Economy Class Fares and Upgrades

Airlines are increasingly offering stripped-down economy class airfares by removing such amenities as assigned seats and the ability to bring carry-on baggage. SJSU’s Travel Guide states, “Transportation by scheduled airlines shall be allowed at the lowest fare available at time of booking.” If a traveler has a business reason for purchasing other than the lowest fare available, that reason should be noted in the FTS reimbursement document where Approving Officials can easily see it – preferably in the “Additional Trip Details” field. If the business reason for an upgrade is indicated in the FTS reimbursement request, approval of the request by an Approving Official indicates approval of the upgrade. If the business reason for an upgrade is not indicated in the reimbursement request, Finance will ask the traveler for a justification, and may refer weak cases back to the Approving Official for review.

Travelers are responsible for the cost of unapproved upgrades. If the purchase was made via a GoCard, the traveler will be asked to reimburse the University.

Travelers may elect to upgrade their seats using personal resources. If not handled as a separate transaction, the FTS reimbursement request should include only the base fare amount.

FTS Travel Module Enhancements

Modifications were made to FTS Travel Authorization-

Added New Traveler’s University Affiliation Type:  “Student Employee”

The majority of SJSU students do not have access to use the FTS Travel module. Access to the system is allowed for active employees and POI-Others only, verified by FTS using HCM data.  However, students employed by the university as Student or Graduate Assistants are “active employees” and therefore do have access to FTS and the Travel module.  For those few students who find they can, and choose to use FTS Travel (instead of the paper Travel Authorization and Travel Reimbursement forms), they can now identify their university affiliation as “Student Employee”.

Please note: We strongly advise having a Requester create the Travel Authorization for the student traveler to ensure the appropriate DeptID and funding chartfield are used. This allows both the Traveler and the Requester the ability to complete or update the Travel Authorization and Travel Reimbursement. The Traveler is always required to complete the “Submit for Approval” step themselves.

Created New Section: “Funding Source”

In the Travel Authorization, travelers will sometimes select the Travel Type, “Business Related” and then are unable to select the “Travel Paid by Non-University Funds” option as well when appropriate.  Not identifying the funding source correctly can cause confusion when insurance is required to be purchased by the appropriate entity, and also, a Travel Reimbursement is created that will never be used for State funding.

By creating a “Funding Source” section in the Travel Authorization, this will allow travelers to select a Travel Type and indicate the appropriate funding source.  The “Travel Paid By University Funds” is the default funding source; the “Travel Paid By Non-University Funds” must be selected when appropriate.

Please forward this message to any staff or faculty you feel should be notified.  If there are any questions, contact Finance Support at financeconnect@sjsu.edu or 4-1558.

Update- New State Added to Restricted List

With the effective date June 22, 2018, Oklahoma has been added to Assembly Bill 1887, the law restricting the funding or sponsoring of state business travel to states with discriminatory laws.

The current list of restricted states are as follows: 

  • Alabama
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas

Background

As of January 1, 2017, the CSU Travel Policy and Procedures has been revised to comply with Assembly Bill 1887, which added Section 11139.8 to the Government Code relating to discrimination and was approved by the governor in September, 2016.  As a result of this law, it has been determined that SJSU is restricted from requiring employees to travel to certain states, and is prohibited from approving funding or sponsoring travel to those states with laws enacted to void or repeal discrimination protections, or, to authorize or require discrimination.

Exceptions to the prohibitions that may be granted, and of note to SJSU, include the following (see SJSU Travel Guide for the complete list):

  • To meet contractual obligations incurred before January 1, 2017.
  • To participate in meetings or training required by a grant or required to maintain grant funding.
  • For the protection of public health, welfare, or safety, as determined by the CSU or other state agencies.

The list of affected states is maintained on the California State Attorney General website, State of California Department of Justice.  Travelers and approvers are advised to check the website when planning or approving out-of-state travel.  Auxiliary funds may be used for travel to restricted states.

References