Travel FAQ

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Travel Initiative

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What is the travel initiative?

The Travel initiative requires university-wide utilization of Ohio State's travel partners for business travel expenses such as airfare and rental car to support the strategic focus on operational excellence and resource stewardship. 

Airfare for individual business travel must be purchased through the university-contracted agency, Corporate Travel Planners (CTP).  Vehicle rental for university business must be reserved through the university-contracted vendors, Enterprise and National. (People may continue to directly arrange local flights within countries where booking through outside travel agencies is impractical. See the details.)

Will booking airfare through the travel partners cost more than other travel websites?

In the vast majority of cases, flights booked through Concur cost the same or less than they would through third-party websites. While exceptions may exist, these typically involve unacceptable conditions, such as nonrefundable fares or “hidden” fees that explain the cost differential.

In side-by-side comparisons of total costs, the university has confirmed that fares offered through Concur are usually comparable or less expensive than those advertised on third-party sites. If you believe that you have found a less-expensive fare on a flight within the United States, please use the CTP Airfare Price Match tool.

(Note: Concur does not include some airlines that advertise low fees but upcharge for standard services, like carry-on bags. In most cases, the total cost is comparable after those fees are tallied. Because of rebooking and other costs associated with these carriers, they are not eligible for university travel.)

What should I do if I can’t find a particular airline?

Corporate Travel Partners (CTP) provides access to more than 1,000 domestic and international airlines through its full-service agents and the online Concur tool. 

Particularly if you are booking an international flight, you may want to try your search again after unchecking the “Flights w/ no double connections” box in Concur to see all options.

If you cannot find the airline you are seeking, try these options:

  1. Contact the Concur help desk (877-727-5188; hours 8:00am - 7:00pm EST) for assistance.  Consultation is free of charge; agency fees only apply to bookings.
  2. Contact a CTP agent for assistance with your reservation. Agents often can assist even in cases when the airline is not listed in the online Concur booking tool.

Most established airlines are available through Concur but there are exceptions.

These include airlines that lack a record of consistent service, no-frills airlines that make up for low-cost fares with a variety of “hidden” fees, and some international airlines.

The university has an obligation to ensure a certain level of service among the carriers used for business travel.  If you believe that an airline has been improperly excluded, please contact the university Travel Office.

Are there any exceptions to the requirement to book through the travel partners?

All university travelers should begin by attempting to book their flights through the travel partners, but we recognize that there are circumstances where that will not be feasible.

Specifically, local travel within some countries requires the use of small airlines that are best booked on location and on short notice. People may continue to book these flights directly but travelers should provide documentation that clearly demonstrates the specific limitations that prevented purchase through CTP/Concur.

This FAQ will be updated with more guidance about the process to follow in these circumstances. 

What training is available?

The Travel Office offers a variety of training options, from in-person workshops to online courses, as well as a number of self-service guides. In addition, the Travel Office and CTP regularly schedule custom sessions with colleges or units that request them.

Can I book international flights?

Yes. International flights can be booked through CTP’s full-service agents and the Concur tool.

These capabilities apply to flights to and from the United States and within many countries. CTP provides access to more than 1,000 domestic and international airlines. 

Note: The university recognizes that local travel within some countries requires the use of small airlines that are best booked on location and on short notice. In these cases, where use of an outside agency would be impractical, there is an exception process.

Other instances of international travel should utilize CTP.

Can I book flights that include my spouse, kids or other family members?

Yes. A full-service CTP agent can help book the trip and coordinate adjacent seating on flights for your family members.

At time of airfare purchase, the agent will split the transaction between the business payment method and a personal credit card.  The agency fee is applicable to both travelers. 

Can I combine business travel with vacation?

Yes. In cases when vacation time is added to university business travel, any cost variance in expenses such as airfare, vehicle rental, and/or lodging must be clearly identified and documented in eTravel to validate that the vacation time does not add additional cost to the university.  At time of airfare purchase, CTP's full service agents can split the transaction between the business payment method and a personal credit card for the additional cost due to vacation (with select airlines). 

See the travel policy for alternative options.

How did the university prepare for the travel initiative?

Ohio State has used a preferred agency for individual business travel for years, and so have many other universities.

  • Last year, Ohio State travelers booked more than 10,900 flights through Corporate Travel Partners, either through CTP agents or the online Concur tool.
  • More than 550 higher education institutions, including more than half of the Big Ten institutions, utilize Concur.
  • CTP provides access to more than 1,000 domestic and international airlines. 

In preparation for the travel initiative, the university conducted two pilots. Collectively, the pilots included travelers in four colleges (Engineering, Food, Agriculture and Environmental Science, Law and John Glenn-Public Affairs) and five administrative units (Academic Affairs, Advancement, Business & Finance, Human Resources and Student Life).

In October-November 2017 (pilot I) and April 2018 (pilot II), 591 trips were booked by travelers in the pilot groups. Both pilot groups were surveyed about their satisfaction. In pilot I, 93% of users reported satisfaction with agent-assisted travel and 79% with online bookings.  In pilot II, satisfaction rates were 90% for agent-assisted and 80% for online bookings.

In addition, the Travel Office responded to 10 individuals who directly provided feedback during the pilots to present questions, concerns or compliments.

Is the travel initiative just about saving money?

No – the initiative will have a variety of benefits by approaching universal use of our travel agencies.

Some are financial. Ohio State has negotiated discounts through travel agencies that are not being fully utilized, and these benefits will grow if we all book travel in a consistent manner.

But universal use of these contracts has non-financial benefits too. For instance, the university can better support travelers during emergencies if we all book through the same systems.

When will the travel initiative take effect?

The Travel Initiative begins on August 1, 2018.  

Does the initiative apply to travel purchased prior to August 1, 2018?

No. The initiative applies to travel purchased after August 1, 2018.

Does the travel initiative apply to guest (non-employee) airfare purchases?

No. University employees are encouraged to purchase guest (non-employee) airfare through Ohio State's travel partners, but doing so is not required.

Can I use my personal credit card to purchase airfare with Corporate Travel Planners/Concur?

Yes.  A personal credit card can be used when booking business airfare with CTP's full service agents or in the online booking tool (Concur).  Personal credit card purchases are not eligible for reimbursement until after the trip is complete.  Alternative payment options are available.

Does the travel initiative apply to lodging?

The travel initiative does not apply to lodging. Travelers may reserve lodging through any source using the PCard or personal credit card.  However, CTP and its online booking tool (Concur) provide access to more than 70,000 discounted hotel rates. 


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What is an “R” number?

Prior to your travel request being approved, the eTravel System assigns an “R” number to the travel request for tracking purposes. The “R” number is not an authorization for any payment.

What is a “T” number?

Upon approval, all travel requests in the eTravel system are assigned a unique “T” number. The “T” number is used to authorize use of the university procurement methods (e.g. PCard or PO or through the travel system) for advance payments and reimbursements associated with travel.

If I am using a university procurement method to pay for any travel expenses, do I need a T Number?

Yes, any travel related expense made with a university procurement method (e.g. PCard, PO) must be preceded by the initiation and approval of a T Number.

When is a T Number required?

A “T” Number must be approved in the travel system by a designated approval authority prior to the trip in order to process any payment using university procurement methods (e.g. PCard, PO or through travel system).

What is the difference between an Advance Payment, Direct Bill and a Cash Advance?

  • Advance Payment (also referred to as prepayments) is a payment made in advance of the trip with university procurement methods (e.g. PCard, PO or travel system), for a travel related expense. Common examples include airfare and registration payments.
  • Direct Bill is a process in which the travel agency (or other travel entity), advances payment on behalf of the university upon completion of the expense and bills the university for that payment.  The travel expenses are typically not billed to the agency until after the stay, service or use has been completed.  Common examples include hotel and rental car payments.
  • Cash Advance is funding disbursed to the traveler’s personal account (or by check when applicable) before the trip to pay certain travel expenses while in travel status. Eligibility for a cash advance is based upon criteria associated with student and/or international travel. Funding must be specifically documented with receipts and excess amounts returned within 30 days of the trip. Common travel expenses supported by cash advances include student group meals, museum entry fees, etc.

Do I need an original, itemized receipt to reimburse for a traveler’s meals if less than the Per Diem allowance?

No receipt is required as long as the amount reimbursed is within the Per Diem allowance of the applicable city location.  However, a general description of what was purchased must be documented for auditing purposes (i.e. Breakfast on 6/22, and Dinner on 6/23).

Can I combine vacation time with a business trip?

Travelers may combine vacation time with a business trip, but should consult with their supervisor before initiating arrangements. When arranging travel in these instances, travelers must ensure that arrangements are made in such a way that stewardship of university resources and administrative time is the priority. Travelers incurring additional costs by taking vacation in conjunction with business travel must pay for the costs of travel and other expenses with personal funds and request reimbursement for the business travel costs after completion of the trip. Travel expenses to and from alternate vacation destinations occurring before, during, or after university business travel are not eligible for payment with university procurement methods. In cases when vacation time is added to university business travel, any cost variance in expenses such as airfare, vehicle rental, and/or lodging must be clearly identified and documented in eTravel, to validate that the vacation time does not add additional cost to the university.

If I use my personal vehicle for business travel, should I contact my insurance company before the trip?

Yes. Use of a personal vehicle for business purposes may be excluded on the average private insurance policy. Additional coverage may need to be purchased to cover specific circumstances and requirements. Employee and guest travelers are advised to check with their insurance company for provisions and rates to cover such activity.

For more information visit Risk Management.

Best Practice Tip: Consider using the Enterprise/National vehicle rental contract in lieu of personal vehicle for business travel. Costs are considerably less expensive and the insurance is included in the rate.

What business travel expenses are eligible for advance payment by the university?

  • Airfare
  • Registration

Note: Expenses that include any portion associated with personal/vacation costs are prohibited from advance payment using the universities procurement methods (e.g. PCard, PO). Incurred expenses (e.g. per diem) are not eligible for advance payment and should be processed after the trip as a reimbursement.

Is there a limit on the nightly lodging rate eligible for travel?

Yes, lodging is limited to one of two rate options, whether being reimbursed or paid by university resources (e.g. PCard or PO).

  • When attending a conference, the conference rate should be considered as the primary option, given that the conference hotel provides the meeting environment, room discounts, meals and eliminates transportation costs from other locations.
  • When a conference rate is not available, lodging selection must be compared to the federal lodging rate published by the General Services Administration. The rate is capped by the threshold of up to twice the federal lodging rate for the business travel location.  Note:  If the lodging expense falls within the range of 1.5 to 2 times the federal lodging rate, additional justification is required to demonstrate the reasoning for the higher lodging rate selection over comparative locations.  The least expensive option must always be considered as long as it meets the business needs of the travel.  This threshold is inclusive of the nightly rate only and does not include tax or other hotel specific fees (e.g. resort fees).

Best Practice Tip:  If your lodging reservation is 1.5-2 times higher than the federal lodging rate, research your justification comparisons before you travel to ensure you are within policy. Take screenshot images of the comparison locations, provide safety concerns details or additional cost considerations to properly justify the selection.

Can I accrue frequent flyer miles from my business travel?

Yes. In accordance with the State of Ohio Ethics Commission rulings, university travelers can only redeem frequent flyer miles for university related business travel (no personal benefit is permitted).  It is the traveler’s responsibility to track accrual/usage of these benefits for auditing purposes.

How a mileage reimbursement is calculated when my normal home to work commute includes alternate destinations?

The travel policy limits reimbursable miles to the number driven in excess of the number of miles involved in the individual’s daily commute (round trip) for work. This calculation applies even in cases where the individual does not normally drive to the primary work location. This calculation does not apply if the individual drives to a place other than the usual work site on a non-normal workday.

Best Practice Examples:

Example A: Joe generally drives 13 miles to and from his usual work site on Main Campus in Columbus for a normal round trip commute of 26 miles. Today, however, Joe needs to drive from his home to the Mansfield Campus to attend an early morning meeting (66 miles). After the meeting, he continues to his primary work location (69) where he completes his work day and then drives home. As a result, today Joe drives 148 miles – from home to Mansfield to his office and back to his home. Joe can request reimbursement for 122 miles today. This represents the number of miles that he drove in excess of his usual round trip commute (66+69+13-26=122).

Example B: Sue drives to her Main Campus office on Monday morning, leaves to attend a required function in Newark, and returns to the office. She can request reimbursement only for those miles driven in excess of her normal commute, in this case, the drive to Newark and back to Main Campus.

Example C: Jake usually drives 14 miles round trip to his work site on Main Campus. His normal work schedule is Monday through Friday. On Sunday evening he drives 27 miles to Columbus Airport to catch his flight to an out-of-state conference. Jake can request reimbursement for all 27 miles driven this day, since it is not a normal work day and he is not going to his normal work site. (If, however, he had needed to work in his office on that Sunday, his 14 mile round-trip commute would not have been reimbursable.)

See Mileage Best Practice Graphic Guide

Is there a pre-approval distinction between traditional business trips and trips from one’s headquarters to accomplish what are typically considered “normal workday activities”?

An area’s approval authority can reasonably designate which types of trips constitute “normal workday activities.” These trips are generally distinguished by having expense eligibility limited to miscellaneous reimbursements such as parking and tolls – and would not be considered business travel status with its required preapproval.

Is the refueling option through the rental car agency an allowable business expense when returning a rental vehicle?

Generally, the traveler should refuel the rental vehicle at a gas station to incur the lowest reasonable costs. However, the refueling option through the rental car agency may be considered when reasonable circumstances occur (e.g. timing issue). The business reason for the use of this option should be clearly documented.

What restrictions might apply to traveling overseas with equipment or data?

Traveling with computers, web enabled cell phones, advanced GPS units, scientific equipment, proprietary information or unpublished data may require an Export Control License. The travel system will automatically notify the Office of Research Compliance when International travel is initiated in order to coordinate specific restrictions and guidance with the traveler.

For additional information contact the Office of Research Compliance at or visit the Office of Research Compliance website.

What is the university best practice for navigating the various airfare classes?

Travelers should book the lowest cost Economy or Coach Class airfare that fits the business needs of the trip. The best practice for travelers would be to consult with the university preferred travel agency for airfare bookings. The preferred agency is aware of OSU’s policy regarding airfare purchases, and provides the industry expertise to help travelers navigate the booking process.

What is required to document preapproval for business travel?

Approval for university business travel and estimated costs must be documented prior to the trip.  This approval may be noted by an internal form, email, approved T Number or other equivalent documentation that would be available for audit and review. Preapproval for business travel is required regardless of whether university procurement methods are being used for advanced payments.

Best Practice Tip: It is a recommended best practice to initiate a T Number (travel request) for all travel, regardless of payment sources, to ensure the traveler can be tracked in the event of emergency circumstances.

Should I purchase other optional insurances when renting a car for business travel?

University travel policy requires that any rental car used for university business have Liability Insurance, as well as Damage Waiver or Collision Damage Waiver or Loss Damage Waiver (DW/CDW/LDW). When utilizing OSU’s contract through Enterprise or National, these insurances are automatically included in the contract rate. Additional supplemental insurances, such as Personal Liability Insurance (PAI), or Personal Effects Protection (PEP) are not required by the university, nor eligible for reimbursement.

Who is responsible for submitting travel reimbursement expenses within the 90 day window established by the university’s accountable plan?

According to the IRS Accountable Plan publication 463, the traveler is responsible for adequately accounting for travel expenses within the university’s established accountable plan window of 90 days after the expenses were paid or incurred. To meet the university’s requirement, the traveler must submit receipts and other related reimbursement documentation to the appropriate unit processor within 90 days of completion of the trip.

A traveler has multiple small dollar receipts for miscellaneous expenses related to business travel – is a receipt required?

Miscellaneous expenses considered necessary for business travel (e.g. taxi fares, baggage fees, parking, tolls, internet connectivity, Visas, immunizations, etc.) may be reimbursed without a receipt for each individual expense that is $50 or less.  However, a detailed description (e.g. “taxi fare to and from JFK airport”) and associated business purpose for the expense must be documented for auditing purposes.  Individual expenses in excess of $50 require an original, itemized receipt. 

Note:  Travel related expenses that are specifically noted in the Procedure Section of the Travel Policy (e.g. airfare, hotel, rental car, et al) have specific documentation requirements and should not be included as a miscellaneous expense.

Can I purchase an upgraded seat instead of the business class airfare permitted with an international flight that meets the five consecutive flight hours criteria?

Business class airfare purchases are only permissible with international flight times in excess of five consecutive hours (excluding layovers), however a lower priced economy seat with a seating upgrade may be purchased in lieu of the business class flight as long as the cost does not exceed the  business class option quoted at the original purchase.

!Note:  An upgraded economy seat instead of a business class seat may be considered an adequate option for an International flight that is more than five consecutive hours.  In many cases, the cost of the upgraded economy fare is less expensive than the business class fare that is eligible with an international flight of more than five hours.  Comparison quotes should be collected at time of original booking to ensure the upgraded economy fare is less than the most reasonable business class option that meets the business needs of the traveler.  A screenshot image of the comparison fares and relevant details should be taken to properly justify the selection.

If I am unable to rent with National/Enterprise, and gain the benefits of our contract, what insurances should I purchase?

OSU travel policy requires that any rental car used for university business have Liability Insurance, as well as Damage Waiver or Collision Damage Waiver or Loss Damage Waiver (DW/CDW/LDW). The traveler must provide documentation demonstrating the required insurances were included in the rental on the receipt documentation.

If a trip’s total expenses exceed the original approved estimate by 20% or more, do I need to record that trip as an exception?

No. If the total expense amount is appropriate, yet exceeds the original estimate by 20%, the arranger can make applicable adjustments to the expense lines and document the details in the comment section of the travel request for auditing purposes. The designated approval authority must authorize the increased amount on the Travel Request.

What documentation is needed to document meals or other travel expenses that are included in the conference registration fee?

Conference documentation, such the agenda, program or itinerary are critical resources in determining eligible payment for meals or other travel expenses incurred while on travel status.  Travelers should provide all available resources to assist with the accurate processing of travel payments and reimbursements.

Can I upgrade my coach airfare to priority boarding or an upgraded seat?

No. Economy plus, seating upgrades, and/or pre-boarding options are not permitted to be purchased with university resources and will not be reimbursed for coach fares.

Note: When applicable, requests for reasonable accommodations for a disability will be considered by units in consultation with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator.  To determine eligibility, travelers must submit a Reasonable Accommodations Request that identifies the personal need and provide related documentation to support the request (e.g. letter from physician) for expenditures outside of policy.  Requests should be submitted prior to the scheduled trip and allow sufficient time to gather required documentation.

For more information, contact the ADA Coordinator’s Office at 614-292-6207.  Submit request to:

What documentation is required in order to be reimbursed mileage for business travel using a personal vehicle?

For one-time trips between two primary destinations, an online map source (e.g. MapQuest or Google Maps) is the best source of address-to-address documentation. When traveling to multiple destinations, or travel covering a wide range of dates (for the same business purpose), a log including odometer readings and address-to-address locations are required to document for audit review.

Can a traveler be reimbursed for expenses that will later be paid by a third party?

The university will not make advance payments or reimburse travel expenses that have been or will be reimbursed to a traveler by a third party.  A third party may include a supplier, host institution or other source assuming responsibility for specific expenditures associated with the travel. Amounts to be paid by the third party entity must be referenced in the travel system for auditing purposes.

Would a traveler be entitled to the full Per Diem allowance if a meal were included in the conference fee, served on the plane or provided by other documented circumstances?

Full meal allowances while on travel status will not be paid if provided through other travel-related purchases (e.g. continental breakfast built into the hotel room rate).  The allowance must be adjusted by deducting the appropriate meal percentage (25% – breakfast; 25% – lunch; 50% – dinner) from the full Per Diem allowance for the applicable city location.

What documentation do I need if I will be combining business travel with vacation travel?

When combining a vacation with business travel, only those expenses directly related to the business travel can be paid/reimbursed by the university. Travelers must ensure that all business related and vacation expense variances are clearly documented and available for audit review. It is best practice to keep all business related expenses separated when possible; this ensures that documentation is as clear as possible. When this cannot be done (e.g. Airfare), cost comparisons should be done to show the pricing differences as if only business time was included. Cost comparisons should be conducted at the same time the expenditure of funds occurs and must be clearly documented and available for audit review. Expenses such as parking and Per Diem will be prorated and limited to only the business travel date/time.

If I use my personal vehicle for business travel, whose insurance assumes primary liability?

In the event an injury or accident occurs during business travel status, while in a private vehicle (OSU non-owned), the vehicle driver’s insurance company assumes primary liability for personal injury or property damage incurred by the accident. Primary insurance coverage follows the vehicle’s owner. If this occurs during business travel, injuries to employees may be covered by Worker’s Compensation. Injuries to other parties would fall under the driver’s insurance policy or other insurance such as health insurance of the individual injured. Any private insurance used will have its own deductibles. The University policy may be excess to the owners policy.

eTravel System

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How do I get access to the eTravel system?

Access to view one’s own travel history is available to all university employees using name.#/password – go to Specific administrative access roles are determined by the college/vp area for the initiation/approval of travel requests (T#) and payments.

Note: Training is available at

When is the eTravel system available?

The eTravel system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, with a weekly maintenance window on Thursday nights from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Occasionally, the eTravel system may be down on Saturday from midnight to 5:00 a.m. for maintenance. See the OCIO System Status Page for information regarding unscheduled downtime.

Who do I contact to initiate a travel request?

Contact your department to identify your travel arranger or use the notification section of the travel request to search for travel arrangers by name or Org.  These individuals can enter travel requests for Ohio State faculty, staff, students and guests.

I need to make changes to my travel request after it is approved; who do I call?

Travelers and travel arrangers can make changes to certain fields in a travel request after it has been approved; some changes may require re-approval.

! Note: Modifications to certain core fields alter the fundamentals of the travel request and cannot be changed after it has been approved. For more information, refer to Travel ASSIST.

How do I request that a closed/cancelled travel request be re-opened?

Contact the University Travel Office at to request a closed or cancelled “T” number be re-opened.

If my conference registration form needs mailed with my check, what should I do?

  • UNIV/OSUMC: Enter your payment request and submit it as normal. Then email a copy of your completed conference registration form to Be sure your registration references your T#. AP will then match your check up to your registration form and mail them together.
  • OSP: Enter your payment request and submit it as normal. Attach a copy of your completed conference registration form to the payment request. OSP will pull the form and mail it with your check.

How do I stop getting emails about approvals?

Approvers may turn off email alerts by updating their preferences in the eTravel system.

When do I apply the close/cancel status on a travel request?

  • Closed status – trip has occurred; no further payments are expected to be processed against the “T” number; this action can be changed by University Travel Office.
  • Cancelled status – trip did not occur. This action can be changed by the University Travel Office.

How do I pay for a conference registration if my conference is not listed as a Vendor in the system?

Under the Vendor Maintenance section, select “Add” from the Vendor Action drop down. Fill in the payee/vendor information and process your payment as usual. For conference registrations, the Vendor Setup Form is generally not needed and your payment will automatically be released as a one-time vendor payment. If for some reason the setup form is needed, a representative from AP or OSU Purchasing will reach out to you.

What should I do if a travel request or payment request requires immediate approval?

Refer to the route log in the pending travel request or payment request to identify the approver(s). Contact the approver and request that they approve the pending travel request or payment request. If traveling for a sponsored project, contact the Office of Sponsored Programs Travel Office to alert them to any emergency booking requirements.

When should I select the Blanket Travel Request checkbox?

The Blanket Travel Request checkbox should only be selected when a traveler has a series of in-state trips where expenses are generally limited to transportation expenses (e.g. mileage or parking) within a fiscal year period.

Note: Due to expenses authorization thresholds and duty of care tracking, Blanket Travel Request should not be used or selected when there are multiple out-of-state travel destinations.  A separate and unique travel request (T#) must be created for each individual trip.

How do I prepay a conference or registration fee in the eTravel system?

A registration prepayment is entered as a payment request in the eTravel system by the applicable payment requestor.

I need to confirm a payment has cleared that was issued through the travel system; where can I look to determine the status of the payment?

  • For payment requests with a business unit of UNIV or OSUMC: UNIV Accounts Payable processes all UNIV/OSUMC payments; refer to the Financials system and search for the voucher by the business unit of UNIV.
  • For payment requests with a business unit of OSURF – OSP Accounts Payable processes all OSURF payments: refer to the Financials system and search for the voucher by the business unit of OSURF.

When should I select the Group Travel checkbox?

Group Travel should only be selected when the trip is comprised of 10 or more individuals that are traveling together to a common place for a common purpose, sharing the same travel itinerary (e.g. all travelers commuting on the same flight).  Selecting the Group Travel checkbox, will limit the travel agency selection associated with airfare estimates to the University’s preferred agency.  A list of the traveler names should be provided as an attachment or noted in the comments.

! Note: Group Travel should not be selected for any less than 10 travelers, except when an associated advisor/employee must depart/return by alternative transportation means or schedule, but is still specifically tied to the group trip.  Group Travel checkbox selection will allow the single traveler’s transportation to be coordinated with the group by the same travel agency.

How do I reconcile a cash advance payment?

Reconciliation of cash advance funds should be completed upon return from trip. Cash advance payment reconciliation should be noted in the originating payment request by selecting the reconciled box and indicating any repayment amount.

Which AP area will process my payment?

For UNIV and OSUMC payment requests, OSU Central AP will process the payments. For payments on Sponsored Projects, the Office of Sponsored Programs AP area will process the payments.

How do I process a cash advance?

A cash advance is entered as a payment request in the eTravel system by a payment requestor. After meeting the criteria established in policy, the traveler must certify/sign the cash advance form (generated in the eTravel system) before payment is issued.

How do I set up reimbursement payment requests for a blanket travel request?

The payment requestor may set-up one or more payment requests to reimburse the traveler for mileage within the designated date range of the blanket travel request. In order to distinguish between the payments, reference the date(s) and mileage parameters for each reimbursement in the Expense details.

Who do I contact to initiate a payment request?

Contact your department to identify your payment requestor.  These individuals can enter payment requests for cash advances, registration prepayments and reimbursements.

For travel on sponsored projects, am I required to send all receipts to the Office of Sponsored Programs Travel Office?

Original itemized receipts are required for reimbursement from a sponsored project and should be attached to the Travel Reimbursement within the eTravel system.

Note: Caution should be taken to not attached documents that contain secure data; effort should be taken to redact social security numbers and other secure information.

Discount Programs

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Does Ohio State receive any discounts for travel related expenses?

Yes, note the following discounts programs:

  • Airline Discounts: Ohio State has negotiated discounts with American Airlines, United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Delta Airlines. Flights for OSU business travel are eligible to these discounts when they are booked using the university’s preferred travel agencies. Discounts are based upon market pair and/or service class designations. Book with the university’s preferred travel agency via a full service agent or online.
  • Rental Car Discounts: Ohio State has negotiated pricing (inclusive of the required insurances) with Enterprise Holdings Inc., which operates both the Enterprise and National rental car brands. This discount can be obtained for OSU business travel by using the OSU discount code. Reserve with no service fee with the university’s preferred travel agency via a full service agent or online.

Why do I have to use the university’s preferred travel agencies to be eligible for OSU’s airline discounts?

Applying the discount to the fare reservation is limited to the GDS (Global Distribution System) associated with the travel agency, which permits the airline to connect the purchase to OSU. As the OSU business spend increases, the university can leverage more substantial discounts in the future.

Can I utilize any of the university’s discount programs for personal/leisure travel?

Yes, discount rates are available for personal/leisure vehicle rentals through the university’s Enterprise/National agreement, using the Customer Code #XZ38140 (PIN# STA). Insurance is NOT included in the rate. The young renter fees for drivers that are between 18-25 is NOT waived. For more detailed information, refer to Human Resources Discount Community Events:

Are OSU employees eligible for educational or government discount rates for lodging?

When making a hotel reservation, it is worthwhile to inquire about educational, institutional or government rates.  As an instrumentality of the State of Ohio, employees of The Ohio State University may be eligible for government rates with business reservations.  However, be sure to check with the hotel directly before arrival to determine the discount rate criteria for check-in.  In some cases, the OSU BuckID will be accepted in order to receive the government rate, while other hotels may require more specific/official government ID.

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What is Sponsored Travel?

Sponsored Travel is a project involving research travel that will be paid, in part or whole, by grant funds that are administered through the Office of Sponsored Programs. These grants will have a business unit of “OSURF” assigned to them in the university’s eTools and Financial System. If you are unsure if your trip is Sponsored or Non-Sponsored, contact your college service center or fiscal office. See Office of Sponsored Programs for general guidelines.

What is a PI?

The Principal Investigator (PI) is the person(s) that monitor the fiscal responsibilities of the grand funds and research associated with the project.

How will a PI know if a travel request has been approved on their project in the eTravel System?

The Principal Investigator (PI) may independently access the eTravel System to monitor the approval status of a travel request. In addition, the PI and other associated users will receive email notifications once a travel request has been approved in the system.

Are there special considerations when flying internationally for sponsored travel?

Yes. The Fly America Act, enacted in 1974, mandates the use of U.S. flag air carriers for federally funded international travel. If you are scheduling international travel that is funded by a federal grant, you must ensure that all flights (where possible), are scheduled on U.S. flag air carriers or on foreign air carriers that code share with a U.S. flag air carrier.  See Office of Sponsored Programs website for more information.

Where can I find more information about Sponsored Travel?

The travel section of the Office of Sponsored Programs website may be found at the Office of Sponsored Programs website. For more detailed information, contact the Office of Sponsored Programs Travel Office at 614-292-2126 or to

Travel Agencies

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Who are the University’s Preferred Travel Agencies?

Two Preferred Travel Agencies are offered to the university community to serve specific travel demographics.

What are the advantages of using the Preferred Travel Agency for my business travel?

  • Prepayment option – No out-of-pocket expense to traveler
  • Access to extensive airline selection
  • Eligible for OSU airline discounts
  • Customer service 24/7
  • Online Booking available with Individual Business Travel (CTP)
  • Lower Service Fees

What are the booking options available with the Preferred Travel Agency?

  • Uniglobe Travel Designers offers agent assisted booking by phone/email.
  • Corporate Travel Planners offers both agent assist booking by phone/email, as well as the Concur Online Booking Tool.

Note: All bookings must be secured with an authorized T# for advanced payment eligibility.

Where do I submit feedback regarding my experience with the Preferred Travel Agency?

The travel office meets regularly with the preferred travel agencies to ensure they are providing the university with the best level of service. We encourage any traveler or administrator to provide feedback regarding their experiences.

Submit feedback here.

University Business Vehicle Rental

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What are some of the benefits of the preferred supplier agreement with Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental?

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • Discounted rates
  • Unlimited daily/weekly mileage. Some exceptions may apply, including monthly and one-way rentals.
  • Loss/Collision Damage Waiver (also known as DW, CDW or LDW) coverage included at no additional charge.
  • (Exceptions may apply with International rentals.)
  • Liability coverage included at no additional charge
  • Free pick-up service (Enterprise only; other exceptions may apply by location)

Who is eligible to rent under the Vehicle Rental Agreement?

Any university personnel (and guests), 18 years or older, who is renting for official university business. Exceptions may apply by location. It is recommended that the renter call the location to ensure eligibility.


Is there a minimum age requirement?

At most locations, Enterprise/National will not assess an additional charge when renter is between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty-four (24), provided that the rate selected at the time of business rental is a rate or discount specified in the Agreement. Exceptions may apply, it is recommended that the renter call the location to ensure eligibility. Renter must be twenty-one (21) or older in order to drive 12 Passenger vans, or box truck rentals.

Will I need to show identification at the time of rental?

Yes, ID in the form of a university ID card may be required. ID checks are random but can be expected on all rentals occurring at Enterprise or National locations.


Can I use this agreement for international rentals?

Yes, however rates and insurance requirements will vary by International destination and may not match domestic rates and other provisions provided by the Agreement Summary for Business Rentals. Additional fees and insurance requirements may be applicable to the country/region laws.

Note: When reserving internationally (including Canada and Mexico), contact the applicable rental agency or to determine whether insurance coverage is included in the rate. In most countries the required insurances are not included and must be purchased in addition to the rental rate to meet Travel Policy requirements.


Should I accept the optional Loss/Collision Damage Waiver?

No, the optional Loss /Collision Damage Waiver (also known as DW, CDW and LDW) is already included in the rate agreement (when using XZ38Y09 for business rentals) and should be declined. Accepting the Loss/Collision Damage Waiver Option would simply duplicate the negotiated agreement benefits. The Loss/Collision Damage Waiver is included on business rentals only.

Note: When reserving internationally (including Canada and Mexico), contact the applicable rental agency or to determine whether insurance coverage is included in the rate. In most countries the required insurances are not included and must be purchased in addition to the rental rate to meet Travel Policy requirements.

How will I pay for the vehicle rental?

All renters reserving vehicles for university business must have a credit card in their name in order to rent vehicles. If the agency permits, a university issued PCard may be used. Contact for further information on billing options.


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What is Concur?

Concur is one of the premier higher education booking tools available and is provided with the contract agreement with the university’s preferred individual business travel agency. The tool is designed for users to research fares, adjust selection parameters and finalize their own booking with an authorized T#.

How do I access Concur?

The Concur online booking tool can be accessed through the Ohio State Travel Office website. Login to Concur will require your university username (name.#) and password.

Which browser is recommended for use with Concur?

The website should work with all up to date browsers. The Travel Office recommends using the latest version of Chrome of Mozilla Firefox.

Can guests (e.g. non-employees) access Concur?

No. Security limitations established by the university will only permit employee access to Concur, using the name.#/password login. Guests of the university will need to be booked by the unit’s travel arranger in Concur.

Note: Alternatively, guests may be authorized by the unit to set-up travel arrangements through full service with an agent from the Preferred Travel Agency. To authorize a guest to use agent assisted booking you will need to do send an email from a email account to letting them know you are authorizing a guest to book their travel.  It is the unit’s responsibility to ensure that the guest traveler is aware applicable university policies.

Can I use Concur to book airfare for another OSU employee?

Yes, however in order to book airfare for another employee, they must assign you as a travel assistant within their Concur profile.

For more information see the guide Completing your Concur Profile located at the Ohio State Travel Office website.