blog posts Travel Industry Best Practices Jul 14, 2022 1:30 pmBusiness TravelGrants & Sponsored ProjectsPaymentsProcurementThe airline industry is experiencing higher than normal volumes of flight delays and cancellations due to staffing shortages, extreme weather conditions, and increased traveler volume. Payables would like to remind travelers and travel arrangers to consider the following best practices when making travel arrangements: Use the system’s iTravel online booking tool or a full-service travel agent for their industry expertise and priority assistance in the event of a flight cancellation. Please be patient as wait times for all travel-related issues are longer than normal. Avoid online agencies that do not have an agreement with the system as the system has no recourse for unauthorized charges or fees. (i.e. eDreams) Fees that cannot be explained will not be reimbursed. Carefully review hotel and lodging cancellation policies prior to booking. Due to the continuing shortage of rental vehicles, make car rental reservations as far in advance as possible. Many unused airline tickets issued in 2019 and 2020 can still be used by the original traveler through 2022 without change fees. Each carrier is different, so review your carrier’s guidelines or contact the travel agent who booked your ticket. If the original traveler cannot use a cancelled ticket purchased through the iTravel online booking tool, Corporate Travel Planners (CTP) will assist with name changes on CTP-issued tickets for another traveler in your unit. There is a $200 name change fee for this service. Purchasing Basic Economy airline tickets is not recommended as they cannot be changed or exchanged. Travel insurance is generally not recommended as most travel insurance policies do not cover trip cancellations due to fear of a pandemic disease. For a temporary period of time, unit financial officers may determine if the purchase of travel insurance will be allowed. Prior to purchasing travel insurance, perform a cost-benefit analysis: Compare the cost of refundable airfares vs non-refundable airfares + travel insurance. If the cost differential is less than $100, consider purchasing refundable airfare due to the changing travel advisories. Some credit cards include trip cancellation as a standard benefit. Carefully review all terms and conditions prior to purchase. For international travel, review the travel assistance options available to system employees. Use a University TCard to: Eliminate out-of-pocket expenses for the traveler. Help with identification of refunds due to cancelled trips Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website for a complete list of travel advisories. Contact: If you have questions, please contact University Payables Customer Service at 217-333-6583, 888-872-9953, or by email at OBFSUPAY@uillinois.edu.