Foreign Travel Information

Fly America Act - Use of U.S. Carriers (Public Law 93-623)




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. Allowable exceptions are noted below


Exceptions to the Fly America Act


Travel that is to be reimbursed from federal grants and contracts must be booked through U.S. carriers except in the following circumstances:


  • When the use of U.S. carrier service would extend travel time (including delay at origin) by 24 hours or more
  • When the costs of transportation are reimbursed in full by a third party, such as a foreign government or an international agency
    • When U.S. carriers do not offer nonstop or direct service between origin and destination. However, a U.S. carrier must be used on every portion of the route where it provides service unless, when compared to using a foreign air carrier, such use would:
      — Increase the number of aircraft changes outside the United States by two or more
      — Extend travel time by at least six hours or more
      — Require a connecting time of four hours or more at an overseas interchange point.

When one or more of the above circumstances apply, an explanation indicating the appropriate exception must be provided and approved by the Laboratory Director or designee.


Code-sharing agreements


Code-sharing agreements with foreign air carriers, whereby American carriers purchase or have the right to sell a block of tickets on a foreign carrier, comply with the Fly America Act Regulations. The ticket, or documentation for an electronic ticket, must identify the U.S. carrier's designator code and flight number.


Note: Some funding sources may not recognize code-sharing as being compliant with Fly America Act regulations. When fund source policy is more restrictive than Laboratory travel policy, the more restrictive policy applies.


Need an expert? Please visit the Travel Help Desk.