State-Funded Airfare/Train Policy

NYS Employees can now pay for their own airfare and be reimbursed! 

Of course, there are rules:

It must be an economy airfare priced without any upgrades that would add to the cost.

If you have a loyalty card and upgrading your seat will not cost NYS anything, feel free to use it.

If the only way for the traveler to be allowed to bring a bag as a carryon or checked (for an additional baggage fee) adds to the cost of the airfare, that is OK. You have to be able to bring a bag with you!

The airfare must be for work related travel only (not combined with personal time).

All of the NYS Office of the State Comptroller’s travel rules/regulations still apply.

The most economical method of travel is used in the best interest of the State.

Airfare expenses must be submitted with the traveler’s proof of fiscal liability if paying with a Visa or American Express.

Using frequent flyer miles or airfare credits to book the airfare is not reimbursable.

Airfare cannot be reimbursed until after the travel event and must be submitted via the Employee Report of Travel Expenses and Claim for Payment.

BU Employees always have the option to get a control number from the Travel Office and book the flight through Plaza and Sawtelle Travel, (607)729-2225

If you would like to book your airfare/train through the authorized travel agency for the Broome County region, Plaza and Sawtelle Travel, the Travel Agent Contractor transaction fees are:

Travel Agent Airline Transaction Fee = Plaza Travel $15.90

Train (Amtrak) Transaction Fee = $0

How can I get NYS to pay for my airfare through Plaza and Sawtelle Travel?

The following procedure should be used by travelers for the booking of airfare using a control number assigned by the Business Office and reimbursement of air travel:

The traveler must complete the Electronic Request and Authorization for Travel form, securing the appropriate approvals via the Electronic R&A System and identifying eight digit NYS funding account(s) to charge.

Upon receipt of the approved Electronic R&A, the Travel Office will assign an airfare control number to the requester.  This control number will be sent from to the Submitter (of the Electronic R&A) and the Traveler once the number is generated.  Once received, the airfare control number can be used to purchase your airfare.

The traveler or designated person named on the authorization will then contact Plaza and Sawtelle Travel, 607-729-2225, providing the agency with the airfare authorization number and making appropriate air arrangements.

Plaza and Sawtelle Travel will book your airfare using our NYS Visa Travel card and send us the billing.  We will then make sure that your airfare is paid for out of the 8 digit NYS funding account(s) that were provided.

What if I want to combine my work trip with personal time and I need airfare?

Here’s how to make sure that your airfare was purchased for Work Travel + Personal Travel combined, without any impropriety or use of NYS taxpayer dollars.  You cannot purchase this type of airfare and get reimbursed:

When incorporating personal travel with business travel, the traveler will need quotes for airfare of what NYS/BU wants him/her to do (i.e.: leave on Monday, come back Thursday)

The traveler will also need a quote for what he/she would like to do (i.e.: leave Monday and come back Sunday)   

If the personal quote is less than the NYS/BU quote, BU will cover the airfare with traveler’s control number (for example, NYS/BU quote is $500, personal business quote is $450)

If the personal quote is more than the NYS/BU quote, the traveler can charge to his/her control number up to the NYS/BU allowable amount and provide a personal credit card to charge the overage at time of booking (NYSBU quote is $500, personal business quote is $550)

Get the work quote in writing

…can’t prove the cost of the NYS/BU work quote if you don’t have the quote to use for backup!!

You cannot purchase airfare for a work travel + personal travel and get reimbursed with your NYS funds.

You can only do this using an airfare control number and following the steps above

Voiding State Funded Airfare Tickets

Time Limits

Travel Agents may void tickets up to midnight one business day after the date of ticket issue. Airline customers may void tickets up to 24 hours after the reservation is made with the airline.
After these times, the ticket may no longer be voided.