IMPACTS SSAI Travel Instructions

For those of you requesting travel with SSAI for the IMPACTS science team meeting, integration, de-integration(P-3 and ER-2) and deployment, please see the complete instructions below:   

The first action to all travel planning: submit the SSAI Travel Request (TR) form. The form is attached here.  The TR ensures that all basic travel details are accurate for the trip and the individual Scientist. As soon as your travel dates are known, submit the SSAI TR Form. If actual travel dates change later 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, send a copy to cassie.lehnhardt@ssaihq.com.  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. 
  
Long Distance Travel:  After your Travel Request has been formally approved by SSAI management, you will receive an email from one of the SSAI Travel Staff.  That is the appropriate time for you to contact the CI Azumano agent to book and pay for your airline reservations.
 
CI Azumano Travel This is the SSAI travel vendor. The invitation is for you to work directly with the CI Azumano Travel agents to select your flights.  At the time airline reservations are made, SSAI will pay the airfare costs.  Attached here you will find the contact information for CI Travel Agents. Nardy Tello is the primary SSAI designated Travel Agent.   If Nardy is unavailable, other agents from the list are well qualified and very familiar with the SSAI purchase and billing process.  Please try to work only with one of the listed agents. They will be able to book airline, rental car and most Amtrak reservations.  
 
Non-refundable airline tickets are purchased, at the lowest available rate on the day of purchase. If you have preferences, specific airlines, flight times or specific routes, please share them with the agent, but do not assume you will automatically be able to book your preferred flights or airline. The ticket cost will determine if it will be possible to accommodate your preferences. 
 
CI Travel needs to have 5 pieces of personal information from you. Please have this available when you first contact the agent.

  1. The exact spelling of your name as it is on the gov't issued photo ID that you will present at TSA security screenings.
  2. Your birth date
  3. Your Gender
  4. If you are traveling on a Passport, also required are: the ID number, the expiration date, the location where it was issued.
  5. A cell phone number or other contact phone number.

 
The Expense Report Form is attached here with the Trip Report Form. Both original paper forms are required for reimbursement payment. Don’t inadvertently cause a delay to your reimbursement payment. Submit both signed forms together along with your original receipts for hotel, rental cars, gas/oil, baggage fees and ground transportation. We do not require meal receipts.  
 
Foreign Travel Reimbursement:  All reimbursement expenses will be paid in US dollars.Utilize the on-line conversion tool found on the Oanda.com website.  This is the NASA and SSAI recognized currency conversion resource. If you pay cash for an expense, you will need to use Oanda.com to convert the Foreign Currencies to US Dollars. Printouts of expanded line items found on Bank or Credit Card statements are an excellent proof of purchase, as the conversion to USD has already been accomplished. If there are bank-charged currency conversion fees, those will also be notated on the same financial statement. 
 
US Domestic Local Ground Transportation and Rental cars:  During US Domestic SSAI business travel in Chincoteauge, 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. In case of an emergency, please call your travel support agent. 
 
The average daily rental rate, including all taxes and fees, should not exceed $65.00 per day. You must book a compact size or smaller; 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:  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 “taxifarefinder.com” 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.
 
Lodging: The lodging allowance rate established by GSA for Wallops Island is $110.00 per night. Taxes are not included with this rate, and are entered separately on the Expense Report. A receipt that shows the total 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 expense report/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. Please note that Per Diem is reduced to 75% for your departure and final return dates (i.e., first and last travel dates).  
 
Wallops Island Per Diem Full Day: $61.00
First and Last day of travel Per diem: $45.75
 
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 international travel and long duration, all reasonable baggage claims most likely will 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. 
 
The Expense Report Form is attached here with the Trip Report Form. Both forms are required for reimbursement payment. Submit both signed forms together at the same time as you submit 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.
 
You can submit documents electronically, please sign them and then scan all SSAI forms and all receipts into a PDF document and send as an email attachment to Cassie Lehnhardt. 
 
SSAI Hampton Travel Support: 
Cassie Lehnhardt is the main point of contact:  cassie.lehnhardt@ssaihq.com; 757-951-1674, Mon-Friday 8am to 5pm.
Bradley Hegyi, Ph.D is her back up: bradley.hegyi@ssaihq.com; 757-951-1620
 
We will support your travel and reimbursement requirements with our best efforts.  All inquiries will receive a reply as quickly as feasible.  Thank you! 
 
Best Regards,
Cassie
 
Cassie Lehnhardt
Travel Logistics, SSAI
1 Enterprise Parkway, Ste 200
Hampton VA 23666
757-951-1674
Cassie.lehnhardt@ssaihq.com