Foreign TravelForeign Travel
See Policy 6.2 Authorization of Travel for the complete policy regarding export control review and TA approval for international trips.
Please see Policy 6.6 Air Transportation for a detailed explanation on the use of Institute, GTRC and Foundation funds for business class travel.
The Fly America Act
Use of U.S. Flag Air Carriers
a. The General Services Administration issued an amendment to the Federal Travel Regulations in the November 13, 1998 edition of the Federal Register (Vol. 63, No. 219). The amendment relates to the use of U.S. flag air carriers under the provisions of 49 U.S.C. 40118, which is commonly referred to as the Fly America Act.
b. Any air transportation to, from, between or within a country other than the U.S. of persons or property, the expense of which will be assisted by federal funding, must be performed by, or under a code-sharing arrangement with, a U.S. flag air carrier if service provided by such a carrier is “available” (see Comp. Gen. Decision B-240956, dated September 25, 1991). Tickets must identify the U.S. flag air carrier’s designator code and flight number.
c. For the purposes of this requirement, U.S. flag air carrier service is considered “available” even though:
- comparable or a different kind of service can be provided at less cost by a foreign-flag air carrier;
- foreign-flag air carrier service is preferred by or is more convenient for federal funding or traveler; or
- service by a foreign-flag air carrier can be paid for in excess foreign currency.
d. The following rules apply unless their application would result in the first or last leg of travel from or to the U.S. being performed by a foreign-flag air carrier:
- a U.S. flag air carrier shall be used to destination or, in the absence of direct or through service, to the farthest interchange point on a usually traveled route;
- if a U.S. flag air carrier does not serve an origin or interchange point, a foreign-flag air carrier shall be used only to the nearest interchange point on a usually traveled route to connect with a U.S. flag air carrier; or
- if a U.S. flag air carrier involuntarily reroutes the traveler via a foreign-flag carrier, the foreign-flag air carrier may be used notwithstanding the availability of alternative U.S. flag air carrier service.
Use of Foreign-Flag Air Carriers
a. Travel To and From the U.S. - Use of a foreign-flag air carrier is permissible if the airport abroad is:
- the traveler’s origin or destination airport, and use of U.S. flag air carrier service would extend the time in a travel status by at least 24 hours more than travel by a foreign-flag carrier; or
- an interchange point, and use of U.S. flag air carrier service would increase the number of aircraft changes the traveler must make outside of the U.S. by 2 or more, would require the traveler to wait four hours or more to make connections at that point, or would extend the time in a travel status by at least six hours more than travel by a foreign-flag air carrier.
b. Travel Between Points Outside the U.S. - Use of a foreign-flag air carrier is permissible if travel by a:
- Foreign-flag air carrier would eliminate two or more aircraft changes en route;
- U.S. flag air carrier would extend the time in a travel status by at least four hours more than travel by a foreign-flag air carrier and the travel is not part of the trip to or from the U.S.; or
- U.S. flag air carrier would require a connecting time of four hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
c. Short Distance Travel. For all short distance travel, regardless of origin and destination, use of a foreign-flag air carrier is permissible if the elapsed travel time on a scheduled flight from origin to destination airport by a foreign-flag air carrier is three hours or less and service by a U.S. flag air carrier would double the travel time.
Employees should always request all available insurance for foreign rentals, as standard Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Liability Damage Waiver (LDW) coverage may not be included. Insurance on foreign rentals is fully reimbursable.
Foreign Meal Allowances
Meal expenses will be reimbursed according to the federal per diem rate (minus the incidentals) established for the travel destination. Reimbursement for alcoholic beverages is not permitted.
When requesting reimbursement, all amounts claimed should be in U.S. Dollars. Each receipt should have the conversion to U.S. dollars clearly noted next to the foreign charge. Conversion rates can vary, the rate used should be included with the backup documentation. Travelers may submit documentation for currency exchange centers, web currency conversion rates (oanda.com, xe.com, etc), or may calculate the conversion used by credit card providers on the traveler’s statement.
State Department Travel Advisories
Information regarding travel warnings, consular information sheets and public announcements can be found at the U.S. State Department web site http://travel.state.gov/.
Value Added Tax (VAT) Recovery
Georgia Tech has contracted with a primary agent for recovery of VAT tax related to international travel and study abroad activities.
All net recovered funds are posted to an institutional account, unless a VAT stamp is used on the original invoice with an appropriate designated worktag. Refunds can take up to 9 months to receive via the foreign revenue agents and a collection fee is deducted from all refunds.