Principal Investigators, Projects Directors and their associated staff are reminded that air travel under all sponsored agreements, grants, contacts or cooperative agreements, must be accomplished by utilizing US flag air carriers to all destinations, foreign and domestic. The use of US Flag air carriers is mandated under federal travel regulations (Controller General Decision B-138942) which, in-turn, flowed-down into individual agency (i.e., EPA, DoD, DOE, DOED, NASA, HIH, NSF, etc.) award guidelines. It must be remembered that cost, preference, or convenience are not allowable justifications in choosing a foreign carrier over a US carrier.
There are some excepts to this rule, however, these are limited only to the following:
- If the airport abroad is the traveler's origin or destination and the use of a U.S. flag carrier service would extend the time in travel status by at least 24-hours or more, or
- The airport abroad is an interchange point and the use of a US flag air carrier would require the traveler to wait 6 hours or more to make connections or would extend the time in travel status by at least 6 hours or more. Another factor which would allow the traveler to use a foreign flag carrier would be the consideration of eliminating two or more aircraft changes en route to the final destination. Also, if a foreign carrier is the only carrier to the final destination, either direct or via a connections where a US carrier is unavailable, the use of a foreign carrier is allowable.
All travel plans to foreign destinations must use the above as a rule without any exception. If in doubt, contact the Office of Grants & Contracted Services (973-596-2941) for clarification. Do not assume any deviations as stated in the above policy guidelines, since upon presentation of a Travel Expense Voucher, the cost of utilizing a foreign carrier will be disallowed; and other funds will need to be identified to cover the unallowable cost of utilizing a foreign flag airline.