The Fly America Act requires all flights charged to federal awards be booked with U.S. flag air carriers. The requirement applies to all travelers, including a foreign visitor's flights when supported by federal funds. Specific guidelines and details are documented on the Airfare policy page.
U.S. Flag Carriers
Below is a list of major U.S. flag air carriers and their International Air Transport Association (IATA) airline codes. This information may change frequently, so a best practice is for travelers to check the airline's website to confirm that the airline is incorporated in the U.S.
|U.S. Airlines||Two-Letter IATA Code|
|Delta Air Lines||DL|
|Sun Country Airlines||SY|
Note: Air Canada is NOT a U.S. flag air carrier.
Open Skies Exceptions for International Destinations
One exception to the Fly America Act is the Open Skies Agreement. The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) states that qualifying travelers, whose travel is supported by federal funds may travel on certain foreign airlines as well as U.S. flag air carriers. The Open Skies Agreements exception does not apply if travel is funded by the Department of Defense (DOD) or by a department of the U.S. military. Specific guidelines and details are documented on the Airfare Policy page.
When air travel is paid for with federal funds, travel must either be on a U.S. carrier or, for specific destinations, may be on a European Union (EU) (plus Norway and Iceland), Australian, Japanese or Swiss airline. A list of current member countries of the EU is available at the Europa website.
European Union Countries, Norway and Iceland
When traveling to the EU countries, Norway or Iceland, the traveler must land in a U.S., EU, Norway or Iceland destination, then any other city is allowed.
|Country||Airline||Two-Letter IATA Code|
|Czech Republic||Czech Airlines (ČSA)||OK|
|Denmark||Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)||SK|
|Norway||Norwegian (Air Shuttle)||DY|
|Poland||LOT Polish Airlines||LO|
Azores Airlines – SATA
|Sweden||Scandinavian Airlines (SAS)||SK|
|Switzerland||Swiss (International Air Lines)||LX|
|United Kingdom||(Is no longer a European Union Country -
No UK Airlines are allowed under Open Skies)
Note: Cyprus, Estonia, Lithuania and Slovakia are Open Skies countries, but do not have international carriers.
Other Country Agreements
An Australian, Japanese or Swiss carrier can only be used if the trip is directly to Australia. In addition, Switzerland, Australia and Japan require a second condition that there must be no city pair contract flight between the two points.
|Country||Airline||Two-Letter IATA Code|
All Nippon Airways
Open Skies Exceptions by Country
Click on a destination area for Open Skies Agreement specifics:
Travel to a European Union Country, Norway and Iceland
According to the Open Skies agreement between the U.S. and European Union (EU) countries, Norway or Iceland, travelers may fly on any EU airline when:
- Travel is NOT funded by U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) or the U.S. military, AND
- Flight touches down in an EU country, Norway or Iceland
When both conditions are met, travel should be booked on any of the U.S. flag airlines and European Open Skies airlines.
Note: When traveling to a destination serviced by an EU airline, Stanford travelers flying on sponsored funds can fly on either a U.S. carrier or an EU carrier as long as they touch down in an EU country. See the following examples of EU flights that are Open Skies compliant.
- Frankfurt (E.U.) –> San Francisco (U.S.)
- San Francisco (U.S.) –> Paris (EU)
- Dublin (EU) –> NYC (U.S.) –> Vancouver (Non-U.S./Non-EU country)
- Mexico City (Non-U.S./Non-EU country) –> NYC (U.S.) –> Madrid (EU)
- Cleveland (U.S.) –> Montreal (Non-U.S./Non-EU country) –> Barcelona (EU)
- Vienna (EU) –> Toronto (Non-U.S./Non-EU country) –> Denver (U.S.)
- Istanbul (Non-U.S./Non-EU country) –> Amsterdam (EU) –> Memphis (U.S.)
- Orlando (U.S.) –> London (EU) –> Moscow (Non-U.S./Non-EU country)
- Washington DC (U.S.) –> Sarajevo (ECAA - European Common Aviation Area)
- Belgrade (ECAA - European Common Aviation Area) –> Washington DC (U.S.)
Travel to Australia, Japan or Switzerland
According to the Open Skies agreements that the U.S. holds with Australia, Japan and Switzerland, travelers can use the respective country’s airlines or a U.S. flag carrier for travel to that country when:
- Travel is NOT funded by the U.S. Department of Defense or U.S. military, AND
- The U.S. government DOES NOT have a published airfare rate for the travel route (City Pair Agreement)
If points of travel are part of the GSA's City Pair Program (even though the City Pair Program is not available to the university), the traveler must use a U.S. flag air carrier.
The GSA's City Pair Program offers government negotiated fares for flights between certain cities. If a city pair agreement is in effect, the traveler may not claim an Open Skies exception and must fly on a U.S. flag carrier or U.S. codeshare carrier.
Travelers must check Airfares City Pairs Search before booking flights to determine if a city pair agreement is in effect. After entering departure and arrival cities, the search tool will either display the city pair agreement fares, or will report, "There are no awards for the requested city pair," in which case the Open Skies Exception can be used to fly on that country's airline.
When both conditions are met, travelers can use any of the U.S. flag airlines and applicable countries’ (Australian, Japanese, or Swiss depending on the destination of travel) Open Skies airlines.
Travel to Other Countries
- When travel is supported by federal funds, the traveler must fly on a U.S. flag airline unless it qualifies for an exemption as noted in the Fly America Act. Find the appropriate allowable exceptions on the Certification of Exception to Fly America Act.
In Summary: When traveling to the EU countries, Norway or Iceland, the traveler must land in a U.S., EU, Norway or Iceland destination, then any other city is allowed. However, an Australian carrier can only be used if the trip is directly to Australia. The same applies to Japanese and Swiss carriers. In addition, Switzerland, Australia and Japan require a second condition that there must be no city pair contract flight between the two points.