No receipts should reflect alcohol or alcohol related charges

By Air

Fellows should attempt to purchase tickets at least 14 days in advance to take advantage of discount/advance purchase fares (unless extenuating circumstances do not allow the advance purchase). Only U.S.-based, economy class*, commercial airline flights are reimbursable. If there is no U.S. carrier option available prior written AAAS approval is necessary for an FAA exemption. Non-US carriers that share flight codes with US airlines may be permissible but must be booked through the U.S. carrier side of the code share. You need documentation showing this permissible code share in order to be compliant with the FAA. Please do not rely on advice from the Concur travel agent about FAA compliance, as they do not understand how it pertains to AAAS policy. Violation of compliance will result in personal financial liability. If you are unsure about compliance contact us at for questions, clarification or concerns prior to booking your ticket.

Selection of air carrier and/or flight times are not to be decided based on frequent flyer mileage or other travel awards unless the rate is consistent with the lowest quoted fare. Using alternative airports in large cities, such as BWI or Dulles in the Washington, D.C. area, may result in substantially lower ticket prices, even after the cost of shuttle service or taxi fare is taken into consideration.

A fellow may elect to arrive earlier than or stay beyond the approved conference/training at his/her business destination; however, all additional non-business days are to be considered personal travel and are not reimbursable. Likewise, you must have approval to take personal days away from your host office; the approval for personal travel must be included in your request for travel. For trips with personal travel extending beyond approved travel dates, an airfare comparison must be submitted showing the cost of travel for the approved (business-only) travel dates and the actual airfare with the personal travel days. The fellow will be financially responsible for any fare difference above that of the approved travel dates. Other related expenses (hotel, food, etc.) for travel on personal days are not reimbursable.

* Business-class airfare may in some rare cases be permissible, but only when less costly arrangements: (1) are not available at the time reservations are made or reasonably should have been made; (2) would require difficult or circuitous routing; (3) would result in significant discomfort or hardship to the traveler because of his/her physical or medical requirements; (4) would result in additional direct costs which would offset the savings in coach class transportation costs; (5) would greatly increase the duration of the trip; or (6) would require travel to begin or end at unreasonable hours. All such requests must be approved in advance by both the fellow's supervisor (in writing via email) and the AAAS Department Head. The approval process may take 5-7 business days so plan ahead.  

Required Documentation: Travel invoice and boarding passes.

By Automobile

Personal automobile transportation will be reimbursed at the rate authorized in IRS regulations (mileage reimbursement cannot exceed the cost of economy airfare plus bus or shuttle transportation to and from airports).

Car rentals may be undertaken only when other transportation is unavailable or impractical. AAAS will reimburse for the cost of the rental, insurance, gasoline, parking, and tolls, according to actual expenditures. Rental reimbursement is limited to economy or mid-size rates unless business requirements justify a larger, more costly vehicle. A business justification for car rentals must be provided in the travel approval request prior to renting the car. Without this approval, car rentals and associated costs will not be reimbursed. Written advance approval from the fellow's host office POC must be provided along with written justification with the TER form. Whenever possible, rental reservations should be made through the AAAS-designated travel agent in order to take advantage of negotiated rates, when available.

Required Documentation: Car rental receipt; Google directions to destination, with total mileage displayed for personal automobile mileage.

By Rail or Bus

Rail and bus travel must be economy/coach class, unless other arrangements are necessary for physical disability (requires prior approval from AAAS), or if the cost of the higher level class is justified by meeting time restrictions and/or allows the fellow to avoid staying overnight and incurring hotel and meal charges that would exceed the cost of the economy class travel plus those additional expenses (requires prior approval from AAAS).

Required Documentation: Receipt and boarding pass (stub or electronic printed pass).

By Taxi/Shuttle

Taxis and shuttles may be used for transport to/from the airport and to destinations related to fellowship activities when mass transit is not available or feasible (e.g. very early or late arrivals/departures, inefficient multiple connections, delays due to schedules, carrying excess luggage and/or equipment, or unsafe areas). All travel must be via economy class, therefore charges such as limousine service typically will not be reimbursed. However, limo service may be reimbursed with documentation that it was less than or equal to the cost of a taxi or shuttle to the same destination.  If there are unusual circumstances that require use of non-economy transportation, the fellow must provide a detailed rationale on the reimbursement request. AAAS reserves the right to decline reimbursement for non-economy travel.

Required Documentation:  Taxi or shuttle receipt.


As a guideline per diem lodging rates for single room occupancy should be used. If your lodging is over the per diem rate, you will only be reimbursed up to the per diem rate. If your lodging is under the per diem rate you will only be reimbursed for the expense incurred. Lodging per diem rates do not include taxes. All lodging related taxes and tips should be accounted for under miscellaneous expenses on the TER. 

Lodging expenses in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area incurred by fellows may be reimbursed only with justification and advance written approval from the fellow's host office POC and AAAS (per IRS regulations, such reimbursement will be reported as income to the fellow).

Required Documentation:  Hotel checkout receipt or an on-line broker receipt (such as Orbitz or Travelocity) showing proof of payment and/or an effective balance of zero.

Meal and Incidental Expenses (M&IE):

Meals will now be reimbursed at the local per diem rate, according to GSA (link is external) for US travel or US Department of State (link is external) for international travel. No specific meal receipts are required documentation.

Required Documentation:  M&IE (link is external) rates for all locals must be attached to your TER.