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Exceptions to Coach and Economy Class Airfare

Find out about the special circumstances that may make a UC San Diego business traveler eligible for reimbursement of fares booked outside of policy.

Background: Employees should use coach or economy class for UC San Diego business travel, regardless of the purpose of the travel or the fund source. Fees for early check in, priority boarding, or seat selection are reimbursable only when the original ticket is booked in Connexxus or with the Travel Card and there is no change to the class of travel.  A business purpose for the purchase is required.  

Expenses incurred for purchasing tickets not considered coach or economy class are only reimbursable when:

  • A higher cost service is the only service offered between two points
  • Coach or economy class is more expensive than first-class, business or other typically higher cost service for the desired route due to scheduling difficulties requiring extra hotel and subsistence expense
  • Coach or economy class is more time-consuming than first-class, business or other typically higher cost service for the desired route due to circuitous routing or long layovers when making connections
  • The itinerary involves overnight travel without an opportunity for normal rest before the commencement of working hours
  • A medical need or disability requires accommodation. The need/ disability must be certified by a physician and chronic conditions updated annually, except in the case of permanent conditions which require a certification stating such.

Consider the fund source. Some fund sources may restrict first class, business, or other higher cost service of travel. In cases where the fund source policy is more restrictive than UC/ UC San Diego policy, the more restrictive policy applies.

Reimbursement for business, economy plus, or first-class travel: When requesting reimbursement for business, economy plus or first-class travel, include a description of the appropriate circumstance in the Notes field of the Air tab in MyTravel. Note: Appropriate justification must reflect a demonstrated need rather than any reason associated with personal convenience.

Other circumstances: If the reason for the upgraded class is not listed above, you must request written advance approval from the Director of UC San Diego Travel by emailing the Director via BFSupport. If you receive authorization indicate this in the Notes field of the Air tab in MyTravel. The department approver should use Send for Review in MyApprovals to establish an audit trail for the policy exception.

Note: this page has a friendly link that's easy to remember: http://blink.ucsd.edu/go/fcairfare

Notice: UC San Diego travel policy, as published in Blink, is decisive. It has been adapted to UC San Diego's organization, delegation of authority, terminology, chart of accounts and processing applications. The source for UC San Diego travel policy is UC Travel Policy and Regulations (PDF).