Fly America Act
The Fly America Act (41 CFR 301-10.131 through 301-10.143) requires that all federally funded travel be on a US flag carrier or US flag carrier service provided under a code-share agreement*.
* Code sharing occurs when two or more airlines "code" the same flight as if it was their own. In other words, a U.S. airline may sell a seat on the plane of a foreign air carrier; this seat is considered the same as one on a plane operated by a U.S. flag carrier. Compliance with the Fly America Act is satisfied when the U.S. flag air carrier's designator code is present in the area next to the flight numbers on the airline ticket, boarding pass, or on the documentation for an electronic ticket (passenger receipt).
To ease the burden on the traveler or their booking designee, Texas A&M University has contracted with Short’s Travel Management to ensure compliance with the Fly America Act when airfare is booked through Short’s. Short’s will book within compliance or an acceptable exception will be noted that carries to the expense report in Concur.
While booking through Short’s, either via the Concur online booking tool or calling them directly, is recommended, a traveler may choose to accept this responsibility and book through other means. By doing so, the traveler assumes 100% responsibility that the airfare is in compliance or a valid exception is documented. Documentation must be attached to the Concur expense report. Documentation of compliance is the appearance of the US flag air carrier’s designator code and flight number on tickets or associated documentation (e-Ticket itinerary) for all legs of a trip. Should the travel be booked “outside” of Short’s Travel Management, the exception form can be found at http://fmo.tamu.edu/accounts-payable/travel/forms/ .
Exceptions to the Fly America Act:
The biggest exception to the Fly America Act are the Open Skies Agreements. On October 6, 2010, the United States and European Union (EU) "Open Skies" Air Transport Agreement was published by the U.S. General Services Administration, providing full explanation of the multilateral agreement in place so that qualifying travelers, whose travel is supported by federal funds, may travel on European Union airlines as well as U.S. Flag Air Carriers. These agreements with other nations allow travel on foreign airlines under certain conditions when procuring using federal funds. Information about the four Open Skies Agreements along with a list of participating countries is available here. There are other exceptions to the Fly America Act which may be appropriate as well. A list of exception criteria may be found in the Federal Travel Regulation Guidelines, sections 301‐10.135–138. Please note that lower cost and personal convenience are not acceptable criteria for justifying the non‐availability of a U.S. –flag air carrier.
To document the exceptions, you must complete and attach the Fly America Act Exceptions Form.