SSAI Travel Instructions

SSAI Travel Instructions for ATom

Travel Request Form
The first action to all travel planning:  download and submit the SSAI Travel Request Form.  This is to ensure all basic travel details are accurate for the trip and the individual scientist.  As soon as travel dates are available (even if estimated), submit the SSAI Travel Request Form.   If actual travel dates later change with the work requirements, an email to the SSAI Travel Staff describing the change is all that will be necessary.  
The form has the SSAI Charge Number pre-entered.  After providing the pertinent details, the traveler should sign it, then send a fax to 757-951-1900 or a scan copy to, or another SSAI Travel Staff.  It isn’t necessary for the PI or the guest traveler’s supervisor to sign the form.  SSAI Program and Project Managers are the signature approvers.

Expense Reimbursement
Download and fill out the Expense Report Form along with the Trip Report Form.  Both forms are required for reimbursement payment.  Submit both signed forms together at the same time as the receipts.  Hand written signatures are preferable on the two reimbursement forms.  Typing your name in a pretty font does not qualify as a signature.  If you have a photo or electronic facsimile of what was once your original signature those will be acceptable.
Original paper forms and receipts can be mailed or shipped to the SSAI address provided below.  However, you may find submitting electronic documents easier and more expeditious to the reimbursement processing time. Scan both SSAI forms and all receipts into a PDF document and send as an email attachment to
All reimbursement expenses will be paid in US dollars.
US Domestic Local Ground Transportation and Rental Cars   
During US Domestic SSAI business travel in Boulder, you will be covered under an SSAI insurance policy.  Do not purchase optional insurance from the rental car company, no matter how hard the representative pressures you.  If you do make the personal decision to purchase optional insurance, you will not be reimbursed.  The C.N.A. Insurance policy details are available upon request.
The average daily rental rate, including all taxes and fees, should not exceed $65.00 per day.  If you have particular factors that could qualify you for a larger more expensive car, you must have it approved by SSAI Travel Support prior to the departure date.  If you do not seek approval in advance of departure, you take on the risk of becoming fully responsible for the amount over $65.00 per day.
Other optional add-ons that will not be reimbursed:  pre-paid fuel, roadside assistance, child safety seats, and GPS devices. 

NOTE:  On May 13, 2015 the Federal Travel Regulation declared pre-paid fuel as non-reimbursable.  If you purchase this option, you will be responsible for this fuel expense and will not be reimbursed.  No exceptions.  So, plan to fill the gas tank yourself prior to returning the car.
Parking at the departure airport versus round-trip taxi fare:  This is particularly important for the longer duration Field Missions and will be closely scrutinized at SSAI. 

NASA may reimburse your parking fee as an allowable transportation expense not to exceed the cost of taxi fare to/from the terminal. As a prudent traveler, you should use satellite parking facilities rather than daily or valet parking facilities.
To be in compliance with the Federal travel requirements, when planning all travel that could require departure-airport parking fees, please prepare a simple cost comparison to determine which mode of ground travel would be more advantageous to the government (PoV driving with parking, versus round-trip taxi to/from home and airport). Whichever is MORE advantageous to the government should be the expense category listed on the SSAI Travel Request form.   At this time it is not required to provide the cost comparison with the expense report.    
NASA Auditors use “” when they audit vouchers. When comparing costs, please make sure the tip amount added to the fare estimate is 15%.  The site shows three different estimated costs depending on traffic, I recommend you always use the highest estimate. If the city doesn’t pull up, the default is to use the average US taxi rate.
The lodging allowance rate established by GSA for Boulder, CO for FY19 has not been released as of 07/18/2018.  Taxes are not included with this rate, and are entered separately on the Expense Report.  A receipt that shows the separation of room rate and tax charges is necessary for reimbursement. 
A hotel reservation confirmation email is not an adequate receipt.  Obtain the check-out Invoice and keep it to document your lodging expenses.  Submit it with your other receipts during the reimbursement process.
Meals & Incidental Per Diem will be paid at the allowance rate established by GSA, the General Services Administration.  The allowance is a flat rate and meal receipts are not required for reimbursement.  Only your departure and final return dates will require the 75% reduced M&IE. 
Boulder, CO Per Diem Full Day: TBD
First and Last day of travel Per diem: TBD

Required Receipts:

  • Airfare, if you purchased it yourself
  • Train fare, if you purchased it yourself
  • Baggage receipts (standard policy is for one checked bag, and or one carry-on). Because of long duration travel, all reasonable baggage claims will most likely be reimbursed.  If in doubt ask for clarification before you enter the claim.
  • Hotel check-out invoice.  An electronic copy of your reservation confirmation is not sufficient.  You must provide a receipt showing the full breakdown of PAID hotel charges.
  • Parking at departure airport, or directly related to SSAI work while on travel; If you were charged parking by a hotel it will be indicated on your check-out invoice.
  • Toll Receipts or the best document that can be made available for the electronically collected toll fees.
  • All ground transportation that is directly related to SSAI work while on travel.
  • Rental car, directly related to SSAI work while on travel.
  • Gas for the rental car, directly related to SSAI work while on travel.
  • Telephone charges only if directly related SSAI work while on travel.  Safe arrival calls home are no longer reimbursed as a separate line item.  This expense is included in the daily Incidental allowance built into the M&I E.
  • Internet fees only if directly related to SSAI work while on travel.  This pertains to all internet sources not only limited to airports, airlines and hotels. 

Missing Receipts:  SSAI is a contractor to NASA and not eligible for the $75 maximum amount for reimbursement without a receipt.  Simply, without a receipt there will not be a reimbursement. 
Two exceptions: 

  1. The maximum reimbursement of $10.00 is paid for toll or parking expenses without receipt documentation. 
  2. The maximum reimbursement of $15.00 is paid for Taxi/Shuttle expense without receipt documentation.   A bank card statement is a satisfactory substitution for any expense that has been paid by credit or debit card.  

SSAI Hampton Travel Support
Cassie Lehnhardt is the main point of contact:; 757-951-1674, Mon-Friday 8am to 5pm.
Jon Alouf is also available to support travel requirements:; 757-951-1946, Mon-Friday 8am to 5pm.
We will support your travel and reimbursement requirements with our best efforts.  All inquiries will receive a reply as quickly as feasible.
Best Regards,
Cassie Lehnhardt and Jonathon Alouf
SSAI, Travel Logistics
1 Enterprise Parkway, Ste. 200
Hampton VA 23666