Updated On March 25, 2020 - 12:47pm

Travel Cancellation & Reimbursement FAQs Regarding COVID-19

The following FAQs apply to travel cancellation and reimbursement issues resulting from the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). These FAQs are in effect until further notice, and are subject to change as the situation develops. Before seeking reimbursement from the University, please make all efforts to obtain a full refund from the vendor.

Click the links below to jump to the following questions:

  1. Can I travel?
  2. What should I do if I need to cancel my trip and I booked my travel through the UC Travel Center or UCLA’s Concur Online booking tool?
  3. What should I do if I need to cancel my trip and I booked outside of the UC Travel Center/UCLA Concur’s online booking tool?
  4. Is Travel Accounting currently reviewing expense reports submitted through the Express reimbursement system?
  5. What costs will I be reimbursed for if I need to cancel a trip due to the Coronavirus?
  6. What documentation do I need to provide to get reimbursed?
  7. Are there constraints on funding sources for these reimbursements?
  8. Will UC’s Travel Insurance program cover lost costs/penalties?

This page will be updated regularly as new travel information becomes available.
To contact the UC Travel Center, please email [email protected] or call (310) 206-2639 and select option 2.
To contact Travel Accounting, please email [email protected] or call (310) 206-2639 and select option 1.

Resources

UCLA COVID-19 Travel Information Page
UC Office of the President Travel Directives (PDF)
U.S. State Department Travel Advisories
Center for Disease Control & Prevention Information for Travelers

 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I travel?

  • All UCLA nonessential international and domestic travel is suspended until further notice. Personal international and domestic travel is strongly discouraged.
  • Anyone arriving from CDC Level 3 countries must self-quarantine for 14 days from the time they left that country. If you decide to travel, be aware that other countries could change travel restrictions without notice, flights may be canceled, or new re-entry restrictions could be imposed when returning to the United States.
  • Currently, most states do not have restrictions on domestic travel, but you should be aware of preventative measures if you travel.
    1. Hawaii, Alaska and Florida have various forms of a self-quarantine for those who travel to these states. Other states may follow.

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2. What should I do if I need to cancel my trip and I booked my travel through the UC Travel Center or UCLA’s Concur Online booking tool?

  • If you booked through a UC travel agent, please contact the UC Travel Center prior to the initial date of departure at (310) 206-2639 and select option 2, or email [email protected]
  • If you booked using UCLA’s Concur Online travel booking tool, you can cancel on Concur’s website where you made the booking or you can contact the UC Travel Center at (310) 206-2639 and select option 2 or email [email protected]
  • The agent will attempt to get a refund or future travel credit
    • If you receive a future travel credit through the UC Travel Center, you will only be able to use this credit by booking through the UC Travel Center. Travelers should be aware that travel credits must not be used for personal purposes. If it is used for personal purposes, the traveler must reimburse the University for the cost of the ticket.
      • Please note there will be a time limit to use credits.
    • Please also make sure to cancel all hotel, car rental and any other reservations.
    • Will I be able to get a full refund for tickets that are generally not refundable?
      • The UC Travel Center and UCOP’s Central Travel Office have reached out to the airlines to try to get blanket refunds for UC-related travel. So far, airlines have not been receptive to providing refunds. They have generally provided credit towards future travel. We will continue to push this issue with the airlines and will attempt to get refunds for individual travelers, if possible. Some refunds have been given, but these are determined by the airlines on a case-by-case basis.
    • Will there be cancellation/change fees?
      • Most of the major airlines have agreed to waive cancellation/reissuance fees.
    • If the traveler will not be able to use a future credit, can we change the name of the traveler?
      • In most cases, the major airlines are allowing a name change for domestic tickets (not international). There is a name change fee associated with this which varies by airline.
    • Please note this a fluid situation so these airline policies may change in the future.

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3. What should I do if I need to cancel my trip and I booked outside of the UC Travel Center/UCLA Concur’s online booking tool?

  • Contact the airline/agency and cancel your ticket prior to initial date of departure.
  • Request a full refund without penalty (due to the coronavirus).
  • If they will not provide a full refund without penalty, then request a refund (with the penalty) or request a credit towards future travel.
    • Whether the traveler selects a refund with penalty or credit towards future travel may depend on a number of factors specific to each situation. For instance, if the traveler expects to travel on business prior to the expiration of the credit and the airline is not charging a change fee for travel credits, it may be beneficial to request a travel credit.
  • Please also make sure to cancel all hotel, car rental and any other reservations.

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4. Is Travel Accounting currently reviewing expense reports submitted through the Express reimbursement system?

  • Yes. Travel Accounting is working remotely, fully operational and reviewing expense reports.

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5. What costs will I be reimbursed for if I need to cancel a trip due to the Coronavirus?

  • First make all efforts to get full refunds for all of your costs.
  • If you are unable to get a refund, document the steps you took to obtain a refund.
  • You may request reimbursement for your unreimbursed travel expenses.  These costs may include:
    • Airline cancellation fees/penalties
      • For international trips, please first attempt to get reimbursed through our travel insurance program. See FAQ 7 below. If you don't get reimbursed through our insurance program, please submit through UCLA’s Express travel reimbursement system and provide documentation of the denial. Domestic trips are not covered under UC’s travel insurance program.
    • Cost of airfare if you receive a credit towards future travel
      • If possible, please wait until after the future trip to submit your reimbursement request.
      • If you have a financial need or are unsure if you are going to travel on business before the credit expires, you can submit for reimbursement immediately.
    • Hotel or other lodging charges/cancellation fees
    • Conference registration fees
    • Other ordinary and necessary business expenses that have not been refunded
  • For individuals who are not UCLA faculty or staff, these reimbursement requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

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6. What documentation do I need to provide to get reimbursed?

  • All travel receipts (e.g., airfare invoices, hotel folios, conference registration fees, etc.)
  • Documentation of attempts to obtain refunds
  • For travel credit reimbursements, please attest in the expense report “I will not use the travel credits for personal travel. In the event that I use it for personal travel, I will reimburse the University for the cost of the ticket less any cancellation fees.”

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7. Are there constraints on funding sources for these reimbursements?

  • General Funds (19900 type) and unrestricted funds can generally be used to recoup these costs. Grants, contracts, gifts and other restricted funds need to be reviewed individually to determine if they can be used.

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8. Will UC’s Travel Insurance program cover lost costs/penalties?

  • You may be able to recoup some of your costs for international trip cancellations.
  • If the airline or travel provider refused to issue a refund or a travel credit or charges a penalty for changes for travel to international destinations, travelers should submit their claim through the UC Travel Insurance Program.
  • You can submit a claim for airfare, hotel, cancellation fees, or conference registration for up to $2,000 for international trips (domestic trips are not covered). Once a claim is submitted, a determination will be made by the UC Insurance Carrier, Chubb, regarding what is covered. Please note that it is the insurance company, not UCLA, that determines if a claim is accepted or not.  
  • Download and complete the claim form (PDF) that is available on the UCOP website.
    • The Policyholder is the University of California.
    • Group Policy Number:
      • Faculty/Staff - ADD N04223810
      • Student - ADD N04223822
      • Education Abroad Program (EAP) - ADD N04834823
    • The program name is the title of the event for which you were traveling (ex. Study Abroad 2020 or International Research Conference, etc.).
    • The group leader is the name of the person running the program (if applicable).
  • Submit your completed form to Chubb:
    • Fax: (302) 476-7857
    • Email: [email protected]
    • Mail: Chubb USA PO Box 5124 Scranton, PA 18505-0556
  • As part of your claim, please provide the following:
    • Proof of enrollment in travel coverage/registration of their trips.
    • Proof from the airlines that the tickets were non-refundable.  Provide the itinerary and the cost of the tickets. 
    • Proof from the hotel that accommodations were non-refundable, cancellations fees or could be cancelled with no penalties.
    • Documentation that you requested a refund and/or travel credit and denial from the service provider.
    • Whether you were traveling to one of the countries included in the CDC Travel Health Notice Warning Level 3 or
    • A detailed explanation of how the business activity was actually impacted or resulted in an effective cancellation as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19). For example, you were traveling for a symposium to a currently unaffected region and the organizer cancels the event because the key speakers from affected regions were unable to attend.

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