Travel FAQs

Airfare | Receipts | Lodging | Cars | Reimbursements | Credit Cards | Forms | Non-Employees | Budget | Food


Can I use my Corporate VISA card to purchase airfare?

  • Yes. You may use your WWU Travel Card to purchase airfare at a ticket counter, directly with an airline, or with one of our travel agents.

How do I book my airfare?

  • If you have a WWU Travel Card, you may purchase airfare at a ticket counter, directly with an airline, or with one of our travel agents.

    If you do not have a WWU Travel Card, you must complete a Travel Authorization (TA) web form. When that form has been locked, you may contact one of Western's approved travel agents and arrange airfare.

Can I purchase airfare from a travel website if it's cheap?

  • No, travel websites such as Expedia or Travelocity are “third party” sites which we are not allowed to purchase from. If you find cheap flights there, try going to the website for the actual airline and searching for the same flight.

Can I use my own credit card to purchase airfare or train fare?

  • With the exception of emergency situations, as described in the state manual ( SAAM 10.50.70), airfare can only be purchased with a WWU Travel Card.
    However, train/rail fare may be purchased with personal funds, such as a personal credit card.


What kind of receipts do I need to keep from my trip?

  • Original receipts are required for reimbursement of lodging (hotel), rental cars, and fuel (when actual fuel expenses will be reimbursed rather than privately owned vehicle mileage).

    Receipts are not required for reimbursement of privately owned vehicle mileage, per diem meals, taxi, or ferry fares.

    Contact the Travel Desk if you have a question regarding a type of expense not listed here.

What if my receipt has someone else’s name on it?

  • Receipts must be in the name of the person seeking reimbursement.  If you will be splitting an expense, please try to obtain a receipt for your half of the purchase. If that is not possible, obtain a memo from the person named on the receipt. The memo needs to indicate that you (the payee) covered a specific dollar amount for a specific item/service and that the person named on the receipt (and writing the memo) will not seek reimbursement from WWU for the expense. The memo should be signed by the named person.

What should I do if I lose my receipt?

  • Start by trying to obtain a replacement. Contact the merchant where you made the purchase or paid for the service and see if they can send you a replacement receipt. If not, contact the Travel Desk and ask about whether the expense may be reimbursed using an Affidavit of Lost Receipt.


Can I use a card other than my Corporate VISA to pay for my hotel?

  • Yes, but please make sure to take the time to get the hotel folio (receipt) that actually shows you paid for the lodging. Using early checkout will produce a receipt that indicates the amount as still being due. If you use your WWU Travel Card, the Travel Desk can print a report from the web showing the charge and your reimbursement will not be delayed.

What do I do if I want to share a room with someone?

  • That is great! Please try to work with the hotel to see if they can issue a receipt for each person’s expenses. If they can only issue one receipt, please ask if they can put both your names on the room folio. When the room is paid for, ask the hotel for each of you to get a copy of the folio/receipt.


How do I rent a car?

  • Enterprise rentals may be reserved via the phone or web. Visit the Washington State Enterprise reservations web site to reserve a car under the current state contract terms:

    For out-of-state rentals, use a credit card reservation. This means that the traveler who picks up the car will pay for the rental with a credit card.

    For in-state rentals, you may use the credit card option, or use a Purchase Order. To use a Purchase Order, have a WWU Purchase Form ready when you make the reservation. Give Enterprise the pre-printed number from the Purchase Form. This will be your Purchase Order number. Complete the Purchase Form marked as Department Order, and mail to MS 1420. Enterprise will bill WWU for the rental.

What is the current mileage rate?


How long does it take for me to get reimbursed?

  • Accounts Payable will process a complete and accurate reimbursement request within 10 days of receipt.

What form should I use to get reimbursed for mileage on a one day trip?

  • Employees and anyone with web form access should use the Mileage & Day Trip Expense Voucher for reimbursement of privately owned vehicle mileage.

Credit Cards

Do I pay my VISA bill before I get my reimbursement?

  • WWU Travel Card payment should be made independent of reimbursement. Expenses on your travel card may be reimbursed prior to the bill being paid, but the bill should be paid by its due date whether you have received reimbursement or not. Our hope is to reimburse you prior to the charges on your card being due, but timing does not always allow for that.

Can I use a P-Card to pay for travel?

  • No. However, a PCard can be used to pay registrations.


What is the difference between a TA and a TE?

  • A TA and a TE are the same thing and the terms may be used interchangeably. The TE is a Travel Authorization – Electronic.

When should I complete a TA?

  • A TA should be completed for any travel that requires: you to leave Washington state; a traveler to enter Washington from another state/country; you/the traveler to spend more than 1 night away from their official residence.


What is the best way to arrange non-employee travel?

  • The type of non-employee and their cancellation risk factor should be your guide when arranging travel. Non-employees who are closely associated with WWU, such as students, or local volunteers should be treated most like employees. You should assist or direct them in travel arrangements as you might another staff member, or faculty.  For non-employees who are not closely associated with WWU, consider how likely they are to cancel the trip and what level of support they are expecting (either by contract, or habit). If they are likely to cancel, consider leaving them to arrange their own travel and set them up to be reimbursed. If we are contractually obligated or as a courtesy want to extend support in the arrangement of travel, they may be treated similarly to a WWU employee. Airfare may be booked through the travel agent, hotels may be arranged as being billed to WWU, and a rental car may be booked against a Purchase Order.


Are there different rules for state funds vs. self-sustaining, auxiliary, and WWU Foundation funds?

  • Sometimes there are, but in general no. It is better to plan based on state regulations regardless of funding source.  The current travel freeze is specifically on 10200 funds which are state and tuition funds. The travel freeze does not apply to auxiliary, self-sustaining, Alumni, or WWU Foundation Funds. Please contact the Travel Desk with questions regarding specific situations.


Can I get reimbursed for my meals?

  • For overnight travel, you may be reimbursed per meal per diem for the meal times during which you were in travel status.

    For day travel (where you depart and return on the same day), you must be in travel status for 3 hours beyond your normal work day to qualify for meal reimbursement. The three hours may be at the start of the trip, end, or a combination of both.  If you qualify, you may be reimbursed for the meals during which you were in travel status.
Page Updated 03.25.2014