Travel Foreign

All travelers MUST use a U.S. air carrier or an air carrier with a code share with a U.S. carrier.  If none exists, please review the regulations regarding foreign air carriers below and complete and submit the Certificate of Non-availability.

If you are requesting reimbursement in a currency other than USD, please complete the Wire Transfer form and submit it with your reimbursement request.

U.S. Flag Carriers

Under the Fly America Act published in Federal Travel Regulation §301-10.13 by the General Services Administration (GSA), only U.S. air carriers shall be used for all travel reimbursed from federal grants and contracts, including NIH grants. However, there are exceptions to using only U.S. air carrier services under the Fly America Act, depending on the scenarios shown below:

  • Generally, U.S. air carrier services that provide nonstop or direct service from the origin to the destination must be used, unless such use would extend travel time, including delay at origin, by 24 hours or more;
  • Generally, U.S. air carrier services that do not offer nonstop or direct between origin and destination must be used on every portion of the route where it provides service, unless when compared to using a foreign air carrier, such use would:
    • Increase the number of aircraft changes outside the U.S. by two or more; or
    • Extend travel time by at least 6 hours or more; or
    • Require a connecting time of 4 hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
  • When the costs of transportation are reimbursed in full by a third party, such as a foreign government or an international agency, U.S. air carriers do not have to be used.

Open Skies Agreements.

“Open Skies Agreements” are bilateral or multilateral air transportation agreements to which the U.S. and the government of a foreign country are parties. Under the Open Skies Agreements, the U.S. government entered into several air transport agreements that allow federally funded transportation services for  travel and cargo movements to use foreign air carriers under certain circumstances. The Department of State’s website contains a list of countries the U.S. government has Open Skies Agreements with, including policy information contained in the various Open Skies Agreements. Transportation is allowed between a point in the United States and any point in a member state or between two points outside the U.S. subject to certain restrictions.

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