Frequently Asked Questions
Travel Authorizations (Operating Policy 70.02)
Who are the university experts on travel authorization rules?
Contact the Travel Office at firstname.lastname@example.org for advice and instruction on properly completing travel authorizations.
Who needs to complete a Travel Authorization Request (TAR) Form?
Any employee or prospective employee who travels on behalf of ASU should complete a Travel Authorization Request Form.
When should I complete a TAR?
You should complete a TAR as soon as possible when planning travel. Always complete a TAR before departure.
Do I really need to get my TAR approved?
Yes. Approval is required on a TAR before reimbursement or payment of trip expenses may be made. Approval serves as written permission to reimburse you or pay centrally billed items on your behalf via electronic transfers from department accounts.
Mileage (Operating Policy 70.04)
How do I calculate mileage?
State employees calculate the number of miles traveled by using their vehicle odometer reading or a readily available electronic mapping service. ASU has adopted Rand McNally as its official online mapping service. Please print out the mileage calculation page when using the Rand McNally website for reimbursement. The rate for reimbursement is now $0.535 per mile (Effective January 1, 2017).
Per Diem Rates (Operating Policy 70.04)
Where do I find per-diem rates?
Please keep in mind that meal expenses claimed for reimbursement should be based on actual expenses not to exceed the maximum allowed rate.
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) domestic per diem website lists rates by state. Select Texas (for in-state travel) and it will show a list of cities and the designated meal and lodging per diem rate for that city. For locations not listed, you will use the Standard Rate listed at the top of the chart.
** Please note that the Standard Rate for hotels in the State of Texas is currently $85/night. This rate differs from the rate shown on the GSA website.
For determining out-of-state travel rates, select the appropriate state on the GSA website and use the rates listed for your destination. For cities/counties not specifically listed, you will use the Standard Rate listed at the top of the chart.
For International per diem rates, please refer to the U.S. Department of State website.
Are we allowed meal expenses for non-overnight travel?
No. You are not allowed meal expenses for non-overnight travel. The only time meals are reimbursed for non-overnight travel is when a faculty or staff member travels as part of a student group. Only one faculty or staff member can have meals paid for as part of the Student Expense Report.
Air Travel (Operating Policy 70.04)
Who do I contact about making air travel/flight arrangements?
Please contact the Horizons Travel Agency (325-658-2436) for a reservation & quote when using BTA. Please be sure that the flight information given to Horizon’s Travel is your final itinerary. The Travel Office will only provide authorization of payment to Horizon’s and will not make changes to the itinerary given by the traveler. If you are unsure about purchasing your own airfare, please contact the Travel Office prior to doing so to avoid possible reimbursement complications. Please note: The Travel Office will no longer provide assistance with airfare reservations.
How do I purchase a flight using the Business Travel Account (BTA)?
Please refer to the BTA Process page for instructions.
Can I make my own flight arrangements?
Yes. Although it is recommended that air travel be arranged through Horizons Travel or a state-contracted vendor, you are allowed to purchase your own airfare. Please be cautious when using online travel sites to purchase airfare because these sites combine taxes and fees that may not be reimbursable under State of Texas policy. Also, some booking agents’ receipts might not meet state requirements for reimbursement. When using state funds, the Travel Office recommends that travelers use Horizon’s Travel, state contracted vendors: National Travel Service (NTS) and Shorts, or go directly to the airline website to ensure receipts are itemized and in compliance with state of Texas guidelines. NOTE: Online vendors such as Expedia & Travelocity should not be used with state funds.
Hotels (Operating Policy 70.04)
How do I reserve a hotel using the Business Travel Account (BTA)?
Please refer to the BTA Process page for instructions.
Can I share a hotel room with another university employee?
Yes. Each of you must request your own receipt showing the individual’s name, separate charges and separate methods of payment.
How do I get a tax exemption on my Texas hotel bill?
To receive tax exemption on your hotel bill, download and complete the Hotel Exemption Form that is available on the Travel Page in RamPort and present it to your hotel at check-in.
What should I do if a hotel does not accept the tax exemption form? Are hotels allowed to do this?
Hotels do not have to accept the tax exemption form. If a hotel refuses to accept the form, make a note of this on your Travel Expense Log, and the tax will be reimbursable.
What is a Hotel Overage Memo?
You must complete the Hotel Overage Memo portion of the TAR (page 3) prior to travel if your hotel cost will exceed the maximum allowed rate for your destination. You will need to include the following information: a brief statement as to why the overage is necessary, fill in the maximum allowed rate and the actual rate to be charged in the appropriate areas (the tax rate must be entered as a decimal percentage in the designated area). A local account to pay the overage out of should be indicated on the TAR form along with appropriate budget approval.
Rental Cars (Operating Policy 70.04)
How do I reserve a rental vehicle using the Business Travel Account (BTA)?
Please refer to the BTA Process page for instructions. NOTE: The BTA is only available for
Which rental agencies are contracted through the State of Texas?
Enterprise and Avis are the rental agencies used. Please provide ASU’s agency ID number when making reservations to receive state rates on rental cars, even when renting out-of-state (Enterprise ID# TX737; Avis ID# F999737). For information on rental car contracts, go to the state travel management program site.
How do I reserve a university vehicle?
Contact Facilities Management and complete a Vehicle Request Form.
Combining Business and Personal Travel (Operating Policy 70.04)
Is it ever OK to mix business travel and personal travel?
Yes. You are allowed to mix business travel and personal travel as long as you meet these requirements:
- Personal time must be listed on the Travel Authorization Request (TAR) Form and specified on the Travel Expense Log.
- The cost of the trip, including personal time, may not exceed the cost had the trip been for strictly business purposes. For example, if airfare that includes personal time costs $500, but the airfare for only the business portion would have cost $400, then the most ASU will pay is $400.
- Meals, lodging and other travel expenses are not reimbursable during personal travel.
- If a spouse or guest is joining you on a trip, please be sure to get a hotel receipt showing your name and the single-room rate. Any charge for additional guests cannot be reimbursed.
State of Texas Travel Rules
Where can I find information about state contracts for airfare, rental cars and hotels?
You can find information about State of Texas contracts for airfare, rental car rates/provisions and hotels on the Texas Comptroller’s website.
I know my department is supposed to use State of Texas travel vendors, but are there any exceptions?
Yes. A few exceptions allow you to use non-state-contracted vendors. Exceptions must be noted on the Travel Management Compliance Certification Form. You may not have to use a State of Texas vendor if one of the following valid business reasons applies:
- You find a lower cost (offered to the general public through published tariffs) elsewhere.
- More efficient schedules exist on another (non-contract) airline, which permit you to conduct business.
- Public health, safety or security situations exist that may place you in an unsafe environment.
- Travel is part of a group program, and reservations are made through a required source to obtain a particular rate or service.
Please contact the Travel Office at email@example.com if you have questions you would like to see added to this page.