Many students, post-doctoral scholars, faculty and staff travel on behalf of Stanford. To be reimbursed for this travel, travelers and travel arrangers must follow university policy; in most cases airfare for university-sponsored travel must be booked through a Stanford Travel booking channel.
This article provides Stanford Travel program updates, travel news and tips for university-sponsored travelers. For recent business expense updates, visit Business Expense Updates and Hot Topics. For Purchasing and Contracts updates, visit Purchasing and Contracts Updates and Hot Topics.
For general help with the Stanford Travel program, policy, or reimbursements, please submit a support request. To speak with a member of the Stanford Travel team about travel booking questions, please call 1-650-497-1214, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PST.
As of September 1 2023, an attestation about hotel booking rules was added to the Egencia site. When booking travel on the site, travelers and travel arrangers must review and select one of the following options:
- I chose a nonrefundable hotel and accept the risk.
- I chose a refundable hotel (recommended).
- I did not book a hotel at this time.
This attestation was added to Egencia to ensure that travelers understand the hotel cancellation policies prior to confirming their booking, and to encourage the use of refundable hotel rates, which is recommended, even if the rate is higher than a nonrefundable rate, as long as the rate is within lodging policy maximums. Nonrefundable rates can lead to loss of personal or department funds if travel plans change.
Alaska Airlines is offering an exciting limited-time promotion for Stanford travelers. From August 15 through November 15, 2023, travelers can earn two times the elite-qualifying miles (the miles that count towards elite status) on eligible non-stop flights within California. Travelers must register by October 31, 2023 to qualify.
Please see the flyer for more details and the link to register (if requested, log in with your Stanford email [SUNet@stanford.edu] to view the flyer).
Stanford Travel is excited to announce new and upcoming promotions for Stanford travelers. From now through December 15, travelers and travel arrangers who book flights through any of the Stanford Travel booking channels can win prizes such as United Airlines tickets, United Airlines (UA) Club passes, or one year of A-list status on Southwest. Upon booking, travelers and travel arrangers will be automatically entered to win these prizes and will be contacted by a Stanford Travel team member if they win.
Follow the #fms-stanford-travel Slack channel for additional opportunities in future Stanford Travel promotions, such as a Stanford-negotiated rate at Palo Alto’s el PRADO hotel.
Stanford Travel is excited to announce the annual Stanford Travel Forum on Wednesday, October 25 live at the Frances C. Arrillaga Alumni Center on the Stanford historic campus. Stop by anytime from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Light refreshments and snacks will be provided.
This year's Stanford Travel Forum will feature:
- Meet representatives from Stanford Travel booking channels, airlines, local hotels, and other travel partners.
- Attend Q&A sessions from Business Expense, Card Services, Purchasing and Contracts.
- Enter to win travel-related prizes such as hotel stays, airline tickets, lounge passes, and more.
To RSVP, please visit the Procurement Services Events page.
Planning your summer trip? Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Set up a travel profile and download the travel supplier apps
Before any upcoming trips, be sure to set up separate traveler profiles (i.e. Frequent Flyer accounts) and download (or update) the apps for your airline, hotel and car rental companies. Updated profiles and apps ensure access to urgent notifications, in-flight purchases (e.g., WiFi and food), and expedited check-ins in addition to earning points for future travel plans.
Know your airfare options
Stanford’s policy does not require purchasing the lowest available airfare. The university will pay for the lowest airfare in economy class that allows changes and can include flight components such as a reserved seat, Wi-Fi service, and one checked bag.
A Basic Economy fare is not recommended or displayed in the Stanford Travel booking channels because it does not typically include the components of economy class, and may be extremely restrictive, allowing no changes under any circumstances.
Visit the Airfare Policy page to learn more airfare fares and fees.
Look for the most direct route when flying
Whenever possible, travelers should select the most direct route (with the fewest or no stops) to their destination. Direct routes are preferable to lower-cost fares. The university supports taking a more direct flight (fewer stops) even if it is a higher cost, because of the sustainability and risk implications. Learn more about taking the most direct route on the Airfare Policy page.
Check your passport expiration date before purchasing tickets
The U.S. Department of State is reporting delays in passport processing up to 13 weeks. Visit their website for current processing times. Airlines will not waive nonrefundable airfare rules due to expired passports, so be sure to allow adequate time for passport renewal.
Watch out for for fraud that targets travelers
When planning a trip and when you are on the road, it is important to protect yourself from travel scams and phishing.
Common travel scams include "free" vacations, robocalls about vacation deals, international travel document scams and driving permit scams, vacation home scams, and charter flight scams, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Travelers are often the target of phishing attempts while they are traveling. Phishing occurs when somebody pretends to be a trusted entity (e.g. a bank or travel agency) so they can obtain sensitive information from you.
Visit the UIT article Traveling Soon? Be on the Lookout for Scams that Target Travelers to learn how you can avoid scams and phishing by taking steps such as avoiding public computer workstations and charging stations when traveling internationally.
Stanford Travel will soon offer guests and their travel arrangers a more convenient way to book through Egencia.
Egencia’s new guest booking process will allow Stanford Guest managers to create their own registration templates and assign them to multiple guest managers. Additionally, guests will be able to register, create their own profiles, and manage their own travel for a limited period as per the permissions granted by the university. More information about this pilot is coming soon.
Stanford Travel launches a new booking channel, Key Travel, on March 20, 2023.
Key Travel is the world’s largest travel management company specializing in the humanitarian and academic sectors. In addition to Stanford-negotiated rates, Key Travel offers flexible academic rates for international airfares that are exclusive to the academic sector. Unique features include the ability to book multiple travelers (e.g., family members) on the same reservation and provide Fly America Act guidance for federally funded travel.
Effective immediately, FCM is no longer able to book new reservations for university travelers. Travelers with an existing FCM reservation can still reach out to FCM if they need to change or cancel a booking. The designated team of FCM agents remains available to assist travelers with any inquiries about existing trips; reach out to them via email (@email) or phone at 1-800-832-3445.
Going forward, Stanford Travel recommends Key Travel for travel that is complex or requires booking multiple travelers on the same reservation. Please visit the Stanford Travel Program page for details on how to contact one of the designated Key Travel agents.
With many travel activities resuming in full force in 2023, the Stanford Travel team is looking forward to a new year full of possibilities! A small, but mighty crew with over 75 years of combined travel industry experience, this team focuses on providing high-quality support for Stanford travelers.
To ensure high levels of customer service, the team works closely with Stanford Travel's multiple booking channels, develops partnerships with preferred suppliers, and collaborates with campus partners (Financial Support Center, Card Services, Business Expense, and Global Risk Management) on a variety of services to support Stanford travelers and travel arrangers.
The Stanford Travel program provides negotiated discounts for hotels in Palo Alto and the surrounding vicinity for Stanford employees, affiliates or visitors traveling to the area for university business. The easiest way to take advantage of these discounts is to make a reservation through a Stanford Travel booking channel.
Hotels offering these discounted rates include The Westin, Sheraton Palo Alto, Hotel Citrine, and more! Discounts vary by hotel and are subject to availability. New to the program this year - The Graduate Hotel which is nestled in the heart of downtown Palo Alto and within walking distance of the university!
To view the full list of participating hotels, please visit the Stanford Travel Local Hotel Program page.