For all university-sponsored business travel, the objective of the university is to support the safety of Stanford employees and provide assistance in the event of an emergency. The Stanford Travel program’s booking channels are integrated with Global Risk’s travel registry and meet the majority of university employees’ booking needs. This is why domestic and international airfare bookings for faculty, staff, students, and postdoctoral scholars must continue to be booked through the Stanford Travel program.
However, there are occasions when an exception to the booking policy may be granted. In those instances, Global Risk will directly manage an exception process in order to support travelers and include the itinerary in the university travel registry.
The travel booking exception process change is effective immediately. Below is a summary of the new process which is described on the Global Risk website.
Summary of new air travel policy booking consultation/exception process
- Domestic and international airfare bookings for faculty, staff, students, and postdoctoral scholars must continue to be booked through the Stanford Travel program (unless specifically listed as travel that is exempt from the travel booking policy). Otherwise an exception is required. This exception process is specific to requesting exceptions to the booking method; exceptions to business expense policies and processes (such as for class of fare) are administered by Financial Management Services and approved first by the school or unit where applicable.
- Schools or units may have additional review procedures for exceptions.
- To request an exception to the booking method, travelers or travel arrangers will reach out directly to @email (subject line: “Booking Exception Request”) with a justification for booking outside of the Stanford Travel booking channel(s), as well as location(s) and dates of travel. When an exception request is approved by Global Risk, the itinerary must then be shared with the university travel registry via a one-step email forwarding process.
- After obtaining approval, if the airfare will be charged to a sponsored award, a fare comparison documented at the time of booking is required when it is not booked through Stanford Travel, which would then be attached to the expense reimbursement or report.
- The email consultation to @email replaces the previous process of attaching proof of the exception pre-approval to the expense request. There is no longer a requirement to attach an exception approval to the expense report or reimbursement request. The Expense Request system does ask for travel booking method, and this data can be provided to Global Risk and other central units (ORA) as needed for compliance and outreach purposes. (Note: Global Risk will conduct routine audits and reach out to non-compliant travelers).
Please note: Travel that is exempt from the booking policy, as described in the Administrative Guide and Fingate (e.g., regional airlines not available via Stanford Travel, airline ticket reissues or exchanges, group airfare of 10 or more travelers departing for the same destination, airfare discounts and companion certificates, basic economy fares, and travel booked outside of the U.S. for Stanford’s global subsidiaries and branches), is not required to be submitted to Global Risk as an exception. Such itineraries must continue to be forwarded to International SOS.
What’s not changing?
With traveler safety as the top priority, air travel must continue to be booked through the Stanford Travel program, unless the airfare is exempt from the policy. Travelers do not need to seek an exception for exempt airfare, but they must use the itinerary-forwarding service. See the updated list of types of exempt airfare on the Business and Travel Expense Policies page.
The booking method exception process is specific to requesting exceptions to the booking method only. Exceptions to any other business expense policies and processes (such as for class of fare) are administered by Financial Management Services and approved first by the Dean’s office where applicable.
Airfare comparisons are only required when:
- The trip includes a personal component
- The itinerary is an indirect route
- The airfare class is above economy and the comparison will be used to allocate excess costs appropriately
- The airfare will be charged to a sponsored research award and will be booked outside of Stanford Travel booking channels
Benefits of Stanford Travel
The Stanford Travel Program offers four booking channel options to provide travelers with flexibility and choice. Stanford travelers can choose any of these channels to book university-sponsored travel based on each channel's unique offerings.
Stanford Travel offers the following benefits to travelers:
- Automatically send reservations to the travel registry to enable the university to provide assistance to travelers in the event of an emergency
- Access to priority boarding, name changes, and other advantages negotiated with Stanford's travel suppliers and partners
- Stanford-negotiated discounts with all major airlines and Enterprise/National car rental companies, and low rates at thousands of hotels around the world
- Convenience of booking the majority of university travel in one place
- Simplified expense reimbursement process
- For questions about the new process to request an exception to the travel booking policy, please contact @email.
- Visit the Stanford Travel Program page for an overview of the booking channels and benefits.
- Stanford Global Risk’s pre-travel support and incident management capabilities are greatly enhanced by the ability to seamlessly and easily access traveler information in the event of emergency. Learn more about how Stanford travelers have benefitted from the work of the Global Risk team through this short collection of experiences.
- Fingate content and Administrative Guide Policy 5.4.2: Business and Travel Expenses, which reflects the travel booking policy, have been updated to support this change.