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.

Comparable Documentation

You need to attach a comparable to your travel  approval request when you are adding personal travel to your work  related travel or your location of departure or return is somewhere  other than the greater Washington, DC area. The purpose of this document  may be to show costs of multiple flights/train fares (3 or more) for  work related travel and locations since the actual flight/ train fares  being booked will include personal travel and/or have different  departure/return locations. If the cost of the actual flight booked  exceeds the lowest price in the comparable document the fellow will be  responsible for the difference.


Required Documentation: 1-2 page PDF document of  flight/train search results for business dates only (dates of travel if  no personal travel was involved).  Search results must be a list of  flight/train quotes. 


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.