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University of Houston - Victoria

Office of the Vice President for
Administration and Finance

SECTION: TRAVEL INDEX: F-5

SUBJECT: TRAVEL RESERVATIONS


POLICY


It is the policy of the University of Houston-Victoria for all departments to make their own employee travel arrangements while striving to minimize costs and maximize the travel benefit to the University of Houston-Victoria.  All applicable laws, UHS Administrative Memoranda and State Comptroller’s guidelines will be adhered to.  It is also the policy of the University to utilize the approved local travel agent for employee travel planning, reservations, ticketing, and billing.  Reservations should be made utilizing contract airline fares provided by the Texas Procurement and Support Services Division (TPASS) unless the agency is able to secure a lower rate.


DEPARTMENTAL TRAVEL COORDINATOR

Each department shall assign employee travel arrangements, including airline, car, and hotel reservations, to a departmental travel coordinator.  The departmental travel coordinator will also be the contact person between the department and the University Travel Coordinator in the Finance Department.

 

PROCEDURE

The approved local travel agency that honors state contracted airfare rates provides the authorized travelers with group and individual passenger travel services, included but not limited to planning, reservations and ticketing for commercial air carriers and air service.  Use of the approved local travel agency allows official University trips to be billed directly to the University.

State Contracted Airfare Rates:  http://www.window.state.tx.us/procurement/prog/stmp/stmp-airline-contract/      

These contracts are required to be used by all executive branch state agencies, including institutions of higher education, when using general revenue or educational and general funds (Ledger 1), unless a valid exception exists.

Use of a lower fare, available to the general public, is allowable under the State Travel Management Program (STMP) rules as a valid exception if the airfare meets the needs of the traveler and the traveler can adhere to the rules and restrictions of the fare. Consequently, state travelers should review all airfare options in a city-pair to determine if lower fares than the contract airline fares are available.

Reminders:     

Airlines that did not receive the State's contract award in a specific city-pair may offer matched or lower "state rates."  A matched airfare is a rate that is the same or lower than the contract airline fare that is offered only to state business travelers and not available to the general public.  Use of matched airfares is NOT a valid exception to not using the contract airline fares.  When travelers do not use the contract airlines, the contract carrier does not receive an increase in business and may refuse to contract with the State in the future.

Use of a "matched" airfare on a non-contract airline is NOT an allowable exception when using state funds.

When purchasing a “package deal” that includes airfare, hotel, and/or meals, an itemization of each expense must be attached to the travel voucher.

The following procedures must be used by the departmental travel coordinator to obtain airline tickets:

  • A travel request form must be completed and assigned a travel number and budget number (cost center number). The form will be sent to the Finance Department to be used for billing the department/division.

  • Alternate dates for airfare usually require a Saturday night stay and advance purchase. These fares are generally lower and are non-refundable.

  • All tickets will include the itinerary, flight numbers, and confirmation numbers. Electronic tickets (e-tickets) will be in the form of an itinerary and will be faxed directly to the traveler or departmental travel contact. No paper ticket is available.

  • The approved local travel agency will bill the University through the university’s corporate card on the centrally billed account. The Finance Department will then prepare a voucher for payment charging the various departments/division.

Approved:

Signature Obtained                02/19/2009
Tim Hudson, Ph.D.                 Date
President

Next review date:  October 2011
Origination: Finance Department

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