USC Travel Policy FINA 1.00 [pdf] governs travel for university personnel. For domestic travel using federal funds, USC's per diem rate applies.
The Fly America Act governs air travel funded by federal projects. Generally, all flights charged to federal projects must be taken on U.S. flag air carriers or on foreign air carriers that code share with a U.S. flag carrier on the flight taken. This includes flights within the U.S. If there is no U.S. carrier to your destination, you must travel on a U.S. carrier as far as possible. By law, additional cost for U.S. carrier flights is not sufficient justification to fly on foreign carriers. Please note that the same rules apply to a foreign visitor's flights when supported by federal funds.
The biggest exception to the Fly America Act is the Open Skies Agreement. On October 6, 2010, the United States and European Union (EU) "Open Skies" Air Transport Agreement [pdf] was published by the U.S. General Services Administration providing full explanation of the multilateral agreement in place so that qualifying travelers, whose travel is supported by federal funds, may travel on European Union airlines as well as U.S. flag air carriers. A list of current member countries of the European Union is available at the Europa web site (plus Norway and Iceland). There are also Open Skies agreements with Australia, Switzerland and Japan.
Incorporating Travel Into Your Budget
- Itemize travel costs under separate categories for in-state, out-of-state, and foreign travel.
- Specify destination, mileage, air fare, number of trips, number of travelers and cost per trip, etc. as appropriate, along with budget justifications.
Vehicle Rental and Leasing Rates
- Short term vehicle renting/leasing rates
- Long term vehicle renting/leasing rates
- USC Vehicle Management Office
Mileage and Meal Allowance Rates
Refer to USC Travel Policy FINA 1.00 [pdf] for mileage rates (see page 5) and maximum meal allowances (see page 5).
Foreign Per Diem Rates
Foreign travel per diem rates are available at the U.S. State Department web site.
Air/Ground Travel and Accommodations
You may obtain travel cost estimates from either state-approved travel agencies or from several online travel agencies websites.