Thursday, September 16, 2010

Details, details...

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship comes with a one-time $1000 international travel allowance.  Awesome. I'm using it for this trip. Or, rather, I guess I was planning to.

I filled out the online form to request the funds. I bought my ticket. I flew here. I got approval. In the approval email, they say:
Use of U.S.-flag air carriers by international travel allowance recipients
is required by the International Air Transportation Fair Competitive
Practices Act of 1974 known as the "Fly America Act." The conditions that
pertain to the use of U.S.-flag air carriers are found in GC-1*, Grant
General Conditions (07/02).
 It really would have helped to have this information printed in big letters at the top of the request form. According to this list, my ticket is not with a US-flag carrier. #!@($^#. It's been one of those days. Now what do I do?

If you have an NSF or NIH grant, must you always fly US-flag carriers?


gigirose said...

Yep-- I ran into this when flying to Asia last year on NSF $. The Fly America Act thing means that you have to use certain US carriers if you're flying with what are technically US tax dollars.

Liberal Arts Lady said...

You do have to use US carriers unless there aren't any, or your US carrier books you on a partner, or the US carriers get you there too late/too early/via too many legs - there are specific time requirements for those exemptions, though. Generally at the very least you have to get across the ocean on a US carrier.

Yes, big pain, and also yes, they really should put that on the funds request form for NSF Fellows! You guys are more likely to be worrying about this stuff for the first time, after all.

Karina said...

Thanks gigirose and Liberal Arts Lady. I bought my ticket with a US codeshare partner, so maybe I can swing it, but my ticket is definitely from a non-US partner. If I had known about this in advance I *easily* could have purchased the same ticket with the US airline. So frustrating.

African Fieldworker said...

what Liberal Arts Lady said. You must use a US carrier whenever possible. Going to East Africa, that generally is only possible on the first leg (US to Europe or wherever). I use a travel agent (not university one, they stink) and he deals with it for me.

Karina said...

I use a great travel agent who really could have made it work I'm sure, if I'd only known. :-(

African Fieldworker said...

given how expensive these flights are (to my E African country, a one way is over $1000 right now, am glad to be leaving during low season!), can you change your flight back and use it for that? or other expenses besides the ticket itself?