10-11: Air travel

Effective: January 15, 2024
Approved by: Van Christensen
ReferencesUtah Code 63A-3-107Administrative Code R25-7.


This policy outlines conditions for booking commercial airfare and changing reservations. It outlines reimbursement guidelines for TSA PreCheck fees and explains that loyalty points and vouchers or credits related to involuntary changes belong to the traveler. This policy also explains that flight reservations for the state plane must be made through the Division of Aeronautics.

Travelers must follow this policy even if the travel costs are reimbursable by the federal government or another organization.


Concur – Software used by the state to manage travel, reimbursements, and p-card transactions.

Designee – The person who has written permission from the executive director to act on their behalf. The executive director is responsible for selecting a designee who has the knowledge, skills, and experience to make decisions in the best interest of the agency.

Executive director – The executive leader of an agency.

Lodge card – A cardless account that all airline tickets and service fees are charged to.

Reimbursement – Money paid to compensate travelers for money spent while traveling on official business.

Reimbursement request – The general term for requesting payment for travel expenses. In Concur, travelers add their expenses to a report. Travelers who cannot use Concur use form FI 51.

Traveler – Any person traveling on official state business for an agency or political subdivision. This definition includes employees, non-employees, board members, elected officials, vendors, volunteers, grant recipients, and award beneficiaries. 

Travel request – The general term for asking permission to travel for state business. In Concur, travelers add their expected expenses to a request. Travelers who cannot use Concur use form FI 5.


A – Commercial airline reservations must be made through Concur or the State Travel Office

1 – Travelers must book airfare through the booking tool in Concur or through the State Travel Office.

B – Guidelines for booking commercial airfare in Concur

1 – Travelers must book flights from airlines that are labeled as a preferred vendor unless:

  • the schedules offered from those companies do not meet the business needs of the traveler, or
  • another airline has lower fares that meet the business needs of the traveler.

2 – Travelers must book economy or main cabin fares.

2a – Travelers are not reimbursed for priority seating or seat upgrade charges, except for rare circumstances that are approved in writing by the executive director or designee before the trip. See travel policy 10-17: Exception requests.

3 – Travelers should take a connecting flight instead of a non-stop flight if:

  • the cost savings are $300 or more; and
  • the connecting flight adds less than 2 hours to the total flight time.

4 – Travelers should make reservations at least 21 days in advance to obtain the lowest possible fares.

5 – Travelers may stay at their destination over a weekend if it reduces the total cost of the trip. For example, the airfare savings are more than the cost of lodging and meals for the additional days.

6 – Travelers should book refundable fares if plans are likely to change or be canceled.

7 – Travelers should book non-refundable fares if:

  • the trip dates and times are fixed and there is a low probability of a change in plans; or
  • travelers fly frequently and there is a high probability the unused funds will be used for future travel within the expiration period.

C – Commercial airfare must be purchased with the lodge card

1 – All airline tickets and service fees must be charged to the lodge card.

2 – Travelers who choose to book flights for state business using their own reward points, personal credits, or personal vouchers instead of the lodge card are not reimbursed the cost of the flight.

3 – Even though travelers are not reimbursed for airfare, they must record the airfare in their reimbursement request in Concur.

3a – Travelers must select the airfare expense type, apply the correct accounting templates, and attach the itemized airfare receipt. The receipt must include the traveler’s name, travel dates, arrival and departure cities, and cost.

D – Travelers may change flight reservations

1 – Travelers may change commercial flight reservations before the departure date when:

  • the changes are made through the State Travel Office;
  • the traveler adds a written explanation for any change fees or increased cost of airfare to their reimbursement request; and
  • the changes are approved by the executive director or designee.

2 – Travelers may change commercial flight reservations on the same day as their flight without going through the State Travel Office when:

  • the fee is $75 or less; and
  • the traveler adds a written explanation for the fee in their reimbursement request.

3 – Travelers must not voluntarily change flights when flights are overbooked due to potential issues with risk management.

E – Flight vouchers, credits, and loyalty programs

1 – Vouchers and credits given to travelers for involuntary flight changes are considered the property of the traveler.

2 – Loyalty programs like airline frequent flyer programs, which give travelers discounts or incentives are considered the property of the traveler. For example, travelers may earn SkyMiles for airfare purchased by the state.

F – Reimbursement for TSA PreCheck fees

1 – Travelers may be reimbursed for TSA PreCheck fees if approved by the executive director or designee through a travel request.

1a – If there is no travel request because the travel is in state, the executive director or designee must approve the TSA PreCheck fees in writing, and this documentation must be attached to the traveler’s reimbursement request.

G – Reservations for the state plane must be made through the Division of Aeronautics

1 – Travel on a state-owned aircraft is primarily for state officials, state employees, or other individuals conducting state business. 

2 – Travelers must make a reservation through the UDOT Division of Aeronautics.

2a – The UDOT Division of Aeronautics bills the agency directly for the use of state owned aircraft.