare is guaranteed until ticketed. Please be aware, if a reservation is put on Hold with a personal credit card and the reservation should be paid for with a T-Card then the T-Card holder must contact the iTravel Help Desk to change the card number prior to ticketing, otherwise the original credit card will be charged.

Q. I was expecting airfares to be lower in iTravel but they are the same as going to the airline websites?

A. iTravel and CTP agents have direct access to all airfares so they should be the same as any other online travel booking site. Increased adoption of iTravel and CTP will assist the system in negotiating future discounts with airline carriers accessible through iTravel and CTP.

Q. What should I do if I have to change a reservation?

A. Once an airline ticket is issued, it can only be changed by calling the CTP Agent Desk. Hotel and car reservations can be changed in iTravel or by calling the CTP Agent Desk.

Q. What should I do if an airline ticket for a guest (non-employee) is booked through iTravel or CTP and the guest ends up canceling his/her trip?

A. Contact a CTP agent and explain that the airline ticket was for a guest and the traveler will no longer be traveling on behalf of the system. The CTP agent will contact the airline and request a future name change so the remaining portion of the ticket can be used for another traveler. Please note, this is not guaranteed for every situation.

Q. Can a multiple destination itinerary be booked in iTravel?

A.Yes, a multiple destination itinerary can be booked by selecting the Multi-Segment option on the Air Search screen.

Q. When booking international travel, is it better to contact a CTP agent or use iTravel?

A. For multi-leg international itineraries, group travel, or travel to remote destinations, it is best to contact a CTP agent for assistance.

Q. Can T-Cards be stored in iTravel profiles?

A. The iTravel booking tool is a secured site so employees with a T-Card in his/her name may store this information in his/her iTravel profile. Travel Arrangers may not store his/her T-Card in another employee's profile.

Q. If the traveler does not have a T-Card, can the Arranger still book travel for them?

A. Yes, once the Traveler has assigned the Travel Arranger in their profile, the Arranger has access to that Traveler's information. The Arranger may use any credit card the Traveler has entered in his/her profile or the Arranger may enter their T-Card as payment or have a T-Card holder enter their T-Card in a reservation made for the Traveler. Please note, the Arranger will then have to delete the other persons T-Card from the Traveler's profile.

Q. Is our Contracted Travel Agency and online travel booking tool mandated?

A. No, Collegiate Travel Planners (CTP) and the iTravel booking tool are not mandated. However, they are highly recommended due to the easy-to-use online travel booking tool, experienced travel agents, and significant savings available to the system.

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. The University Travel Card (T-Card) may be used for travel related purchases such as airfare, lodging, and car rental.

Q. Is the Online Booking Tool integrated with Chrome River?

A. No, the iTravel booking tool is not integrated with Chrome River. You will need to complete your Expense Reports the same way you do today.

Q. Can the iTravel online booking tool be used for personal travel?

A. The iTravel booking tool is currently for business travel only. However, you may contact Collegiate Travel Planners directly for personal travel. The full service agency fee(s) will apply.

Q. What if I'm traveling for U of I System business and want to take my spouse/family with me?

A. Book your travel through iTravel then call Collegiate Travel Planners; give the agent your Record Locator and request to have your air itinerary duplicated for your spouse/family and pay for it with a personal credit card. The full service agency fee(s) will apply.


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 system 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. 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 at Club Quarters?

A. Club Quarters information and reservation link can be found on the OBFS website under Business Travel Hotels. For additional information, employees may contact:

UPAY Travel Management Office
Phone: 217-244-8750

Car Rental

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

A. No, unless you are renting a car in a foreign country while on system business. When the vehicle is rented from a system 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 university 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 university 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 university 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 U of I System business travel?

A. Employees on all campuses should contact:

UPAY Travel Management Office
Phone: 217-244-8750


University Payables Customer Service
Phone: 217-333-6583

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 Expense Report?

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

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 system 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.

Last Updated: August 10, 2022

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