travelnews: TRAVEL TIP - How to get an airfare comparison after travel has taken place

BAO news for travel administrators travelnews at
Fri Oct 5 15:40:18 PDT 2012

Your traveler has brought you paperwork for a reimbursement and their trip includes personal time.  They did not get a comparison airfare quote for the business only dates at the time the ticket was purchased.
What should you do?

When obtaining comparison fares after travel has taken place, you need to get two quotes:  a Business Only airfare and the airfare duplicating the route the traveler actually flew, including the personal travel.  This will allow you to compare the two itineraries to calculate the allowable reimbursement.

You can use your favorite online air booking site like Orbitz or Travelocity but make sure it shows a low to high pricing grid/matrix of all the airlines.  Be sure to select the days of the week that travel took place, and use dates that are the at least two or three weeks out to get the least expensive fares.  Avoid holidays as these can skew rates and avoid airline specific sites as these do not necessarily show the best prices in that airfare market.
Print a page showing the pricing grid/matrix for both the business only dates and for the itinerary including the personal time.  If the quote with the personal time is less expensive, include these with your reimbursements and you are finished.

If the business only quote is less, here is the formula to calculate the reimbursement:

Using the comparison quotes, divide the business only quote by your quote with personal time.  This will give you a percentage.

Example:  Business only price is $350.  Price with personal time is $500.
$350 / $500 = .7  (percentage)

Take the traveler's actual ticket price and multiple by the percentage you calculated above.  This is the percentage of the ticket that can be reimbursed.

Example:  Actual ticket price was $700.      $700 x .7 (percentage) = $490 reimbursement allowed

Let us know if you have questions.  Have a great weekend,

Laurie Jacoby, CTC
Travel Manager
Business Affairs Office
University of Oregon
lajacoby at
541-346-3158 - Voice
541-346-8078 - Travel Fax

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