August 2023
Welcome to the first edition of the U-M Travel Program News!
Dear Readers,

On behalf of the entire U-M Travel Program Team, I’d like to welcome you to the inaugural edition of the Travel Program News! Our main objective in developing this bi-monthly newsletter was to ensure that it’s—from the very first edition—an invaluable source of travel-related information for members of the U-M community. 

Whether it’s a policy-related update, a feature on a travel supplier, recommendations on how to reduce expenses, or simply a list of tips and tricks that will enhance your travel experience, we want this newsletter to be at the top of your ‘go-to’ resources when you travel on behalf of U-M. 

To that end, we’ll need—and welcome—your help and perspective. Please take a few minutes to read our first edition and let us know what you think of the content and any suggestions you may have for future topics. We understand that your time is very important and we aim to make every edition of this newsletter worth your while.

We hope you enjoy reading the Travel Program News and look forward to your feedback! 

Warm regards,
Karin Feher
Assistant Director, Travel/Expense and Business Operations

PS: You’re receiving this newsletter because you’ve traveled or booked travel for university business in the past 12 months and/or attended a virtual office hour on U-M’s travel program. 
Changes to National Car Rental/Enterprise Rent-A-Car contract
The contract under which U-M offers discounted car rental services to the university community expired on July 31, 2023, and is being renegotiated with an expectation that a new agreement will be in place on September 1, 2023. 

As a result—and due in large part to inflation and other factors impacting the travel industry—rental rates at both National Car Rental and Enterprise Rent-A-Car increased on August 1. Read more.
Use CTP to minimize travel disruptions
Earlier this summer, Collegiate Travel Planners (CTP), U-M’s designated travel partner,  advised the university that the travel industry is experiencing a record number of flight delays and cancellations. 

By booking flights through CTP, U-M travelers can get assistance from CTP agents with travel delays and cancellations. In addition, travelers are given priority rebooking over those who booked directly with an airline. Read more.
Travel Supplier Showcase—Save the date!
The U-M Travel Program Team is excited to announce the first annual Travel Program Supplier Showcase. The on-site show will feature representatives from a variety of UM-preferred travel suppliers such as CTP, Delta Airlines, Metro Cars, and others, who can answer your travel-related questions. In addition, you’ll be able to talk one-on-one with members of the U-M Travel Program Team. 

“This show will allow U-M employees to learn more about the services provided by our preferred travel suppliers,” said Jeanette Frost, travel program manager. “And they’ll be able to establish relationships with both the U-M Travel Program team and our suppliers.” 

Please save the date and look for additional details in the October newsletter.

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
Palmer Commons, Ann Arbor
New travel authorization requirements in Europe
Starting in 2024 (a specific date hasn’t been announced yet), U.S. passport holders—along with visa-exempt nationals from many other countries—will need authorization via the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) to travel to 30 different European countries

Once authorized through ETIAS, travelers may visit those countries as often as needed for short-term stays of up to 90 days within any 180-day period. The application, which isn’t available yet, will cost 7 euros (approximately $8 USD) and the authorization will be valid for up to three years. The ETIAS application fee—similar to passport application fees—will not be reimbursable as a U-M business expense since it can also be used for personal travel.

Review the ETIAS website and European Commission Q&A for more information about the new authorization requirements and process.
Refunds for unused airline ticket credits
Collegiate Travel Planners (CTP)—U-M’s designated travel partner—was able to obtain a refund of nearly $100,000 for over 200 eligible unused ticket credits from Delta and United Airlines. Read More.
New airfare payment method offers a variety of benefits
The Central Travel Account (CTA) virtual card payment method was recently launched for airfare transactions and associated booking fees. The CTA is a virtual credit card that is available to all U-M employees and is automatically populated as the payment method when booking airfare for employees, guests, or students in U-M’s online booking tool, Lightning. Read more.
U-M introduces new Travel Card
Procurement Services implemented a U-M Travel Card to supplement the current PCard program. The Travel Card is restricted to travel merchants only and is for employees who travel, but do not make any other business purchases for their department. Read more.
Upcoming virtual sessions on travel
We look forward to seeing you and encourage you to add these dates to your calendar. Additional sessions will be posted on the Procurement Services travel webpage as they are scheduled.

August 10, 1 to 2 p.m.—Group travel information session
August 15, 2 to 3 p.m.—Office hours
August 23, 1 to 2 p.m.—Group travel information session
August 30, 2 to 3 p.m.—Office hours
September 13, 1 to 2 p.m.—Group travel information session

The Zoom link and passcode below can be used for all sessions:
Passcode: 949288

Office hours—Representatives from both CTP and the U-M Travel Program will be available to answer your travel-related questions. Office hours will continue monthly, with dates published on the Procurement Services travel webpage

Group travel information sessions—Representatives from CTP will join us to review the process of booking and managing group travel and demo Travel Quote, a new booking option, and answer your questions. 
Individualized travel program training
The U-M Travel Program Team is here to support your training needs. Contact us if you would like us to join your team meetings or hold custom training sessions for your department. 

We can help train on employee, guest, or group booking as well as how to use the online booking tool, Lightning. In addition, we can answer your travel policy, PCard, and Travel Card questions. To schedule a training or meeting, please email us at or fill out our Travel Program e-form.
Keep up with travel news between newsletters
We encourage you to join the U-M Travel Program’s new Slack channel, #travel-program, to stay up-to-date on all things related to U-M travel, including program updates, announcements, travel tips, events, and more. 

If you haven’t heard of Slack, we encourage you to check it out! Creating an account is easy and we hope to see you on Slack soon!
Contact Us
Please contact us with any feedback, comments, questions, or concerns at We enjoy hearing from you and welcome your feedback.
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