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International Travel

Approval Authority

In addition to all other policies set forth in the travel policy, the following policies must be adhered to when traveling internationally.  The following approvals must be obtained in advance, dated and submitted with the traveler's expense report.

Air Travel Emphasized

The guidelines stated for air travel apply to international travel.  Business class is allowable  for international travel when approved in advance by the respective agency head or designee.  

Reimbursement for first class travel is prohibited.

With proper documentation, justification, and approval the State will reimburse:

The Fly America Act was enacted to mandate the use of U.S. flag air carriers for federally funded international travel.  The Federal Travel Regulations requires international flights be on U.S. flag air carriers whenever possible, which is accomplished when code sharing is present.  Code sharing occurs when two or more airlines "code' the same flight as if it was their own.  In other words, the international flight may be on a foreign air carrier's plane, but is consider the same as one operated by an U.S. flag air carrier.  Compliance with the Fly America act is satisfied when the U.S. flag air carrier's designator code is present in the area next to the flight numbers on the airline ticket, boarding pass, or on the documentation for an electronic ticket (passenger receipt).

What does this mean to you?  If you are scheduling international travel that is federally funded, you must ensure that all flights, where possible, are scheduled on U.S. flag air carriers or on foreign air carriers that code share with a U.S. flag air carrier.  

Meal Reimbursement

Federal per diem for meals also applies to international travel and when traveling to destinations outside the Continental United States (OCONUS), including Hawaii and Alaska.  When filing an expense report in the PeopleSoft system, the traveler can obtain the proper per diem amounts based upon travel to specific cities.

Per diem rates include both the cost of meals and incidental expenses.  Incidental expenses include:  fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel housekeeping, stewards or stewardesses, and hotel staff, and transportation to restaurants.  Per diem for incidental expenses may be claimed in addition to individual meal per diem; however if incidental per diem is claimed, no other incidental expenses may be entered on the traveler's expense statement.  Ground transportation (e.g., taxi, shuttle) to and from airports and railroad stations, and between business meetings while on travel status, is not included in the per diem incidentals.  Additionally, the Reimbursable Miscellaneous Expenses referenced in Section 5 are not included in the per diem incidentals.

Travelers are eligible for 75 percent of the total per diem rate on the first and last day of travel.  For a complete listing of the GSA per diem tables visit the GSA per diem website.  For a Breakout of Foreign Meals/Incidentals visit the Foreign Appendix B website.  

Foreign Currency Conversion

When a traveler incurs expense in a foreign currency each expense should be converted to United States dollars (USD).  The following methods are acceptable: