ARCHIVED Bulletin: Immediate Change to Travel Policy Regarding Airfare (Posted December 16, 2008)

Stanford's policy is to pay for necessary and reasonable travel expenses incurred for authorized University business. Until now, policy had allowed for payment of business class airfare for travel meeting certain length and duration criteria. Effective immediately, the University will no longer pay for business or first class airfare unless it is necessary for medical reasons. Absent current medical justification, a traveler who prefers seating above coach class must pay the incremental difference. This policy applies to all flights, domestic and international, regardless of duration of a flight or trip.

Previously Planned Trips

Current travel bookings in first or business class, without medical justification, should be re-examined to determine if the booking can be changed to coach class for a net savings.

Medical Exceptions

Consistent with current practice, to obtain an exemption from this policy based on medical requirements, a current written opinion from a physician substantiating that need must be submitted to the Associate Controller responsible for the Travel and Reimbursement Department in advance of booking the travel. The Associate Controller, or a designee, will confirm in a timely manner when a medical exception to the coach class requirement has been granted. Airfare higher than coach class should not be booked until this confirmation is received. Requests for medical exceptions may be submitted with supporting documentation via email or through U.S. or ID mail to:

Julia Wyman, Associate Controller
MC 8440
3145 Porter Drive
Palo Alto, CA 94304


Approved visitors whose travel expenses are being paid by Stanford should be advised of this policy in advance of booking airfare.

Other Exceptions

Any other exceptions (not based on medical need) must be approved by the Provost in advance of travel.

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