Airfare
Q:   Are boarding passes and e-tickets required? (revised 4/8/2014)
A:   No, boarding passes are not required by Disburing however, boarding passes and e-tickets MAY be helpful in the absence of any other receipt to substantiate the trip or specific costs. Below are two sample scenarios:

Scenario 1: Traveler goes on same day travel to Hilo, is dropped off at the airport in Honolulu, picked up in Hilo, no expenses incurred and no receipts to furnish. In this case, a boarding pass or e-ticket may be submitted, but it is still not required if the traveler signs/certifies the travel document.

Scenario 2: Unexpected change in flight plans which results in additional Lodging or M&IE owed to the traveler. In this case, boarding passes or e-tickets provide a simple means to reflect the flight change and substantiate the additional costs.
 
Q:   What are the payment options for booking airfare?
A:   The traveler may purchase airfare via personal credit card, or may inquire with their fiscal office to utilize a purchase order or University P-card (UH Mastercard).
 
Q:   Can a traveler purchase their own airline tickets?
A:   Yes. However, the earliest the traveler will be reimbursed is when the Travel Advance is processed (10 working days prior to departure) or when the Travel Completion is processed (after the traveler returns).
 
Q:   Can airfare be purchased on a P-card prior to the document being submitted to the Fiscal Office?
A:   Yes. However, the traveler should work with their fiscal office regarding approval and documentation requirements, and should keep their fiscal office apprised of status.
 
Q:   How should airfare quotations be handled when the trip involves business and personal time?
A:   Transportation should always be by the most economical and direct route. Check various airline prices in order to determine the most direct business route. Whichever is the most economical, add on the traveler’s personal time. The traveler is responsible for paying the difference if adding personal time results in higher airfare cost.

If the airfare cost for the business only itinerary is less than $2,500, TWO airfare quotes must be submitted: ONE quote for the business only itinerary and ONE quote/itinerary including the personal time.

If the airfare cost for the business only itinerary exceeds $2,499, FOUR airfare quotes must be submitted: THREE quotes for the business only portion, and ONE quote/itinerary including the personal time.
 
Q:   What is the recommended procedure for obtaining airfare quotations as supporting documentation?
A:   Airfare quotations can be for multiple carriers from one source (e.g. travel agent, travel search engine) or from multiple sources. However, since airline prices are so variable, all airfare quotations should be obtained on the same day for meaningful cost comparison purposes.
 
Q:   If taking personal time, can my airfare be charged to my P-card such that I reimburse the University for the difference?
A:   No. The P-card is to be used for business purposes only.
 
Q:   An employee buys an air ticket using his personal credit card but doesn’t file a Travel Request and then the trip is cancelled. Can the employee be reimbursed for the non-refundable, non-transferable ticket?
A:   With the appropriate approvals on a Travel Request/Completion, a reimbursement on airfare may be allowed.
 
   
 
Baggage
Q:   What is allowed in terms of reimbursement for excess baggage?
A:   Employees are entitled to one checked bag, based on the airlines standard weight and linear measurements. Any additional fees (e.g. second bag, special items, oversized and overweight baggage) are the responsibility of the traveler unless appropriate justification is provided that the additional fees are for official University business. For example, a legitimate business reason may include taking work-related supplies, presentation material and taking handouts.
 
Q:   Is a receipt required even for one checked bag?
A:   Yes.
 
   
 
Car Rental
Q:   Why is justification required for a non-compact car rental?
A:   Based on the Travel APM, transportation expenses shall be reimbursed based on the most economical mode. Therefore, compact or sub-compact cars should be used whenever possible and a business-related justification must be provided for all other vehicles.

For example, legitimate business reasons may be that the traveler is sharing the vehicle with other travelers, traveling to a remote area and require a certain type of vehicle, etc.
 
Q:   Is a car rental allowable if the traveler is staying at the conference venue?
A:   Justification must be provided as to the business purpose of the rental car. In addition, cost comparisons should be considered, i.e. renting a car for several days vs. utilizing other means of transportation such as taxi or shuttle.
 
Q:   Can I use my P-card to pay for the car rental?
A:   Yes, as long as your P-card has been unblocked for the appropriate merchant category code.
 
Q:   Use of non-commercial vendors for car rental charges – can an employee traveler pay an individual to rent a car and claim reimbursement as a business expense?
A:   No. Example, using a friend's car.
 
Q:   Can I rent a car or am I required to take a taxi/shuttle?
A:   This should be determined based on the traveler’s business needs and a cost comparison of the various transportation options.
 
   
 
Mileage
Q:   What is the process for claiming mileage related to travel?
A:   The Mileage Form (DISB-33) must be completed and submitted with the travel document. The form can be obtained here.
 
Q:   Can an employee make a business mileage claim on a car that he/she does not own, i.e. “my aunty’s car”?
A:   No. Mileage comes under fringe benefits, which only applies to one's own vehicle or a spouse’s vehicle.
 
   
 
Taxi
Q:   Can a traveler claim taxi from the airport to their residence when they return from a trip?
A:   Yes.
 
Q:   What if the taxi receipt does not include from/to locations?
A:   Rarely does a taxi receipt include this information. However, the traveler should note the from/to destination on the receipt.
 
Q:   If a traveler takes a taxi to have a meal, can the traveler be reimbursed for the taxi fare or is that included as part of their M&IE allowance?
A:   Transportation fare for the sole purpose of eating a personal meal is included as part of the traveler's M&IE.
 
   
 
Receipts
Q:   Is an email receipt acceptable?
A:   An email confirmation from the Payee is acceptable if it shows a name of the payee, the amount of the charge, the transaction date, and the form of payment.
 
Q:   What constitutes sufficient proof of payment?
A:   Original receipts showing the amount paid and the method of payment.

Note: In an effort to minimize the risk of compromising sensitive data, the Disbursing Office prefers not to collect credit card statements and/or bank statements. If this is the only means of documentation available, please take the appropriate measures of concealing account number data.
 
Q:   When are receipts or proof of payment required?
A:   Receipts and proof of payment are required for all lodging reimbursements and for any expense the traveler paid for and is requesting reimbursement (excluding meals and incidental expenses).   Special note: For travelers entitled to a flat rate set by bargaining unit contract (e.g. bargaining units 01, 02, 03, 04, 09, 10 and 63), lodging receipts are only required for excess lodging.
 
Q:   Do the receipts need to be in chronological order?
A:   The review process will be easier if the receipts are grouped by type of expense and in chronological order. The more organized the documentation, the easier it is for someone who didn’t go on the trip to review the paperwork.
 
Q:   Can copies of receipts be submitted in place of originals?
A:   Reimbursement for expenses requires original receipts.
 
Q:   Is a handwritten receipt acceptable?
A:   No. However, in very unusual situations this may be acceptable (such as in certain foreign locations or remote destinations where printed receipts are not available). An explanation must be provided and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
 
Q:   I have a receipt in a foreign currency. How do I determine the US Dollar (USD) conversion rate to use for my travel reimbursement?
A:   Determining the actual USD amount for a receipt in a foreign currency can be accomplished in one of the following ways:
  • For credit card payments, the traveler's credit card statement will show the converted USD amount.
  • For cash payment s, a currency converter (OANDA) will show the converted USD amount. The converted USD amount is based on the receipt date. eTravel has a currency converter built into the system.
  • Currency Exchange receipts may also be used to determine the converted USD amount but is limited to the total amount of foreign currency exchanged.
 
Q:   What is the process for claiming reimbursement w/o a receipt?
A:   The traveler must provide some means to show payment was made and the amount of the expense.
 
Q:   What is the maximum amount you can claim when a receipt is missing?
A:   $75 which is based on IRS Regulation Section 1.274-5(c)(2)(ii)(A)(2).
 
Q:   What receipts do I need to save and submit with my Travel Completion?
A:   Original receipts must be provided for any business related expense the traveler is claiming reimbursement for. The only time receipts aren't required is for Meals & Incidental Expenses since the traveler receives a daily M&IE allowance.