International Travel

Grants from some federal agencies and most federal contracts require that international travel, even if included in the award, be approved in advance by the sponsoring agency. Before making arrangements for international travel that will be funded by a grant or contract, the traveler should review the terms and conditions of the award or consult with their post-award sponsored projects administrator (SPA) to ensure compliance.

Fly America Act

Sponsored projects travel to foreign countries supported by federal grants and contracts is subject to the “Fly America Act” (49 U.S.C. 40118). The “Fly America Act” provides that federal domestic grantees should use U.S. flag air carriers to the maximum extent possible when commercial air transportation is the means of travel between the U.S. and a foreign country or between foreign countries. This requirement shall not be influenced by factors of cost, convenience, or personal travel preference. A U.S. flag air carrier service may include service provided under a Code Share Agreement with a foreign air carrier when the ticket, or documentation for an electronic ticket, identifies the U.S. flag air carrier’s designator code and flight number.

The regulations concerning the use of foreign air carriers on federal funds must be followed by all GW personnel, students, trainees, consultants and collaborators who are reimbursed for air travel with federally-funded prime awards or federal pass-through funds (subcontracts, subawards and subrecipient agreements). Please note that the same rules apply to foreign visitors’ flights.

It is the principal investigator’s (PI) or his/her designee’s responsibility to ensure that all air travel charged to federal prime or federal pass-through awards are in compliance with the "Fly America Act." 

GW's iBuy+ Travel Booking tool automatically checks that itineraries are compliant with the necessary requirements, and prompts users when they are not.

Book Travel Using iBuy+

If at any point you are not able to find a flight compliant with the Fly America Act, please follow the GW Travel Services instructions on requesting an exception prior to ticketing.