The University is taking measures to help ensure the health and safety of the CU community and to mitigate transmission of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Please review and share the following information and take action as needed.
New Travel Restrictions from CDC and from Mexico
International Travelers Arriving Into the United States
- Announcement from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Effective January 26, 2021, all passengers arriving into the United States must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within three (3) calendar days prior to departure from their country of origin. Airlines will be responsible for verifying documentation provided by the passenger and denying entry to those unable to provide proof of a negative test result. Find out more from the CDC here.
U.S. and Mexico Land Borders Closed to Non-essential Travel
- Announcement from the Mexican government: Effective through February 21, 2021, the U.S.-Mexico land border is closed to non-essential travel. This closure also affects tourists set to travel after the original expiration date of January 21, 2021. Learn more about entry requirements and travel alerts from the U.S. Embassy in Mexico here.
New CU Travel Restrictions effective March 10, 2020
Effective March 10, 2020, all non-essential University-related travel has been suspended; essential travel requires approval and processing as described below.
Pre-approval Required for All New Trips
University-related international and domestic travel must be approved using Concur Request prior to booking the trip.
This requirement applies:
- If you plan an out-of-state or international trip, whether by flying, driving, or taking a bus/train/etc. (If the trip is by car, bus, or train: add a comment in Concur Request to clarify the mode of transportation.)
- If you plan an in-state overnight trip. (If the trip is by car, bus, or train: add a comment in Concur Request to clarify the mode of transportation.)
This requirement does not apply to same-day travel within the state (for example, a Boulder Campus employee plans to drive to the UCCS Campus and return the same day). In these cases, manager approval is sufficient and Concur Request is not needed.
RE-approve or Cancel Existing Trips
All trips booked before current travel restrictions were in place must be RE-approved if you want to continue with your travel plans.
To request re-approval for a previously booked trip, submit a Concur Request with the necessary information. If tickets were issued prior to March 10, add a comment to the Request, explaining that the tickets were issued prior to the current travel restrictions. Request approvers will determine if you can proceed with the trip or not. (Note: for in-state travel that does not require an overnight stay, obtain re-approval from your manager; Concur Request is not needed.)
To cancel a trip that was previously booked through Concur/CBT, contact a CBT Agent. (To cancel a trip that was previously booked outside of the University’s travel management program, follow the established procedures for that booking.)
No Outside Internet Airfare Bookings
All University-related travel must be booked through the University’s travel management program: either online in the Concur Travel & Expense System or through a travel agent with Christopherson Business Travel (CBT). This allows us to monitor your travel location and provide assistance if you encounter a health, emergency, or security issue – especially important during situations such as the current coronavirus outbreak.
External internet airfare purchases are not allowable during the coronavirus health crisis. If you book CU business travel through the internet during this time (March 13 through the end of the travel restrictions period), you will not be reimbursed for your out-of-pocket airfare bookings. (If you are in travel status and need to get home, exceptions are made for out-of-pocket airfare in these cases. Contact Shannon.Miller@cu.edu, 303.764.3457, with questions.)
Canceled/Refunded Airline Tickets
Most tickets issued are nonrefundable. COVID-19 hasn’t changed this fact. Nonrefundable tickets are not refunded by airlines simply because events or travel bans have caused trips to be canceled.
- When a traveler cancels a nonrefundable airline ticket, most airlines allow the value of the ticket to be used toward a future ticket. This credit is referred to as an unused ticket.
- Airlines usually charge a fee when canceling a ticket. However, in response to COVID-19, many airlines are waiving the usual cancelation fees and making the full value of the ticket available towards a future trip for the same traveler.
When a ticket is refundable … or when the airline cancels a flight and cannot re-accommodate you on another flight … the airline typically refunds the full amount of the original purchase. For tickets booked through Concur/CBT: When an airline issues a refund, the amount is credited to the CU Corporate Card. Once received, the refund is applied to the SpeedType used for the original purchase. This process takes at least two-four weeks.
Your Department’s Ticket Status
To determine the value of your department’s canceled (unused) and refunded tickets – in other words, to determine the potential value toward future airfare purchases – you can request an Airline Ticket Report by emailing PSC Travel Manager Shannon Miller.
- In your email, the Subject line should read “Ticket Report Request: (ORG number)”
- If you need a report of multiple ORGs, please include the ORG list within the body of the email. Note: Reports cannot be pulled by the ORG Node, individual ORGs are required.
How to Apply Unused Funds to New Purchases
Employee bookings: Refer to your department Ticket Report or the employee’s Concur profile for available funds and use according to the guidance found in “All Other Airlines,” below.
Non-employee or separated employee bookings: For unused tickets that cannot be used by the traveler, email Shannon.Miller@cu.edu to request a LUV Voucher. Subject line should read “LUV Voucher Request: (Southwest confirmation number)” When the LUV Voucher is issued, you will receive an email that includes instructions on how to apply the LUV Voucher to a new booking.
Include the following in the body of the email:
- Traveler Name
- Travel Dates
- Total Charge
- Copy of the itinerary, if available
All Other Airlines
Employee bookings: Refer to your department Ticket Report or the employee’s Concur profile for available funds. If the credit is visible in your Concur profile, or the Concur profile of the employee you are arranging travel for, you can apply the unused credit amount when booking through Concur. If you prefer to book with a CBT Agent, be sure to provide the unused ticket information.
Non-employee or separated employee bookings: Refer to your department Ticket Report. Contact a CBT Agent with your travel request and include the unused ticket information from your report, including:
- Agency Locator/ Airline Confirmation number
- Traveler name on original purchase
- Travel dates
Some airlines -- for a fee -- may allow the value of a ticket to be used towards a purchase for another traveler. Many airlines (typically, foreign carriers) do not allow the value of a ticket to be transferred to another traveler. When you are ready to use funds to purchase a new ticket, contact a CBT Agent so they can provide you with booking details and airline-imposed restrictions/fees on your particular ticket.
Note: Due to the University's partnership with United Airlines, any United tickets booked through Concur/CBT will not be charged a cancelation or name change fee when applying unused funds.
Pre-approval is required for all travel, including non-employee travel. Since non-employees do not have access to submit for trip approvals using Concur Request, the sponsoring department should request high-level review and approval for non-employee travel outside the Concur system. Currently, all travel (domestic and international) is considered high-risk, and approval is therefore required from the high-risk approver for your campus. Approval should be obtained in writing and then provided to CBT (if booking through an agent) or attached to the Concur expense report for non-employee reimbursements.
The campus high-risk approvers for travel are:
- Boulder Campus - Regina Houck (Delegate Approver for Russell Moore)
- Denver Campus - Alana Jones (Delegate Approver for Roderick Nairn)
- Anschutz Medical Campus - Alana Jones (Delegate Approver for Donald Elliman)
- Colorado Springs Campus - Chuck Litchfield or Tom Christensen (Delegate Approvers for Venkateshwar Reddy)
- System Administration - Leonard Dinegar (Delegate Approver for Mark Kennedy)
Under the current circumstances - with many changed and canceled travel plans - many travel/hospitality companies are offering refunds or credits to the individual; CU typically does not reimburse a traveler in this case, since the traveler personally owns the refund or credit.
- Consequently, requests for reimbursement of internet airfare are currently paused. CU will follow the guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation, allowing time for airlines to process refunds before allowing requests for internet airfare reimbursement. Do not submit for reimbursement of non-employee trip expenses that involve airfare until you’ve confirmed whether or not the airfare has been refunded by the airlines. (For reimbursement of non-employee/student internet tickets on Southwest Airlines or United Airlines, see below.)
- Update: Effective December 14, 2020, non-employee expense reports will no longer route to the Campus Approver for the additional level of approval that was put in place earlier this year. (That temporary additional review had been prompted by mileage over $150; transportation; and, lodging.)
Non-Employee/Student Reimbursements for Southwest Airlines Tickets
Southwest will allow us to turn credits for internet airfare purchases owned by non-employee/student travelers into LUV Vouchers that the sponsoring department can use for future travel by other individuals:
- The sponsoring department should ask the requestor (traveler) to complete and sign the Southwest/CU affidavit and submit it to the department along with a copy of the Southwest receipt.
- The sponsoring department should mail both documents to Shannon.Miller@cu.edu. Shannon will work with Southwest to transfer full funds to the department.
- When the request has been processed, the sponsoring department will receive a Southwest LUV Voucher and instructions on how to use it for future bookings by other individuals.
- At this point, the sponsoring department can reimburse the non-employee/student for their Southwest internet airfare purchase. The reimbursement request and all necessary documentation should be submitted, as usual, in the Concur Travel & Expense System (or, for non-U.S. persons or non-U.S. addresses, on the Non-Employee Reimbursement-International form). Be sure to include a copy of the confirmation from Southwest that the funds have been transferred to the department.
Non-Employee/Student Reimbursements for United Airlines Tickets
United will allow non-employees/students to convert certain canceled tickets into Electronic Ticket Credits that the sponsoring department can use for future travel by other individuals. This offer applies to tickets purchased on/before March 2, 2020, for travel March 3-December 31, 2020; and to tickets purchased March 3-May 31, 2020, for any travel dates.
To request credit – by May 31, 2020: The non-employee traveler requests the Electronic Travel Credit (ETC) online.
- The requesting individual goes to www.united.com/refunds, clicks “claim it here,” and follows the instructions
- The ETC is immediately emailed to the requesting individual
- The individual forwards the ETC email to their CU department contact
- The department retains the ETC information – including certificate number, PIN, dollar value, and expiration date (currently, two years) – in order to use in the future.
- The department can now process a reimbursement request for the United ticket.
To request credit – after May 31, 2020: The non-employee traveler must contact United Airlines by phone to request the ETC.