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FAQ's - Travel Refund Guidance

In light of our temporary travel ban, what do I do about expenses I’ve already paid?

If paid Personally: Any cancellation fees or charges incurred to book travel now cancelled will be reimbursed by the University.  Travelers or their delegates should make reasonable efforts to obtain a refund.  Any expense reports that contain cancellation fees should select the “COVID” expense type.

If paid on a University One Card: For any travel related expenses already charged to a card, the cardholder or their delegate should work with each relevant vendor to request a refund.  If the vendors refuse refund, the expenses should be reconciled on an expense report using the “COVID” expense type.. 

What funding should I use for my travel reimbursements or One Card reconciliations?

Funding should be based on the current budgeted expenses for the travel within your department or grant funded project.

How should specific vendors/expenses be handled?

Conference Fees: Contact conference organizers and request a full refund. If they require proof of the travel ban, you may forward the University communication on the ban.

Hotel Costs: We recommend you call the main contact center for the hotel to cancel and request no penalty.


If you have already been reimbursed - If you have already been reimbursed for the airfare and receive a refund, you or your delegate should create a negative expense report in the University’s T&E system using the “COVID” expense type.  This amount will be offset against a future reimbursement.

If you have not been reimbursed - If the airline does not give a refund, inform your manager and prepare an employee reimbursement in the University’s T & E system using the “COVID” expense type or reconcile the charge if the University One Card was used. 

If the airline provides a voucher or a flight credit in your name, inform your manager. This voucher should be appropriately used for future UM business.

Updated information regarding accommodations made by airlines and other travel partners can be found on the University’s travel site.

Car Rentals: Though most car rental companies will not charge unless you actually rent the vehicle, please ensure you’ve cancelled the reservation prior to the scheduled date of pick-up.  If you are charged for a car you’ve not rented, please follow the guidance under the airfare section above.

Does the University have any resources to help? The University has global contracts with Enterprise, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Airlines.  Each vendor has been informed of likely increases in cancellations.

If you utilized a travel agency to book your travel, contact the agency’s support line regarding the cancellation. If you booked travel through a third-party site, you will need to inquire with the provider to determine what cancellation policies are in-place.

What documentation is required? Documentation requirements for reimbursement will not change.  Employees are required to document with a receipt any expense in excess of $75.  Travelers are NOT required to submit any correspondence or other documentation of attempted cancellations.

What if I have already submitted my ER for a canceled trip? No additional steps are needed.

What if my travel is funded by an externally funded sponsored project (grant or contract)? We want to treat all fund types consistently. Any travel related expenses that cannot be refunded by the vendor would typically be allowable on a sponsored project.  However, please reach out to your campus sponsored project office as needed for specific questions about your situation. Any refunds that are received should be applied to the same sponsored project that incurred the original expense.

For additional information contact:

Finance Support Center

  • 573-884-1234
  • 877-752-1117


Reviewed 2020-06-09