The University defines group travel as three (3) or more employees/non-employees traveling to the same location for the same official University business where the individuals are recognized as a cohesive unit representing the University.

Examples could include a club or intercollegiate sports team, a class on a field trip, study abroad groups, etc. Three or more department employees traveling individually to the same conference or workshop would not necessarily be characterized as group travel. When arranging travel for groups, please note that Christopherson Business Travel (CBT) defines group travel for booking airline tickets as ten (10) or more employees/non-employees traveling together. If you need assistance determining whether your travel planning meets the definition for group travel, please contact

Booking Group Travel

For a group of ten (10) or more travelers traveling on the same flight to the same destination, contact the dedicated group travel agent at Christopherson Business Travel for assistance.

Advantages to booking group airfare can include:

  • Potential discounts (dependent on the airline, destination, size of group, and lead time of travel)
  • Secured seats that can be booked up to 11 months prior to the departure
  • Reducing the number of ticketed seats up to 90 days prior to departure date
  • Securing flights with an "estimated" number of travelers (dependent on the airline, a final list is not due until 35-45 days prior to departure)
  • Securing reservations with only a deposit, deferring full payment until 30-45 days prior to departure date
  • Name changes allowed up to 7 days before travel date
  • Coordination of ground transportation between airport and final destination to ensure group travelers are not separated; and/or
  • Rebooking all travelers together in case of flight changes or cancellations

Group Travel Purchases

An employee who is the group leader can make pre-trip arrangements and in-travel purchases related to the group’s travel using their own Travel Card. Examples of these allowable purchases for members of the group are conference registration fees for a student group, lodging charges for a club sports team, ground transportation, and group meals for all members of a traveling group (see below for more information on Group Meals). All expenses related to expenses paid for the group during trip should be claimed in the group leader’s expense report. This includes expenses paid for group travel as a study abroad cohort. 

Employees traveling for work are encouraged to obtain a Travel Card for travel-related purchases incurred while in travel status.

If a group of employees is traveling to the same event but will be submitting individual travel expense reports (meaning there is no group leader covering common costs), each employee should pay for his or her own expenses and submit their own expense report at the end of the trip. Each expense report should be a record of the individual traveler’s trip. An employee traveling with their own Travel Card should not use that card to cover trip expenses for another employee. The only exception is the rare occurrence where a vendor cannot separate the cost of shared lodging. In these rare cases, one employee should pay the total bill on their Travel Card and identify the other employee(s) whose lodging is also included on that bill in the comments on the subsequent expense report.

Ground Transportation

Ground shuttles, charter buses, train fare or other forms of ground transportation for a traveling group can be purchased ahead of time on a purchase order or on the group leader's travel card.

Group Meals

The group leader can use their Travel Card to purchase food directly for the traveling team or group. Individual per diem limits apply to group meals, so the total cost of the group meal expense cannot exceed the sum of the individual per diem amounts for all individuals partaking in that meal. A list of all group members for the group meal must be attached to the group leader's expense report when group meals are included on an expense report.

Alternatively, the group leader can provide the members of the team or group with cash equal to the individual’s meal per diem. This allows the group members to purchase their own meals while traveling with the group. In this case, the group leader would request a cash advance prior to the trip. A list of group members, along with the total amount of meal per diem paid to the individuals each day, must be attached to the group leader's expense report. For additional information see Concur Travel: Requesting Cash Advances for Travel.

Note: When group meals are being purchased by the group leader, per diem is generally not being claimed by the individuals traveling as part of that group. If an individual is partaking in group meals while also claiming per diem for other meals, their expense report should be reduced for the group meals paid by the group leader. This would be an uncommon occurrence. For multiple individuals traveling to the same location, but not meeting the definition of Group Travel, meals should be reimbursed to the individuals only through per diem. Official Functions may also be attended by individuals in travel status, but the per diem should be reduced for these CU-paid Official Function events.

Reconciling Expenses

Expenses related to Group Travel are reconciled in the Concur Travel & Expense System (Concur). Keep in mind the following: 

  • The group leader reconciles Group Travel expenses including ground transportation and group meals for teams/groups on his or her trip expense report, or on a non-employee report as appropriate.
  • To avoid tax consequences, the expense report must be submitted within 90 days of the trip's conclusion. If a cash advance is involved, the expense report must be submitted within 30 days of the trip end date, per cash advance reconciliation requirements (see PSC Procedural Statement Cash Advances).
  • If the group leader used a Travel Card or personal credit card to cover the cost of group meals, they must attach itemized receipts and a list of attendees to the expense report for each paid group meal. The amount of the group meal cannot exceed the sum of the per diem for all individuals partaking in that meal.
  • Consider using Concur Mobile to upload and retain all receipts while traveling.