Foreign Travel on Federal Awards
Federal regulations govern the use of federal funds (grants, contracts, cooperative agreements) and the selection of air carriers for foreign travel. Foreign flag air carriers may not be used solely on the basis of costs.
Fly America Act
The Act applies to federal awards and with a few exceptions requires the use of U.S. flag air carriers, i.e., an air carrier that is certified under 49 U.S.C. 41102, or service under a code share agreement with a foreign air carrier when the ticket or e-ticket identifies the U.S. flag air carrier’s designator code and flight number.
- If a U.S. carrier offers nonstop or direct service (no aircraft change) between the U.S. and your foreign destination, you must use a U.S. flag air carrier unless such use would extend travel time by 24 hours or more.
- If a U.S. carrier does not offer nonstop or direct service (no aircraft change) between the U.S. and your foreign destination, you must use a U.S. flag air carrier on every portion of the route unless the use of the U.S. flag carrier would:
- increase the number of aircraft changes outside of the U.S. by two or more; or
- extend your travel time by at least six hours or more; or
- require a connecting time of four hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
- If a U.S. carrier does not offer service on a particular leg of your travel route, a foreign air carrier may be used, but only to or from the nearest interchange point to connect with U.S. flag air carrier service.
- Use of a foreign carrier is also acceptable when determined to be a matter of necessity:
- A U.S. flag carrier involuntarily reroutes travel on a foreign air carrier;
- medical reasons;
- to avoid unreasonable risk to traveler’s safety; or
- a seat on U.S. air carrier in authorized class of service is unavailable, and a seat on the foreign air carrier in authorized class of service is available.