Columbia University

Global Travel

Making Air Travel Reservations

Whenever possible, it is suggested that a traveler make arrangements for travel through either a University-designated travel agency or a University-preferred vendor. There are numerous advantages to using a University-preferred agency.

  • These agencies are aware of University travel policies and reimbursement guidelines and will help select air carriers and hotels that conform to the policy, which speeds up reimbursement.
  • These agencies often have access to discounts and preferential rates negotiated by the University.
  • These agencies can help access and maintain the appropriate documentation of expenses.
  • Some schools/departments with international operations often have established relationships with particular preferred vendors that already understand the processes which that department prefers when booking travel for staff or students.
  • Check with your department and determine if such a process is in place, and how to book travel through these channels.

The University has a number of contracted and available resources that can help make your travel arrangements easier, possibly cheaper, and safer than when booking on your own.

For additional details visit the Finance Gateway's Arranging for Travel section of Procurement Services. For specifics on booking air travel, including the requirements of the Fly America Act (for federally funded programs), see the Finance Gateway pages on Air Travel.

If you have any questions, please email us at