Volunteers and AAOS
Academy/Association (AAOS) policy for AAOS-related travel for volunteers and
staff is outlined below. This policy is effective January 1, 2017. Travel guidelines for members of the Board of
Directors and for Council and Cabinet Chairs are outlined in a separate policy.
Please note that no member is eligible for reimbursement for travel to the
Annual Meeting. This is the case even if
a member is scheduled to attend a Council or Committee meeting during the
course of the Annual Meeting.
The AAOS recognizes that volunteers give generously of their time and spend
time away from their practices to participate in AAOS events. When this dedication on the part of members
is added to the fact that more than 3,000 trips are made by AAOS volunteers in
the course of a year, it becomes paramount that the AAOS travel policy be fair,
consistent, and easily understandable.
In addition, it must provide for prompt and accurate reimbursement of
expenses incurred. Finally, it must
fulfill certain obligations required by the Internal Revenue Service and also
adhere to principles of prudent management.
Domestic Air travel
Volunteer travelers are strongly encouraged, and AAOS staff are required
(any exceptions must be approved by the Finance Director), to use CorpTrav,
AAOS' official travel agent, to make their travel arrangements for AAOS
business. In so doing the airfare and agent fees are charged directly to AAOS
but travelers retain any reward miles that may apply and have access to 24 hour
travel assistance. In addition, AAOS receives complimentary air travel certificates
in proportion to the number of tickets and/or the amount of airfare AAOS books.
These certificates are then used for special, unbudgeted events or costly tickets.
(No reward miles are earned when
traveling on a certificate.)
Round-trip travel should be booked on one airline whenever possible (the
same airline going and returning). If a
ticket for a volunteer exceeds $600, CorpTrav will contact AAOS staff to
authorize issuing the ticket.
Discounted non-refundable and non-transferable main cabin coach class
tickets for scheduled meetings should be purchased at least 21 days prior to
travel, as this will generally yield the lowest fare available. Non-refundable does not mean that the ticket can’t
be changed. If a non-refundable ticket
is cancelled, CorpTrav will receive credit for the cost of the ticket, to be
applied to future travel for the same individual on the same airline.
The fee to book the ticket is $12 if the
ticket is purchased online and $32 if acquired over the phone – i.e.,
agent-assisted booking. There is an additional $15 charge for agent-assisted
booking if done after hours, between 7:00 pm-7:00 am.
AAOS will reimburse for the additional fees charged by the airlines for
checked bags up to a two bag maximum.
Overweight baggage fees will not be reimbursed. Flight changes will be reimbursed up to $200
per round trip. Travel or flight insurance will not be reimbursed.
Use of a
private airplane is strongly discouraged due to liability issues as the
Academy’s insurance will neither cover the volunteer traveling aboard a private
airplane on AAOS business nor the AAOS.
Upgrade purchases are not reimbursable, including upgrades to Economy Plus,
however, additional fees for aisle or window seats are allowed.
Volunteers traveling on behalf of the AAOS can travel Business Class on all
international trips. Staff members whose flight time is at least seven hours
may also travel Business Class. (For purposes of this policy, flights to/from Canada, Hawaii
are considered domestic.)
Lodging accommodations should be made at mid-price hotels, such as Starwood,
Hilton, Marriott, or Hyatt properties. AAOS will reimburse lodging expenses up
to $250 per day including all taxes, with the exception of hotel stays in New
York, Washington D.C., and San Francisco, which are reimbursable at a maximum
of $400 per day including all taxes.
Travelers to Rosemont should stay at the Hampton Inn, where AAOS has
preferential room rates. Stays at other Chicago area hotels will be reimbursed
at the Hampton Inn preferred rate, currently
$125 plus tax, and transportation costs are not reimbursable.
Meals and Beverages
AAOS will reimburse individuals for meals and beverages in conjunction with
official AAOS business at a rate of $125 per day, excluding those meals
provided by AAOS. The entire $125 may be applied toward dinner. Some programs or events may limit the daily rate
to less than $125 and notification will be made prior to the event. AAOS does not reimburse for meals taken in lieu of AAOS-provided or
sponsored meals, or for meals after travel has concluded (i.e., after return
Other travel expenses
AAOS will reimburse individuals for usual and customary miscellaneous
expenses related to travel in conjunction with AAOS business. Allowable
expenses in this category include:
- Wi-Fi usage on flights
- Internet usage based on
hotel’s access charge and reasonable cost (See Exhibit A)
- Hotel in-room movie or use
of hotel fitness center
- Customary gratuities for
baggage handling, etc.
- Ground transportation to
and from airports
- Valet laundry service up to
$50 when travel covers seven consecutive days.
Master accounts at hotels will only cover the room and
tax. Any other incidental expenses are to be paid by the traveler and claimed
on the expense voucher, if appropriate.
Personal expenses are not reimbursable. Examples include,
but are not limited to, child care, pet care, entertainment, and toiletry
AAOS will reimburse individuals traveling in conjunction with AAOS business
via personal automobile at the published US Government Internal Revenue Service
rate per mile ($0.535 per mile effective 01/01/17). If a personal vehicle is
used in lieu of airline travel, mileage reimbursement may not exceed the cost
of the commercial 21-day discounted Coach airfare. Automobile rental for travel
in conjunction with AAOS business is discouraged. Hotel shuttle vans and taxis
are the preferred mode of ground travel. If rental cars are necessary, AAOS has
negotiated special rates with Hertz and Avis. Please use the following
information when booking a rental:
SPECIAL RULES REGARDING TRAVEL
Add-on personal travel
Add-on or personal travel is defined as travel either before or after AAOS
meetings that is scheduled by and at the sole discretion of the traveler. All
expenses incurred with add-on travel are the responsibility of the traveler.
Original receipts are required for each travel expense item that is $25 or
more, including taxi fares or car services, however, the traveler is encouraged
to obtain receipts for all expenses. As
required under IRS guidelines receipts for meals should be detailed showing
individual food or beverage items. Hotel
receipts should include detailed room folios.
Expense reports (with attached receipts documenting all costs of $25 or
more) are due to the Accounts Payable Department within 30 days of the
completed travel. This ensures timely reimbursement and accurate record
keeping. Reimbursement checks are
typically issued within two weeks of receipt of vouchers.
Access Procedures when Traveling
The traveling employee, member, or faculty will be reimbursed for Internet
use for AAOS business or AAOS-related research. Some computer systems do not
support all methods of Internet connection.
In order to be reimbursed for Internet connectivity, the traveler must
utilize one of the following:
- The hotel's local Internet
service provider to access the Internet at the hotel's stated per diem rate. It
is the responsibility of the hotel guest to obtain this information and specifics
regarding log-on and/or passwords upon check-in, or
- His/her own Internet
service provider if that provider has a local access number or toll-free access
for the area where the employee, member or faculty is traveling. It is the responsibility of the employee,
member or faculty to ensure that this option is a viable alternative prior to
Most national Internet service providers (ISPs) have areas
on their websites where local access or toll-free access numbers can be found.
Please note that when using the service provider's toll-free access number in
lieu of a local access number, a surcharge or per-minute charge is typically
added to the subscriber's monthly bill. This will be the subscriber's
responsibility to pay and is not reimbursable.
Many national ISPs also have a customer service
number to call for the local access number for a given travel destination.
Small providers may not have a national access network. The traveler should
contact his/her individual service provider for more details.