FAQs

Does Penn State have an airline contract?

The University has a contract with Delta Air Lines, which has merged with Northwest Airlines. This discount is available through Travel OnLion. It is not available on the Delta website or any other third party site.  

Must I purchase my airline ticket through Travel OnLion if I found a lower fare elsewhere?

It is no longer necessary to obtain documentation for a lower fare unless the airline ticket is being paid with Federal funds. Comparison is highly recommended for fares over $1,000 to document that the fare is reasonable. If airfare does not appear reasonable, especially in comparison to others on the same trip, an explanation may be required.

If I’m traveling on Federal funds, must I purchase a higher priced ticket on an American flag carrier if I can find a much cheaper fare on a foreign carrier?

Anyone traveling on Federal funds must purchase their tickets on an American flag carrier if one is available regardless of the price of the ticket. 

Am I permitted to fly first or business class?

Only if two conditions are met:

1)  The flight segment travel time is more than 4 hours.

2)  The difference in cost between economy or coach and business/first class is approved to be paid on unrestricted gift funds (generally controlled by the Budget Executive).  Documentation MUST be maintained showing the comparative cost.

Travelers paying with Federal funds are not permitted to fly business or first class.

Why are we cautioned not to purchase airline tickets that include multiple carriers when it is not necessary to do so in order to get to the final destination?

When multiple carriers are booked on one airline ticket, approval must be obtained from all carriers if a refund is being requested. When the unused tickets are reissued for a new reservation, all carriers on the original ticket must again be booked on the new ticket, which can be very hard to do if the destination has changed. 

Why must I now provide my gender and birth date when booking air?

The Department of Homeland Security is requiring the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to collect birthdates and genders of all passengers to be used for checking each passenger against the TSA’s “No Fly List”. This is being done to reduce the number of passengers with names similar to those on the No Fly List from being a “selectee” for additional screening unnecessarily. 

Will I get reimbursed for checked bags?

University travel policy will reimburse for one checked bag per person. If an additional bag fee is being claimed, justification for the additional bag must accompany the travel expense. 

What should I do if I miss my flight?

If you miss your flight, you should immediately notify the airline so that you are not considered a “no show."  The airline can assist you with re-booking on the next available flight. If there is a mechanical problem, delay, canceled flight or missed connection, most airlines will attempt to rebook you on the next available flight at no charge, however, there is no requirement for them to do so at no cost. To help prevent missing your flight, make sure to check your flight status to see if departure times or gates have changed and make sure you have sufficient time between connections.

Where can I book rail tickets?

Travelers may purchase rail tickets directly from Amtrak

Can I book a first class or sleeper car rail reservation?

The budget executive must approve reimbursement for first class or sleeper car reservations. 

Why must I book my car rental through National or Enterprise when I can find a better daily rate?

When comparing car rental rates, the cost of Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) coverage and Supplemental Liability (SLI) coverage must be factored into the non-contract pricing. If the renter can find a price with one of the other major car rental vendors that includes the above insurances at a lower rate, they must document the pricing in order to be reimbursed for the non-contract rental.

I don’t need car insurance because I have insurance on my personal credit card or with my personal car insurance. Why must I use the contracted car rental agencies?

The University’s Risk Management Office determined that travelers must utilize the University’s contract vendors that include insurance in their rates, or purchase the insurance should it be determined and documented that another vendor is cheaper, even when purchasing the insurance. This decision was made to reduce the University’s exposure in the case of an accident.

What insurance is provided both domestically and internationally on car rental?

Both National Car Rental and Enterprise Rent-a-Car provide Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) coverage for the full value of the car and Supplemental Liability Coverage for all rentals. National also provides CDW on their international rentals, but in most countries, a deductible will apply on any claims. The Enterprise agreement is a domestic agreement. 

What should I do if I’m involved in an accident?

If a renter is involved in an accident, her or she must immediately contact National Car Rental or Enterprise Rent-a-Car of the accident and call the police to obtain a police report. Failure to do so will result in the agreement being void and coverage not being provided. Travelers should also remember to refuel a rental before returning it to avoid excessive fueling costs. The purchase of the Fuel Option up front should only be considered when the renter is confident they will be driving enough to use a full tank of gas or more. Otherwise, the fuel option is more costly. 

I am a graduate student. May I rent a car from National or Enterprise?

You may rent a car for University business, but you are not permitted to rent for personal travel, as per the terms of the contracts. 

May I rent a GPS with my business rental and be reimbursed?

It is up to the department to determine the business need of the GPS and approve or disapprove of the rental. If approved, National Car Rental offers GPSs at a discount rate as a part of our contract. 

Where should I book my car rental and what insurances should I accept?

Travelers are encouraged to book their car rentals at Travel OnLion or the direct link to National Car Rental and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Booking there insures the proper insurance coverage, the best contract rates and there are no service fees. 

Can I use my debit card for car rental?

No, car rental companies will not accept debit cards for payment. 

Must I use University fleet?

University Fleet should be a traveler’s first choice over car rental. 

Does the University have discount programs with hotels?

The University has discounted rates with Club Quarters and at the Penn State Hotel Reservations website. Both are available on the Travel homepage. There are also discounted hotels listed at the University’s campus locations. 

Must I book my hotel reservation through Travel OnLion?

No, you may book through any source. 

How can I pay for a required deposit on a conference hotel reservation?

You can pay the deposit with a purchasing card, corporate card, or your personal credit. 

Am I required to book on Travel OnLion?

You are not required to purchase through Travel OnLion. However, Travel OnLion has been proven to produce the lowest fares consistently, offers the lowest service fees, and is available 24/7. Travel OnLion reservation expenses also interface with the University’s travel expense system. 

What are the advantages of using Travel OnLion?

Travel OnLion produces the lowest fares consistently ($379 last F/Y), charges the lowest service fees, is available 24/7, and interfaces with the University’s travel expense system.

I can log into the tool but cannot search for flights?

Most likely you have an error in the passenger’s travel profile that is stopping you from proceeding to the search option. If you cannot determine where the error is in the profile, you can contact the Travel OnLion staff for assistance. It is also possible that a popup blocker may be on. 

Where do I get my confirmations for the reservations I book online?

When you book online, you will get a minimum of two and a maximum of three confirmation emails from Concur. You will get a confirmation if you put a reservation on hold. You will get one if you book a reservation and you will get a final confirmation with ticket numbers when the ticket has been issued. If you do not get the final confirmation within 24 hours of purchase, you should check your trip library to see if the status shows “ticketed.” If it does not show “ticketed,” then you should contact the Travel OnLion staff

How does the service fee online compare to a full-service reservation?

Service fees are as follows: 

  • Travel OnLion          No fee for initial booking, changes are $10.00
  • Centre for Travel     $31.00
  • Centre for Travel also charges a $22.00 service fee for each change. 

Can I book reservations after hours?

Travel OnLion is available 24/7 for your convenience. 

Does the University permit the use of the purchasing card for travel?

Yes, the University recommends the purchasing card as the first choice for paying for business travel. 

May I use my own personal credit card for payment?

If I am including personal travel in my business reservations, how do I pay for my reservations? You may use your personal credit card if you choose. When booking business travel tickets include some personal travel, it is important that those costs are determined prior to purchase and any appropriate portion be paid for by the traveler at the time of ticketing. 

Now that Travel Services has been discontinued, what happens to my currently booked reservation?

It is still valid and you may travel on it as normal.

How do I make changes on current tickets that have not been traveled on yet?

You may contact the airline directly. 

What if I have to cancel my reservation?

You may contact the carrier directly before flight time for the value to stay available. If you cancel after flight time the value is forfeited. 

What if I have a hotel reserved and I need to make modifications or cancel it?

You may contact the hotel directly.

What if I have a car reservation that needs to be canceled or changed? Who do I contact?

You may contact the car company directly. 

What happens to the unused tickets on file?

You may reuse them making the reservation on the online tool or you may reuse them with the airline the credit is with. 

I purchased a refundable ticket with Travel OnLion and now I need to cancel it. What is the process to get a refund?

You may contact the airline directly and the credit will go back to the original form of payment used when the ticket was purchased.

How do I apply a credit/unused ticket when making a reservation in Travel OnLion?

If you have a credit to apply to a new reservation, you must put a note in the “notes to travel agent” field of your reservation so that the Travel OnLion Staff knows to apply the credit to the new reservation.

Can I book group travel through Travel OnLion?

No. Unfortunately, group travel cannot be booked through Travel OnLion or the Travel OnLion Staff.