Air Travel

Purchasing Airline Tickets

  • The UCSD preferred method of booking University related travel is by charging the airline ticket to an index number (not pay out of your pocket), by making your airline reservations with UCSD's preferred travel agency, Balboa Travel.
  • You may still purchase your airline ticket on your credit card and submit the receipt to your faculty assistant. All receipts are processed after your trip.
  • If you want to directly charge the airline ticket to an index number (not pay out of your pocket) you can make your airline reservations with UCSD's preferred travel agency, Balboa Travel.
  • You must provide Balboa with an event number before Balboa will make your plane reservation. To get an event number you must provide specific information to your financial affairs assistant. Print out the Notice of Upcoming Travel form and submit it to your assistant You may also email your assistant directly with the following information:
    • name of person traveling
    • email address
    • telephone number
    • travel destination
    • reason for travel
    • date of departure
    • date of return
    • index # to be charged
    • estimated total expenditures (incl. airfare)
  • You will usually get the event # within one business day of providing the information to your faculty assistant.

Travel Agency Information

  • Contact information for Balboa travel agency: (858) 678-3752 or
  • Using Balboa Travel, whenever possible, enables UCSD to best leverage its purchasing power, contain fees, and attain higher service levels. Balboa Travel's services include:
    • Travel agents assigned specifically to UCSD
    • Expanded options, including discounts with two major airlines and certification to issue state fares for UCSD business travelers
    • A competitive service fee policy
    • An experienced and highly technical management support team
  • The University does NOT accept invoices from travel agencies.
  • The traveler must always remember to submit a passenger receipt or itinerary to the financial affairs assistant for processing (even if they are directly billing their ticket to an index number).
  • The direct billing of an airline ticket to the University's Central Billing Account cannot be used for personal travel.
  • For additional information, see UCSD Air Travel Guidelines.

Air Travel Guidelines

  • Coach fare or the equivalent should be used whenever available and practical.
  • Reimbursement will be based on the actual fare.
  • Business and first class airfare is allowed only under the following conditions when:
    • Business or first-class service is the only service offered between two points;
    • Coach class would be more expensive or time consuming (such as when scheduling difficulties would require an unnecessary hotel expense, circuitous routing, or an unduly long layover when making connections);
    • An itinerary involves overnight travel without an opportunity for normal rest before the commencement of working hours; and
    • Necessary to accommodate either a medical need or disability as certified by a physician.
  • For additional information, see: UCSD Exception policy on business and first class airfare or UCSD Blink Main Menu: Air Travel
  • You may direct comments and questions either to or telephone 4-3734.

Airline Requirements for Foreign Travel

  • Federal Travel Regulations require that U.S. carriers must be used for travel that is to be reimbursed from federal grants and contracts. This policy is called the Fly America Act.
  • If foreign travel is funded by a federal or private contract or grant, agency approval must also be provided.
  • For additional information, see Fly America Act.