Booking & Payment Procedures for University Funded Academic & Staff Travel

For student related travel see the International Mobility Guidelines for Students’ Travel on the Secretariat’s website under University Policies, Procedures and Guidelines


  1. Every effort should be made to refrain or reduce travel by using alternative communications methods like web conferencing
  2. Travel schedules should be combined wherever possible to reduce both transportation costs and time spent traveling
  3. Prior to seeking pre-travel approval from the appropriate Fund Financial Manager, the Traveler should consult the Government of Canada’s Country Travel Advisories website to research the destination with respect to health, security and entry requirements
  4. The Traveler is encouraged to book travel well in advance to take advantage of more options and lower airfares with advance purchase requirements

    Best practices indicate the following minimums


    Domestic travel

    14 days in advance

    Transborder travel

    21 days in advance

    International travel

    30 days in advance

  5. The Traveler is expected to choose the most cost effective and sustainable method of transportation. Tickets purchased in an upgraded Economy class are not considered the most cost effective.  Travelers may use personal frequent flyer programs to upgrade tickets provided there is no additional cost to the University. All such free upgrades must be noted on the expense report to avoid confusion at the Travel Desk.
  6. When a purchased airfare includes costs which are not a necessary consequence of travel on behalf of the University, a quotation for the itinerary purely related to University business (i.e. that excludes avoidable stopovers and trip extensions) must be attached to the advance and/or expense report. The quotation for the itinerary purely related to University business must be obtained on the same day and within two (2) hours of the actual airfare ticket that was booked. The quotation must include the travel agency name/website, day, time, and must be for the lowest logical airfare. The Claimant will be reimbursed the lowest airfare.

  7. The University has negotiated with travel suppliers to help reduce the cost of travel being funded by the University. The Traveler is encouraged to take advantage of these discounts whenever feasible.

  8. It is recommended to book all services related to one trip with the University’s contracted Travel Management Company (TMC). The TMC fee covers all elements of one trip. They have access to McGill’s negotiated agreements and global contracts with hotel chains and vehicle rental companies.
  9. Visitor airfares being funded by the University may be booked through the TMC to take advantage of negotiated discounts, to pay with a FOAPAL and to manage expenses. Keep in mind that expenses incurred by Visitors in advance of the trip will not be reimbursed until after the event on their comprehensive Expense Report.
  10. The Traveler is cautioned to refrain from booking on websites that may not provide the necessary insurances, warranties and consumer protection.

Important notice for international travelers

The Government of Canada provides essential information on travel health risks and preventive measures to keep you safe during your travels. It is important to review the Travel website of Canada each time before you book your travels. Under Travel Health Notices the Public Health Agency of Canada outline potential health risks to Canadian travelers and recommend ways to help reduce them.


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