Planning and Booking a Trip

Faculty and staff are required to make their travel arrangements -- including air travel, Amtrak, and lodging -- via the Concur booking tool, or by directly contacting Direct Travel, Rensselaer's partnered travel management company. All travel arrangements made directly through the agency will synchronize into the traveler’s Concur account and populate in his/her trip list.

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Travel Agency Information

Direct Travel is Rensselaer's partnered travel agency, and all travel arrangements booked through Concur are ultimately finalized by the agency. Travelers may make their arrangements via the Concur booking tool, or may contact the agency directly either by email or by calling them toll-free at (866) 492-9839.  If calling within the United States after hours, call (866) 492-9839, OPT 8; for callers outside the United States, call collect at 1 (203) 787-6223. There is no charge for after-hours or emergency travel changes.

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Discount Programs

United Airlines
  • This program will be available for travel ticketed through September 2020.
  • Offers a 2-11% discount on all fares originating from Albany International Airport, except for those that are prohibited from discounting by the airline.
  • The reduced rates are only valid for travel on Institute business.
  • Fully compatible with individual frequent flyer rewards programs.
  • Available both in Concur and by calling Direct Travel.
  • Discount code not required.
Southwest Airlines
  • This program will be available for travel ticketed through March 2020.
  • Offers an 8% discount on all fares originating from Albany International Airport, except for those that are prohibited from discounting by the airline.
  • Receive 50% Rapid Rewards Bonus through 3/31/2020 on all flights purchased through Concur Online Booking or through Direct Travel.
  • The reduced rates are valid on both Institute business and personal travel.
  • Fully compatible with individual frequent flyer rewards programs.
  • Need to register with Rapid Rewards (Southwest Airlines rewards program) and utilize Institute discount code. Discounts are only available to authorized Institute travelers. Please email Travel and Expense to request a discount code for this vendor.
Enterprise and National Car Rental
  • This program will be available for travel until further notice.
  • Offers a discount on the daily rental rate for all included vehicles (availability dependent upon location.)
  • National Emerald Club program allows travelers to bypass the counter and receive no-charge vehicle upgrades (availability dependent upon location.)
    • The reduced rates are valid on personal travel. Institute business travel should be booked separately through Concur or Direct Travel.
    • Does not include tax-exemption or bundled insurance discounts that are included on business rentals.
    • Need to register with Emerald Club (National Car Rental rewards program) and utilize Institute discount code. Discounts are only available to authorized Institute travelers. Please email Travel and Expense to request a discount code for this vendor. Registration is not required for Enterprise Rental and the same discount code will be accepted.
    • Available on both www.enterprise.com and www.nationalcar.com websites.
Albany Park, Ride and Fly

All Institute travelers can receive a special rate when utilizing Albany Park, Ride & Fly for their airport parking needs. The daily rate of $7.50 per day or $45.00 per week represents a discount of almost 30% from the normal rate.

This vendor offers the following benefits:

  • Premium valet service
  • 1200 parking spaces available
  • Top-quality car care services available
  • Paved, fenced and secure lots
  • 24-hour surveillance
  • Free ALB shuttle service
  • Complete luggage assistance
  • Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
  • Rewards towards free ALB parking

Simply reference that you are a Rensselaer traveler and the discount will be applied. You must drive in to receive the discount and cannot book on line or call ahead for a reservation.

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Rental Car Program

As per the Institute’s Travel Policy, travelers should rent cars only when other means of transportation are unavailable, more costly, or impractical. The use of the Company’s preferred car rental suppliers is required for all car rentals assuming one is available. The Institute has contracted with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to offer employees and students access to a discount and benefit package that is not available to the general public.

Car Rental Program Guidelines
  • Preferred vendors are Enterprise and National. Damage waiver and liability insurance are included in the cost of domestic rentals only. Travelers should purchase additional damage and liability insurance for rentals outside of the United States, including Canada and Mexico.
  • If your profile has your individual Emerald Club account information, the charge for the rental will be applied to the personal credit card associated with your Emerald Club account. Enterprise and National will not charge additional fees for drivers age 21-24.
  • Enterprise will direct bill international rentals but rates are not inclusive of insurance. Travelers should confirm any additional local coverage requirements with Enterprise representative at the time the vehicle is picked up. A personal credit card will be required in these instances.
  • National will not accept a direct bill for international or Emerald Club rental reservations.
  • Vehicles up to and including full-size cars are approved for travel into Canada. Specialty vehicles, including vans and sport utility vehicles, may not leave the United States.
  • Additional driver names are not required for faculty/staff/student rentals at the time of reservation.
  • Enterprise locations are primarily found outside airport facilities and do not offer the ability to bypass the rental counter check-in process. National locations are typically found in airports and do offer their Emerald Club rewards members the ability to bypass check-in and choose their own vehicle at select airports.

The Institute will allow Direct Travel to fulfill reservations made using an individual’s Emerald Club membership on the condition that the traveler pays in full for the cost of the rental and submits the expense for reimbursement in accordance to the Institute’s Travel & Expense policy. Emerald Club reservations may not be directly billed to the Institute; in addition, reservations made with an Emerald Club membership are subject to the following conditions:

  • The individual must establish an Emerald Club membership prior to reserving their rental vehicle, and must use a personal credit card to secure the reservation. National will not accept debit or declining balance cards.
  • These reservations are not treated as tax-exempt transactions, as the Institute is not directly paying for the vehicle.
  • Travelers should request a mid-size car at the time the reservation is made. When available, travelers may select a full-size vehicle at no additional charge.
  • Travelers should decline any supplemental insurance, as it will not be reimbursed. The Institute contract rate (including the bundled insurance) is included in the base price of the rental.

Travelers should make every effort to utilize the most cost-effective mode possible for their transportation needs. Individuals who have any questions or concerns are welcome to contact Rensselaer's Travel Expense Support .

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Credit/Debit Card Program

Rensselaer maintains a limited credit/debit card program for the furtherance of Institute business. Credit cards are made available to staff members in senior leadership positions at Rensselaer; the debit card program is primarily intended to facilitate group travel and expenses for the benefit of Rensselaer students. Presidential approval is required for all new accounts. Rensselaer travelers should contact their business/portfolio manager if they feel that they would benefit from participation in this program.

All card holders are required to comple the Training Program for Credit or Declining Balance Cards prior to a new card being issued.

 

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Tips for International Travelers

Due to the complexity of international faring, routing, and rules, Rensselaer recommends that travelers book their international travel through Direct Travel and their dedicated travel agents. Direct Travel supports the Concur Travel & Expense system, and the reservations they book will feed into the traveler's Concur profile.

Travel Documentation

You need valid documentation to travel internationally; this may include a passport and/or visa. Please confirm with the U.S Department of State that you possess the documentation necessary to complete your trip. Information can be found here. Failure to adhere to passport/visa requirements will prevent you from boarding international flights. It is good practice to ensure your passport is valid six months beyond your return date.

Vaccinations

Check with the Center for Disease Control for any recommended country-specific vaccinations at least 4-6 weeks in advance of your departure.

International SOS

International SOS provides access to global medical and security assurance, and offers travelers important advisories that are specific to the country to which they are traveling. Access to services, assistance and travel information is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, from all over the world! This resource is available for business and personal travel.

All international travelers will be expected to download the International SOS Assistance App on their smartphones. The mobile Travel Tracker application will also facilitate communication and a check-in feature with the Institute, which can be particularly helpful in the event of an emergency.

Search for "International SOS Assistance App" in your smartphone's app store.

Enter Rensselaer’s member ID of 11BSGC000023 once the application is downloaded.

Follow the system prompts to complete registration.

Access benefit information and a printable membership card by visiting the International SOS website, clicking on Members and entering Rensselaer’s membership number 11BSGC000023 in the Member Login section.

Please contact the Division of Human Resources with any questions.

Export Control

You should be aware of the country-specific limitations on the shipment or transfer of controlled items, software or technology outside the United States. You can contact Rensselaer Export Control with any questions at exportcontrol@rpi.edu.

Rental Vehicles

Please remember to accept any supplemental insurance coverage offered for rentals booked outside the United States, including those booked in Canada and Mexico. Requirements vary by country and travelers should consult the local Enterprise branch representative at the time of the rental.

Hotel & Train Reservations

Hotel Reservations

Rensselaer travelers are allowed to book and pay personally for lodging expenses related to conference attendance at international locations provided that the itinerary is emailed to plans@concur.com in advance of departure. This itinerary should contain the property name, address, and daily rate information.

Train Reservations

Rensselaer travelers are allowed to book and personally pay for train reservations where the travel occurs on the same day that the reservation is made. Travelers are required to forward their reservation to plans@concur.com in advance of departure and should include origination/destination information, train number, and rate information.

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Tips for First-Time or Infrequent Travelers

Rensselaer defines infrequent travelers as Institute faculty, staff and students who make travel arrangements less than once every six months. Individuals who have not traveled on Rensselaer business at some point in the previous six months will receive automated email notifications to assist them in managing both their travel and the associated expense reporting requirements.

Once travelers have confirmed their reservation with the travel agent, they will receive an email containing directions on the hotel payment process, information on mobile options, receipt/expense documentation requirements, and other information they may need to have in advance of their trip.  Travelers will receive a second, similar email notification five days before they are scheduled to travel.

At the conclusion of their trip, travelers will receive an email with information regarding Rensselaer's expense report process. The email, which will focus on expensing outstanding charges, will also contain links to training on specific Concur functionality to help travelers submit their expense reports.