The words "airport" and "flying"
are usually enough to bring about visions of long lines, shuffling luggage,
rushing to gates, and being herded into lines and down narrow airplane aisles.
One of the biggest keys of controlling the stress of flying is Plan Ahead! Be
prepared for things from minor inconveniences to major disruptions (weather,
delays, lost luggage). There are many books on business travel that deal with
this type of preparation, and they are excellent investments.
Here are some basic points for booking and ticketing flights.
- All airfares for official University travel without
regard to source of funds must be purchased using a State of Texas corporate
travel account through either (1) a state issued credit card or (2) use of a
central bill account through the contracted travel agency, Corporate Travel
Planners, Inc. (CTPI).
- Reservations for air travel may be made either (1)
with the contract travel agency or (2) directly with an airline. If
reservations are made with the airline, the traveler must (1) tell the airline
reservationist that the tickets will be written by a travel agency and (2)
call CTPI and request that they issue the ticket.
- Although travelers may find less expensive airfares
as a result of airfare wars/promotions or through airlines’ standard discount
programs, such fares may have rigid advance purchase requirements and/or
severe penalties for changes or cancellations. For destinations in which there
is a state contract, such airfares can be very helpful to our travelers.
- Resist the Siren's Call of paper tickets. Although having the tickets in
hand is tempting, the reality is replacing lost tickets is very expensive. Electronic ticketing not only
keeps the tickets safe in the airline system, they are easily and quickly
reissued. If the travel agency or airline needs information from the ticket,
it is easily accessible in the reservation system. Also, once the reservation
is ticketed, there are no paper tickets to wait for. You are ready to fly.
- Taking personal side trips will complicate the
reimbursement process. If the traveler is going to combine a personal trip (or
a trip not paid for by UTHSCSA), contact accounting for assistance in figuring
the reimbursable amount. Also, consult the HOP
for more insight.
- If you have a car or hotel reservation to make, make
all of them at the same time as you are making the flight reservation to help
prevent incorrect dates or times from being booked.
- If Corporate Travel is to charge to UPT, be sure to have the travel
requisition sent to the travel agency. See the Travel page for the basic
process for employee travel. Contact Travel Services if the travel requisition
has been approved but was not sent to the travel agency.