How do I book my University related travel?
As a Penn student, can I book travel on Penn's travel booking engine, Concur?
What is the role of a TMC and what can they do to help me?
What do I need to do to prepare for traveling abroad?
What is the best way to book a hotel when traveling away from the University?
Do I purchase insurance when renting a car for university related travel?
Are there any vehicle sizes that Penn travelers cannot rent for 6 - 15 passengers?
What is the best way to book Airfare?
What are the different options for local transportation between hotels and the Penn campus?
For Faculty, Staff and Students, university-related travel can be booked 24/7 on Concur, Penn's on-line booking engine, supported by World Travel. You can also phone World Travel directly,which is the suggested method for booking complex itineraries that require consultation with a travel agent(additional agent-assisted booking fee applies.)
You may also contact Premier Travel, by telephone, during regular business hours. For additional information on World Travel and Premier, click Travel Agencies.
Sign in to your own Concur account; select "Book for a Guest" on the left hand side under the Trip Search section. Proceed to book travel.
Telephone World Travel and book Guest travel using the assistance of an agent(additional agent-assisted booking fee applies.)
No. Only Penn staff, faculty and students have profiles in Concur and the ability to book travel in Concur. As mentioned, UPHS employees may have a profile created, upon request and upon providing the required credentials.
Concur Expense, Penn's on-line automated expense management system, is used by all faculty, staff and students across the University. Alll University related travel and entertainment expense reimbursements are processed through Concur expense.
If you have used Concur to submit your expense report and have questions regarding reimbursement, use the following Help information:
To reduce out of pocket expenses, take the following steps:
Yes, all students have a profile already created in Concur and can book travel arrangements. Visit the Make Travel Reservations page and select the Concur icon to log into the on-line booking system.
Yes. The following resources provide information for students traveling individually or as part of a study abroad program:
Students Abroad is a US State Department website which provides information on all aspects of student travel, even Spring Break. Information and tips on travel planning, health, insurance, driving abroad, even voting; and list of "911" emergency number equivalents in countries around the world. A great resource for student travelers!
Penn Abroad administers a wide range of semester and academic year study abroad opportunities.
International Internship Program, a part of Penn Abroad, provides opportunities for outstanding undergraduate and graduate students to intern abroad for eight to twelve weeks over the summer.
Hostelling International, a non profit membership organization, is the only global network of Youth Hostel Associations. They provide inexpensive, shared and private lodging for students trekking from place to place, around the world.
The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is a product of The ISIC Association, a non-profit organisation. The card provides student discounts on services around the world. Purchase of the card requires proof that you are a student.
Air travel is quite easy. Click HERE for a guide to everything you need to know about navigating airports, baggage, timing and what to expect while in the air.
TRAVEL MANAGEMENT COMPANIES (TMC)
TMCs (also know as a travel management companies or travel agencies), are Penn Preferred partners that provide full service travel consulting and booking. They can assist you with the entire booking process. Their experienced travel agents provide consultation and information available to them through in-house travel information systems which monitor and advise you of everything from airfares to special weather or ground conditions that may affect your travel itinerary.
Our preferred TMC,World Travel, provides fulfillment and 24/7 worldwide assistance for all travel arrangements booked through Concur.
Concur/World Travel Booking FeesConcur Online Air $8Concur Online car and/or hotel only $5Full service, Agent Assisted $39Started on-line,finished with agent $25Agent-assisted, Hotel-only booking $0Agent-assisted questions on itineraries $0
Premier Travel Booking FeesDomestic booking: $35International Booking: $50Back to top
While you are free to use the services of any travel agency, the special relationships we have with Penn Preferred partners ensure that we can directly assist you with the booking process, from end to end; and ensure that you will receive specially negotiated Penn rates that are not available with other travel agencies. If Penn Travel Service has no affiliation with the travel agency you select, we cannot provide assistance. For the best service, rates and assistance from Penn Travel Services, Best Practices suggests using our Preferred TMC partners.
TRAVEL And TAXES
If you are organizing group travel and have questions about sales tax exemptions please contact Penn’s Corporate Tax Office, www.finance.upenn.edu/comptroller/contacts/#Tax
Travel Services provides answers to all your questions about international travel. In the FAQ list below are the resources you will need to plan and register your trip, get a passport or visa, book your travel arrangements, get help on the road when unexpected circumstances arise for any reason, including medical assistance and evacuation and much more. Still have questions? Just contact Travel Services and we will be happy to provide the answers you need.
If you are a student and are looking for information about international study programs, please visit Penn Abroad for comprehensive information on study abroad programs and travel planning.
The Global Activities Registry (GAR) is Penn’s central resource for collecting information about the travel plans and activities of faculty, staff, and students preparing to travel abroad for academic, educational, extracurricular, clinical, research, or University business purposes. This information is Pennkey protected, and is used to:
The University of Pennsylvania Assistance Program provides Penn students, faculty, and administrators worldwide with international medical, security and travel assistance, managed and administered by International SOS.
About International SOS
International SOS is the world's largest medical and security assistance company, with more than 3,000 professionals in 24-hour Alarm Centers, international clinics and remote-site medical facilities across five continents. International SOS is the leader in their field, ready to help you with all of your medical and security needs. For comprehensive information on the program and all available services, please visit the International SOS Penn website.
International SOS Card
Whenever you travel away from your country of residence, make sure you have your International SOS Card handy. You can print out the card from the International SOS Penn website. You may also print the card after entering travel data in the Global Activities Registry. Best of all, the card and services of International SOS are provided FREE OF CHARGE for all Penn students, faculty, and administrators traveling internationally.
Penn has contracted with CIBT, a global travel visa and passport services company, to meet the need for specialized documents for our faculty, staff and students when traveling abroad.
Philadelphia Passport Agency: Local passport office that serves customers who are traveling or submitting their passports for foreign visas within 14 days. You must schedule an appointment by calling 1-877-487-2778, 24 hours a day. Click HERE to visit the website.
Travel advisories and warnings: One of the best resources for travel advisories and warnings is the U.S. Department of State's Website at www.state.gov/travel.
Penn Travel Medicine provides comprehensive health resources for travelers. The specialized staff at a travel medicine center is familiar with the health concerns in each country you intend to visit. They will be able to recommend any vaccines you may need before the trip and administer them at the center. They will also recommend any prescriptions you should carry with you to areas where the quality of health care is questionable and/or areas where preventive prescriptions are recommended. For complete information, including the location closest to you, click on the link above. In addition, the Center for Disease Control's website at www.cdc.gov/travel provides a variety of information regarding traveling abroad.
On the Concur booking system, you can access thousands of properties in regional, national and international locations. You can book these properties in Concur at the Penn negotiated rate, which is already loaded into the system, for your convenience. you may also call World Travel 24/7 for assistance, 1-888-641-9112. Or Premier Travel, during regular business hours. 215-893-9966 x427/8
Penn has preferred local hotels, offering quality accommodations and special rates for Penn employees and visitors to the University. Many of them have provided direct links to their booking site where Penn discounts are automatically applied. Either book using Concur or by clicking on the hotel on the Penn TEM website at www.upenn.edu/penntravel. Select Preferred Vendors...Hotels...Local Accommodations.
Sometimes. Conference rates are specially negotiated rates, offered for large groups, and can be either lower or higher than the rate within Concur. We recommend comparing the rate offered through the Conference with the rate available in Concur for those specific dates, and then picking between the two based on the best rate. If the conference requires booking through them, follow their established procedures, generally by calling the property to reserve or a special reservation form. For specific booking procedures and rates at conference hotels, please consult with your department contact responsible for the hotel arrangements.
Hotel rooms can be booked by Penn staff for visitors using the following methods:
To reserve a room using a Purchase Order or Pro Card, follow the directions provided on the Penn Travel site - Preferred Vendors Hotel page.
Yes. You can use the Concur booking tool by signing on to your own account. Be sure you have clicked on the "Travel" tab at the top of the screen. Then, click Book for a Guest on the left side of the screen under Trip Search. The small one headed icon will change to a two-headed icon. Proceed with the booking. Note: The hotel will require a credit card to hold the reservation, but will not charge that card. If you want to pay the hotel charges on behalf of the guest, you can do one of the following:
Alternately, you may call World Travel 24/7. if you need agent assistance(additional agent-assisted fees apply). 1-888-641-9112. Or telephone Premier Travel, during regular business hours. 215-893-9966 x427/8
Hotels that offer direct billing/PO payments include (but are not limited to) Sheraton University City, The Inn at Penn, Club Quarters, Rittenhouse Hotel, and Homewood Suites. A complete list is available at www.upenn.edu/penntravel ....Preferred Vendors....Hotels.....Local Accommodations. In addition, other Center City hotels accept payment through the direct billing/PO payment method on a case by case basis, especially if a quantity of rooms are reserved. Contact Penn Travel Services or the sales office of the specific hotel directly for additional information.
The best method of cancelling a hotel reservation is to follow the same process you used in booking it.
Important: In all cases, a cancellation code or cancellation email provided by the vendor will protect you from no-show charges. Know the cancellation policy to make sure that you cancel early enough to eliminate any fees.
Contact the hotel directly to make arrangements for pre-payment.
Hotel expenses, like all other travel costs, should be entered on an expense report and submitted for reimbursement. An itemized hotel bill is required to receive reimbursement.
Philadelphia has a number of Extended Stay hotels, from luxury with full kitchens and living rooms to more moderate accommodations with kitchenettes. Duration requirements vary, depending on season and demand. Some offer stays as short as 2 days, while others require a minimum of 30 days. Preferred Vendors/Local Accommodations and scroll down to the bottom of the listings for local Extended Stay options.
The University does not have a policy regarding the use of AirBnb. It falls under the same thought of whether an individual uses a taxi or Uber. It is a personal decision ; however, the traveler should be fully aware that they are personally responsible if there are issues. Since the agreement is between the traveler and the unit owner, Penn Travel Services cannot intercede to assist if there is a problem with the residence or the reservation. As a form of lodging, it is a reimbursable expense. The cost should be equal to or less than a moderate priced hotel in the same location. If it is greater in cost, the individual is only eligible to be reimbursed the amount equal to the cost of a moderate priced hotel in the area, or provide an explanation sufficient to receive Supplemental Approval.
Your best resource is your contact person at that higher education institution. Ask them if they have any university specific rates at local hotels.
Do not purchase insurance for domestic travel when renting from one of our Preferred Partners - Enterprise/National and Avis Budget Group - when you are on University business. Penn rental rates with these four vendors include Collision and Liability coverage in the rates, with domestic rentals. Important note: When renting internationally always purchase basic insurance coverage. Note: if you purchase car insurance domestically, it is considered non-reimbursable.
Best practice is to decline the gas option offered and to fill the tank completely before returning the vehicle. The price per gallon charged upon returning a car is significantly higher than the price you would pay at the pump.
The only exemption is for a car rental of more than 29 consecutive days. Otherwise, the rental vehicle tax must be paid. There is no specific exemption for not-for-profits.
You can access the course at any time by logging into Knowledge Link, using your Penn Key and password. Search for "driver safety", and two course names will appear (Fundamentals of Driver Safety, and Driver Safety Training for Van Drivers).
Once every three years.
The university prohibits the rental of 15-passenger vans for any purpose. Only 12-passenger vans, 7-passenger mini-vans or sedans are permitted. This is in place due to a rollover risk for the larger vans.
Students are considered agents of the university if they are renting a vehicle for authorized student activities. That means that the rental has been authorized by a school, department or center and will be paid for or reimbursed by the University.
Students renting a car for authorized activities must meet the following requirements:
When students are driving in rental cars for authorized student activities the following guidelines should be adhered to:
HOURS NOT TO EXCEED
Anything over 12 hours for three or more drivers requires an overnight stay. Failure to meet any of these requirements may result in the car rental authorization being declined.
Car rental by students for Alternate Spring Break are processed by authorized department members, with the assistance of Penn Travel Services, which facilitates the payment process and provides the passenger list and authorized drivers, as designated by the department. Please consult with your department member who organizes Alternate Spring Break, for further information.
Penn Travel highly recommends purchasing the basic car rental insurance offered when renting internationally. It is also important to become knowledgeable about local driving laws before traveling.
Drivers are expected to follow all required policies of the rental companies and contact local police, their department and Penn police in the event of an accident. All insurance claims must be filed with Penn's Risk Management department. Collision and Liability coverage is included in the contracted rates with both National/Enterprise and Avis Budget Group, as long as the reservation was made in Concur, with World Travel, using the links under PreferredVendors to Rental Cars or directly with the rental agencies using the Penn rate code. Remember that all drivers must take the Fundamentals of Driver Safety course (available on Knowledge Link) before renting any vehicle.
Best practice for faculty, staff and students traveling on University business is to book airfare through one of the two methods below, and have it automatically charged to the university BTA airfare credit card (also known as Direct Bill). This eliminates the need for a traveler to incur the cost of airfare when traveling. When you reach the payment page when booking in Concur on-line, select the default "Direct Bill".
Note: Airfare charged to the BTA credit card is allocated to Schools/Centers monthly based on the 26 digit code that accompanied the approval.
Penn has discounted rates with major airlines. In order to take advantage of these discounts, be sure to book your reservations using Concur or World Travel's Penn-dedicated desk at 1-888-641-9112, for reservations and 24/7 assistance. Or call Premier Travel, during normal business hours M-F.
While University policy is that the lowest logical fare should be selected, the decision to allow business or first class travel is decision made by departments, based on their policy, budget and other considerations. Fares booked outside policy require a statement of business justification from a qualified member of the department.
If you need to cancel a ticketed itinerary, penalties and fees will apply; if there are any residual funds or new ticketing options available, the credit can usually be used for up to a year, for an upcoming flight. Note: The rebooking fee charged by the airlines ranges from $200 -$400 a ticket.
There are specific processes to follow when using a previously cancelled ticket, depending on the way it was purchased
There is a “formula” –
On the day of booking the airfare:
1. Print out itinerary with cost for LEAST logical airfare round trip
2. Print out airline itinerary booked, that includes the personal part of the trip with cost
3. The University will reimburse the lowest of the two costs.
Both documents will be required as part of the expense report submittal, along with a comment describing the situation and the reimbursement request.
Least logical is based on the business portion of the trip. If an individual is going to a conference and needs to be there by noon and home two days later, you would search for flights that meet that criteria. The lowest cost flight that would meet the criteria might involve two stops, but in this case, it is the least expensive. Even if the individual normally only travels direct flights, that would not be taken into consideration. It is the least expensive flight that meets the criteria.
If you travel for business or pleasure, any frequency points you gain are yours to use as you wish. There is no cost to join a frequency program and often you receive special benefits just by being a member of the program. Most programs keep points active for at least two years and some points never expire. Best Practice: Load all of your frequency program numbers into your Concur Profile. They will automatically show on any reservation/booking made on the Concur on-line booking tool or with a World Travel agent.
It can take up to two months for frequency points to show on a frequency account. However, if after that time, your points still have not appeared follow the steps below.
If you booked your travel on the Concur on-line booking tool or with a World Travel agent:
Amtrak tickets may be purchased at the Amtrak Website or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL.
The main Amtrak Station in Philadelphia, called Penn Station-30th Street, is located at 30th and Market Streets. Buses and trolleys on Penn campus all stop at 30th Street. Many people choose to walk, which is about 15 minutes from the campus center.
Penn Transit's comprehensive system provides effective, efficient and safe integrated transit on and around campus within specific service boundaries. Transit Services are free of charge to all Penn community members holding a valid PennCard. Individuals with an I.D. from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia can also access Penn Buses or Shuttles at no charge. Please visit the Penn Transit website for list of services, schedules, and all the information you will need if you about getting around on foot, bus, trolley, bus or train. Penn Shuttle Service operates 7 days a week, year-round, with the exception of all holidays observed by the University and provides transportation to and from campus to West Philadelphia, Center City and Powelton Village within defined boundaries. To access the service call: 215-898-RIDE (7433).
Penn Accessible Transit (PAT), is a service of Penn Transit which provides transportation within service boundaries for persons with disabilities. Visit the Penn Transit website for complete information.
SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania transportation Authority) local bus and trolleys
Taxis: Can be found all over campus as well as in front of the Penn campus hotels.
SEPTA single fares are $2.25 per ride, payable in cash on board; or purchase tokens, sold at a reduced rate in various quantities; or a weekly or monthly pass. Full-time Penn students are eligible to purchase a SEPTA PennPass.
You can purchase tokens at most SEPTA stations and on campus:
No. Taxis are available all around campus and can be paid in cash or credit card. HERE is a quick link to taxi service in the Yellow Pages. For metered rates around town and flat rates to the airport, click HERE
The Concur Mobile App provides the flexibility of creating expense reports, approving expense reports and booking travel on your smart phone or mobile device. Click HERE for the instructional guide on downloading and setting up the mobile application.Back to top