The university implemented a travel booking policy in 2020 in order to enhance and streamline the collection of traveler information needed to locate and support travelers in the event of an emergency. The policy provides Stanford’s Global Risk Management team visibility into travel, thereby enabling the university’s delivery of pre-travel support and incident management services.
This is important because:
- Before travel: Upon learning that a traveler is going to a high-risk area, Stanford’s Global Risk Management team can counsel them in advance on how to minimize their risk exposure.
- During travel: The university can be better prepared to assist if an event occurs. For example, in natural disaster or civil unrest situations, Stanford’s Global Risk Management team actively reaches out to travelers and immediately begins planning to evacuate or relocate known travelers to safety. This may involve securing seats on a charter flight, or rebooking travel on a commercial flight. Knowing where travelers are provides the team with the ability to react more effectively.
Effective immediately, travelers have the option to book their hotel outside of the Stanford Travel program but must use the itinerary-forwarding service to send itineraries to InternationalSOS. Since booking a hotel through Stanford Travel offers benefits such as automatic updating of reservation changes and administrative efficiencies, Stanford Travel remains the preferred option wherever possible.
Similarly, travelers are no longer required to reserve a car through the Stanford Travel program, but may continue to choose to do so for convenience and time-savings gains.
To summarize the use of the itinerary-forwarding service, when hotels or exempted airfare are booked outside of the Stanford Travel booking channels, travelers, or travel arrangers must use the itinerary-forwarding service to register and then, as needed, update their trip details.
What’s Not Changing?
With traveler safety as the top priority, air travel must continue to be booked through the Stanford Travel program, unless explicitly exempted. Booking through Stanford Travel provides the university with itinerary access to assist travelers should the need arise. Air travel with an exemption to the booking requirement must use the itinerary-forwarding service.
Through the booking policy, the university continues to balance its global risk management needs with traveler needs and priorities. For more information or questions about the booking policy, please contact @email.
Impact on Reimbursements
The policy change is immediately in effect. The FMS Business Expense team will consider all travel bookings as of September 1 under the updated policy. In other words, hotels that were not booked through the program as of September are considered compliant and will be processed for reimbursement in accordance with Business and Travel Expense Policies on Fingate.
To learn more about these changes to the university’s travel booking policy:
- Join the information session hosted by the Global Risk Management team on Tuesday, September 27 from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. (Zoom link)
- Review the Frequently Asked Questions about the travel booking policy.
- For questions about these changes, please contact @email.
- Please note that the Fingate content and Administrative Guide Memo will be updated shortly to support this change.