Air Travel
Surface Travel in Lieu of Air Travel 
Automobile Transportation 
Rail or Bus 
Public Transportation and Miscellaneous Auto-Related Expenses


Air Travel

The University will only reimburse airplane tickets booked economy/coach class. If scheduling or a medical condition necessitates other arrangements, prior approval of the supervisor is necessary. All efforts should be made to obtain advance-purchase or lowest fare in economy/coach class. This is defined as the lowest fare available for flights purchased 14 days or more in advance that meet the requirements of the business purpose of the travel. Additional fee-based costs or upgrades are not reimbursable.

In the event a non-refundable ticket must be changed or canceled, the airlines may charge a fee and issue a credit that normally must be used by that individual within the year. Since penalties for cancelled tickets can be quite high, the benefit of locking into a desirable advance-purchase fare should be weighed against the risk of having to make changes in travel plans. If there is an approved business reason for a cancellation and a penalty is incurred, the penalty is eligible for reimbursement at the time of ticket reissue if reissued for University business.

Most airlines have instituted new rules regarding the number, size and weight of bags allowed for each passenger. Individuals will be reimbursed for baggage fees resulting from the business purpose of the trip. Fees for extra baggage for personal items or associated personal travel will not be reimbursed by the University. Compensation for lost, stolen or damaged bags is not eligible for reimbursement by Bucknell. Individuals are responsible for processing their claims related to lost, stolen or damaged baggage through the airline and/or credit card company used to procure the travel.

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Surface Travel in Lieu of Air Travel

If advance approval from your supervisor has been obtained, an individual may use surface transportation for personal reasons even though air travel is the appropriate mode of transportation based on cost or distance. The cost of meals, lodging, parking, mileage, tolls, taxis, and other expenses while in transit using surface transportation may be reimbursed but should not exceed the cost of airfare using the prevailing economy/coach fare on a commercial airline for the destination.

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Automobile Transportation

Charges for tolls and parking are reimbursable. Depending on cost and circumstances, individuals may use one of the following types of automobile transportation for business travel:

University-Owned Vehicle from Bucknell's Fleet

Individuals are expected to use University-owned vehicles when possible to contain costs.

Please note that university vehicles may only be used for transportation to an airport if a Bucknell-driver is used and the car does not remain at the airport parking lot during an individual's travel. For additional details on the use of university vehicles please visit: Transportation Services

Personal Vehicle

Personal vehicles should only be used if there is no appropriate or available University-owned vehicle. When a personal vehicle is used, the University will reimburse for mileage at the approved University rate based on the actual miles traveled.

Personal vehicle mileage reimbursement should not exceed the cost of other available alternate transportation such as trains or planes. In cases where the individual elects to drive rather than travel by public or commercial transportation, the lower of the available alternatives will be reimbursed to the individual.

Individuals are not reimbursed for gas used in personal vehicles because that expense is included in the reimbursement for mileage. The mileage rate is also assumed to compensate for depreciation or other automobile expenses.

When two or more individuals on University business travel together in a private vehicle, only one individual may claim reimbursement for mileage.

When an employee's personal vehicle is driven on University business and the vehicle is involved in an accident, the vehicle owner's insurance policy will be primary, and the University's auto liability coverage will be secondary.

Employees driving personal vehicles on University business are responsible for reporting all accidents to their insurer, since there are serious coverage consequences for failure to report an accident. The University will not reimburse employees for their deductible incurred in an accident on University business.

Any additional questions regarding insurance coverage while on University business should be directed to Bucknell's Director of Risk Management (570-577-1149).

Commercial Rental Vehicle

Individuals should rent the most economical vehicle consistent with business needs and travel circumstances, but not to exceed a mid-size vehicle. Refueling the vehicle prior to returning a rental vehicle is expected to avoid refueling surcharges. Individuals will be reimbursed for actual vehicle rental expenses and gas; mileage rate reimbursement is not applicable.

When reserving rental vehicles, educational or other discounts (i.e. AAA, preferred vendors, AARP, etc.) should be requested. The University's sales tax exemption form should be submitted at the time of rental in states where applicable. Sales tax exemption forms are available from Procurement Services.

Individuals should rent a vehicle if it is necessary for transportation at the business destination or there is no other less expensive means of transportation available. If an individual rents a vehicle and uses the vehicle partially for personal use, the cost of the vehicle should be prorated.

Insurance and accident reporting when renting a car for University business:

  • You must be listed as the primary driver.
  • Decline the physical damage waiver (also known as CDW-collision damage waiver).
  • Decline the waiver of liability for damage.
  • Decline the personal accident insurance.
  • Identify any "additional drivers" on the rental agreement.
  • Adhere to all conditions of the rental agreement for operating the vehicle and reporting accidents.
  • Report all accidents to Bucknell's Director of Risk Management (570-577-1149).

If processing payment using a University corporate card, accidents must be reported to VISA. Failure to identify additional drivers on the rental agreement will void coverage through the credit card in the event of damage to the vehicle. Additional benefits can be found in the Visa Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver Program. For rental responsibilities, limitations and other details regarding corporate card coverage, refer to http://usa.visa.com/business/why-pay-with-visa/travel-benefits/bft-auto-rental-eclaims.html.

If you are processing payment using a personal credit card, prior to your accepting insurance coverage, we encourage you to verify coverage provided under the benefits of your own credit card.

Any additional questions regarding insurance coverage while on University business should be directed to Bucknell's Director of Risk Management (570-577-1149).

University-Owned Vehicle with a Driver

In some cases it is more economical to arrange for a University-approved driver for travel to an airport or train station. The cost of the driver should be weighed against the mileage and parking costs that would be associated with taking a personal vehicle. Bucknell's Transportation Services can provide quotes and make these arrangements.

Other Forms of Automobile Transportation

If the business need requires, other forms of automobile transportation can be used. Bucknell's Transportation Services can arrange for private car services.

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Rail or Bus

Rail or bus transportation may be used when it is more economical or for business necessity.

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Public Transportation and Miscellaneous Auto-Related Expenses

Fares, including tips, for local buses, subways, shuttles and taxis are reimbursable. The cost of ground transportation to and from an airport or station, including tip, is allowable to the extent such service is not already included in air or rail fares.

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