Business Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 95: Travel


BPPM 95.07

For more information contact:
   Travel Services

Reimbursable Expenses

Reimbursable transportation expenses include all necessary official travel on railroads, airlines, ships, buses, private automobiles, and other usual means of conveyance. (SAAM 10.50.10)

Residence and Official Station

Transportation costs between home and official station are a personal obligation of the employee. If a traveler’s official residence is not located within the limits of their official station, travel expense reimbursement is allowed from official station or official residence, whichever is less. See BPPM 95.01 for definitions of official station and official residence.

Maximum Allowance

When transportation on a scheduled airline is available, tourist-class airfare is the maximum amount that is reimbursed regardless of the mode of transportation actually used.

A traveler may elect to use a slower means of transportation instead of an available scheduled airline. In such a case, reimbursement for additional food and lodging expenses is not allowed. The difference in travel time between that spent on tourist air travel and the slower mode of transportation must be accounted for by leave status, e.g., annual leave.


Exceptions to this maximum allowance may be permitted under the following circumstances:

  • When performance of the official mission requires that some other means of transportation be used, e.g., a truck to haul equipment.
  • When the requirement results in undue hardship to the traveler.
  • When the ultimate cost to the University is less. For example, when two or more employees travel together in the same automobile, the total transportation cost may be less than two tourist-class airfares. Other considerations include loss of productive time and increased food and lodging costs.
  • When one leg of the flight outside the continental U.S. is over 14 hours long business class (premium class other than first class) air fare may be permitted.
  • When a non-air common carrier is used, business class may be approved when the higher class fare is necessary for having business interaction or for conducting state business while in route to the destination, and the higher class fare is less expensive than coach class airfare or is the only mode of travel available to arrive at the destination.

The responsible department chair, unit head, principal investigator, or project director must endorse a statement on a Spend Authorization in Workday describing the extenuating circumstances that justify the exception. (See BPPM 95.01 and the Workday Create Spend Authorization reference guide.)

If the traveler is an administrator, their supervisor must endorse the statement. In the absence of a specific statement, travel by air coach or tourist class is presumed and authorized.

Route the exception Spend Authorization in Workday to the Executive Director/Controller prior to the trip.

Common Carriers

Common carriers should be used in preference to other means of transportation. Scheduled airlines usually offer the greatest convenience at the least cost in terms of dollars and time.

Travelers are encouraged to utilize reduced-fare schedules or excursion rates whenever possible. Travelers should be aware that many carriers assess substantial penalty charges for cancellation of reduced-fare packages.


See BPPM 95.01 and the Workday Create Spend Authorization reference guide.

Paying Common Carrier Fares

The following procurement methods are considered acceptable for obtaining common carrier tickets.

  • Purchase tickets using a departmental Central Travel Account (CTA). This is the preferred method (see BPPM 95.04).
  • Purchase tickets using the traveler’s state travel charge card (see BPPM 95.03).
  • Purchase common carrier tickets using personal resources.

Reimbursement Procedure

The traveler claims transportation expenses on an Expense Report in Workday when the state travel charge card or personal resources are used. See BPPM 95.20 and the Workday Create Expense Report reference guide for instructions.

Regardless of the method used to pay for the common carrier expenses, the traveler must submit proof of payment of a common carrier ticket with the completed and approved Expense Report in Workday to claim reimbursement for the expenses. Receipts are required and must be attached to the Expense Report.

Unofficial Travel

Expenditures for unofficial travel that constitutes an incidental portion of an official trip may be included in the total travel package purchased with a CTA. The traveler is responsible for reimbursing the University for unofficial travel. Note: When applicable, the traveler uses approved leave for the personal portion of the trip (see BPPM 95.17).

Authorized Changes

If there is an authorized change in itinerary, the employee may pay the added cost and claim reimbursement on an Expense Report in Workday.


If the traveler does not use all or part of a ticket purchased with a CTA the traveler reports the fact to their department and provides documentation (e.g., tickets). The department works with the issuing bank (CTA or travel card), the airline, or travel agency to obtain refunds for CTA ticket purchases.

If the carrier makes a refund directly to the traveler, the refund must be taken to the Bursar’s Office immediately after the traveler returns.

Other Transportation

Motor Pool Vehicles

The WSU Motor Pool provides motor pool vehicles for official University business. Details are available in BPPM 95.35. See the WSU Pullman Motor Pool rate schedule.

For non-Pullman locations, contact the campus motor vehicles department.

Privately-Owned Vehicles

See BPPM 95.11

Rental Cars

See BPPM 95.12

Nonscheduled Aircraft

See BPPM 95.30

Local Transportation

See BPPM 95.08 for details regarding taxi, city bus, streetcar, monorail, subway, airport limousine, etc.

Revisions:  Jan. 2021 (Rev. 560); Mar. 2015 (Rev. 447); Nov. 2014 (Rev. 440); Oct. 2013 (Rev. 420); Mar. 2013 (Rev. 411); June 2007 (Rev. 299); Nov. 2004 (Rev. 250); July 1995 (Rev. 97); July 1992 (Rev. 89); July 1990 (Rev. 81); July 1986 (Rev. 64); Mar. 1984 (Rev. 55); Sept. 1982 (Rev. 49).