LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 11, 2020) — University of Kentucky officials are making some temporary changes to travel policies and procedures due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) worldwide.
Effective immediately, UK employees booking travel on behalf of the university will be allowed to purchase refundable tickets, trip insurance, or other similar expenses because of the uncertainty of the impact of the coronavirus internationally and in the United States. As is currently in practice, UK will continue to reimburse university travelers for any necessary airline cancellation/change fees.
Please note that this is a temporary exception to the Business Procedures Manual E-5-1 Reimbursement of Travel Expenses and will be rescinded when appropriate.
Please note these temporary procedures:
- Purchase of refundable airline tickets and trip cancellation insurance (if it covers coronavirus), and similar justified expenses are allowed.
- Employees must utilize UK Travel Services (AAA, Concur or Avant Travel) to purchase all airline tickets for official university travel.
- Tickets should be purchased no sooner than three weeks prior to travel departure date.
- Ticket cancellation/change fees will be reimbursed.
UK Travel Services (AAA, Concur and Avant Travel) are aware of these temporary procedures.
AAA, Concur and Avant Travel Ticket Cancellations: If you must cancel an airline ticket purchased through UK Travel Services (AAA, Concur or Avant Travel), please call AAA at 323-5354 (for AAA and Concur tickets) or call Avant Travel at 233-0000. AAA and Avant are aware of latest rules for cancellation and will advise you accordingly should you need to cancel. Due to the impact of the coronavirus, here is the current airline news about ticket change fees (which are charged at the time an unused ticket credit is exchanged for a new ticket):
- Delta, American and United are all allowing travelers holding tickets to any destination in March and April to change or cancel their flight without paying a hefty change fee, regardless of when they bought the ticket.
- Additionally, Delta is allowing travelers to make a one-time change to travel plans without a fee for travel through May 31 for: Shanghai and Beijing, China; Seoul, South Korea; and all locations in Italy including Bologna, Milan, Rome, Turin and Venice.
- For travel after April for any other destination, cancellation will follow the rules of the fare purchased, unless the airlines have canceled travel to the destination (and communicated that change fees will be waived).
We will communicate any further adjustments to standard travel policy and procedures.
Update Business Procedure E 5-1
When traveling on official university business, the lowest available airfare that meets the business needs of the traveler should be purchased. When evaluating the lowest cost option, transportation to/from the airport must be considered in the cost.
Travelers are temporarily required to utilize UK Travel Services for arranging official university travel, in support of vendor contracts, to take advantage of travel discounts, and to be included in the university risk management tracking system. Requests for an exception must be reviewed and approved in advance in accordance with item C. Flight cancellation/change fees will be reimbursed in the event of an emergency.
For more information about the university’s preparedness for coronavirus, event cancellations, FAQs, Spring Break guidance and the latest information and advisories from the CDC and Department of State, visit https://www.uky.edu/coronavirus/. Anyone from the UK community who has questions can email firstname.lastname@example.org.