Last Revision: 08/05/2022


Table of Contents:

Use of Google Chrome Required

NOTE: Google Chrome MUST be used to access the GURU website and for completing and/or downloading fill-and-print forms. Firefox, Internet Explorer, and/or Microsoft Edge do not support all features required for PDF fill-and-print form functionality. Substitutes for an approved University official form (created using a different browser or scanned copies) will be returned with the request to use the Chrome version of the form.


All air travel funded by the federal government are required to use a "U.S. flag" air carrier service (see complete list of certified U.S. flag air carriers). This requirement applies to:

  • Federal government employees and their dependents;
  • Consultants contractors, and grantees; and
  • Other travelers whose travel is paid for by the federal government.

You cannot cross the U.S. border to use a foreign airline to avoid being subject to the Fly America Act. If your travel does not comply with the Fly America Act, the government will not reimbursement your airline ticket costs. See the U.S. General Services Administration Fly America Act for complete details.

General Information:

The Fly America Act Waiver Checklist form must be completed PRIOR TO BOOKING all Outside of the Continental United States (OCONUS) air travel on non-U.S. flag carriers which is funded, in whole or part, by the U.S. government, or will be claimed as a cost under a federal award. If non-U.S. air carriers are used on federally funded travel, a waiver of the Fly America Act must be documented through completion and approval of this form. The approved form must be included as part of the documentation for the applicable SAP Concur report.

There are two distinct types of OCONUS travel:

  • OCONUS Domestic Travel - All travel to Alaska, Hawaii, and the U.S. Territories (including Guam; Puerto Rico; American Samoa; Northern Mariana Islands; Midway Islands; Wake Islands; Johnson Atoll; Baker, Howard, and Jarvis Islands; Kingman Reef; Navassa Island; Palmyra Atoll; and the U.S. Virgin Islands
  • OCONUS Foreign Travel - Travel to any other country in the world

Employees are responsible for assuring compliance with the Fly America Act for all federally-funded OCONUS travel. The following are options for booking OCONUS travel and completing the Fly America Act Waiver Checklist:

  • Travel On-Lion/SAP Concur/Anthony Travel - Penn State's system includes information on Fly America compliance for OCONUS flights, and Anthony Travel will complete the Fly America Act Waiver Checklist if a waiver is required.
  • Outside Travel Agency- Notify the agent that your OCONUS travel must comply with the Fly America Act and ask the agent to complete and sign the form if a waiver is required to be documented.
  • Self-Booking - The employee must assure compliance with the Fly America Act and complete and sign the checklist if a waiver must be documented.

If OCONUS travel requires use of airlines other than U.S. Flag Carriers, then this waiver checklist is REQUIRED. If a waiver cannot be documented, than the cost of the airfare must be paid on non-federal funds.

The Open Skies Agreement is one of the items on the checklist. Open Skies Agreements are bilateral or multilateral agreements between the U.S. Government and the government of foreign countries that allow travelers to use foreign air carriers from these countries for government-funded OCONUS travel (see the Open Skies Agreements subsection of the Fly America Act. Therefore, use of Open Skies Agreement Must be documented through use of this checklist. The basics of the Open Skies Agreement are outlined below:

Flying from the Continental United States to an OCONUS Domestic and/or OCONUS Foreign Country on Federal Funds:

If you are flying from the USA to an OCONUS Domestic or OCONUS Foreign Country on federal fund AND travel is funded by the Secretary of Defense (DOD) or Secretary of a military department such as the Air Force, Army or Navy - You are NOT permitted to take advantage of the Open Skies Agreement. You must fly on a U.S. flag airline unless you qualify for an exemption as documented on the Fly American Act Waiver Checklist.

If NOT, you may qualify under the Open Skies Agreement. The US General Service Administration (GSA) provides information for federal travelers which may be helpful to assure compliance under the Open Skies Agreement. Please note that only the agreements listed on the GSA website qualify for the Fly America Act exception. Other Open Skies Agreements listed on the State Department website do not qualify as an exception.

General Ledger Account Usage:

See the General Ledger Accounts and Payment Decision Matrix for appropriate GL to use. Options include:

  • 52780110 Travel & Conferences - In-State Airfare
  • 52780111 Travel & Conferences - In-State Airfare - Unallowable F&A
  • 52780210 Travel & Conferences - CONUS Airfare
  • 52780211 Travel & Conferences - CONUS Airfare - Unallowable F&A
  • 52780310 Travel & Conferences - Domestic OCONUS (Alaska, Hawaii, or U.S. Territories) Airfare
  • 52780311 Travel & Conferences - Domestic OCONUS (Alaska, Hawaii, or U.S. Territories) Airfare - Unallowable F&A
  • 52780410 Travel & Conferences - Foreign OCONUS (International) Airfare - Allowable F&A
  • 52780411 Travel & Conferences - Foreign OCUNUS (International) Airfare - Unallowable F&A

Exhibit and Instructions:

This form has fill-and-print form fields and digital ID (signature) fields enabled. The PDF version has instructions provided for the type and/or format of information to be included within the fill-and-print form fields. Hovering the computer mouse over any form field within the PDF will display these instructions. See Converting Web-based Documents to PDF Documents for details. See Applying Digital ID on PDFs for instructions on adding signatures.

To view a printed version of these instruction, click exhibit link below:

Fly America Act Waiver Checklist Exhibit

Form Requirements:

No form may be used that substitutes for an approved official University form without prior review and approval by the steward of the form/central office, as facilitated by the Office of Systems and Procedures (designated representative of the Associate Vice President for Budget and Finance). Policy FN17 Required Use of Approved University Forms Appearing in the General University Reference Utility (GURU) requires that all form templates must be vetted and approved prior to being published on the GURU website and all such documents having gone through said established approval process must be password protected.

Accessing GURU Forms:

GURU PDF forms are designed for use with Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat Pro. Each browser (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, etc) has a built-in PDF viewer making it the default PDF viewer without asking users. These built-in viewers do not necessarily support all features required for PDF forms. Similarly, many calculations are not supported by other stand-alone PDF readers (for examples, Nuance). It has been brought to the attention of the Office of Systems and Procedures that PDF forms do not function appropriately when accessed using Firefox and/or Microsoft Edge. In order to access any of the forms on GURU and have the fill-and-print functionality work properly, the end-user must access the GURU website using Google Chrome.

The latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader is available for free. Contact your IT support staff person for downloading assistance, if/as needed. If Adobe Acrobat Pro better suits your needs, contact your IT support staff person for purchasing and installation assistance.

Web-based Documents:

Clicking the form download icon on any form instruction page on GURU will open a web-based version of the form. While it appears to have fill-and-print fields available, not all functionality may be available for use (i.e. digital ID fields). With some exceptions (see exceptions below), it will be necessary to convert these web-based documents to PDF documents (see Converting Web-based Documents to PDF documents section).

Converting Web-based Documents to PDF Documents:

There are two (2) options available to download the form:

Option 1 - To create a PDF for this document (and this document only):

  • Click the form download icon on the form instruction page to open the web-based version of the form
  • click the download icon located in the upper right-hand corner of the web-document
  • Select a location to save the document where you will be able to locate and open the new document
  • Click "Save"
  • Open the document from the saved location

Option 2 - Change system settings to always open documents with Adobe:

  • Click the form download icon on the form instruction page to open the web-based version of the form
  • Click the download icon located in the upper right-hand corner of the web-document
  • Select a location to save the document where you will be able to locate and open the new document
  • Click "Save"
  • The file will appear in the bottom left-hand corner of your browser window. Click the small up arrow to the right of the file name
  • Click the "Always open with system viewer" option
  • The form now opens as a PDF and can be completed
  • All PDF files will now open in a separate window with Adobe


Combining PDF Documents:

There may be times when it is necessary to combine multiple PDF documents into a single document for submission. In those instances, complete the following steps:

  • Click on the appropriate form in GURU
  • Complete the fill-and-print boxes on the web-based form
  • Click the printer icon located in the upper right-hand corner of the screen
  • Change Destination to Microsoft Print to PDF using the drop-down arrow
  • Click Print at the bottom of that panel
  • Enter a file name in the box at the bottom of the pop-up window and be sure to select a location where you will be able to relocate the document
  • Click Save

Repeat this process for each document that will be combined (each file name must be different from the previous)

  • Now, open one of the completed PDF documents and on the far right select combine files
  • Click Add Files and select the files to be combined
  • Click Combine

Applying Digital ID's on PDF's (general instructions):

This form has the Digital ID (applying an electronic signature to the document) process enabled.

NOTE: Once a digital ID has been applied to a document, it is considered an "approved" document and it is not possible to make any revisions to the form. DO NOT apply any digital IDs until the document has been completed and is ready to be approved.

Complete all fill-and-print form fields before completing the signature process:

  1. Download the Fly America Act Waiver Checklist
  2. Complete all fill-and-print fields, including:
    • The check-box section indicating the type of waiver
    • Name of Foreign Carrier field
    • Flight Numbers field
    • Travel From and Travel To information fields
    • Travel Dates field
    • Their name, email, and phone number located at the bottom of the form and saves the form using the naming convention defined above
  3. Once the form is complete, click in the signature form field and either:
    • select your digital ID and click continue, or
    • create your digital ID, select your digital ID, and click continue
  4. Review the information in the appearance box and click sign
  5. You will be required to save a copy of the document (the digital signature is not applied until the form is saved)
    • A pop-up window opens with the file name containing fly-america-act-waiver-checklist-form-SIMBA in the name field. Add a dash and the traveler's last name, a dash, and first name (i.e., fly-america-act-waiver-checklist-form-SIMBA-smith-joseph)
    • Select a location where you will be able to retrieve the document
    • Click Save
  6. Close the form version appearing on your screen
  7. Open the version containing the borrower's last name saved in the previous steps
  8. Verify that the digital ID appears on the document
  9. Close the document
NOTE: The traveler must supply either a hand-written signature or apply their digital ID. Proxied signatures are NOT permitted.

Applying Digital ID's When Document Contains Multiple Signatures:

If travel is arranged by a Travel Agent, the Fly America Act Waiver Checklist Form requires a travel agent signature. Please complete the following process for obtaining the signature:

  1. The Traveler completes the form as defined above and sends an email, with the above referenced document as an attachment, to the Travel Agent
  2. The Travel Agent adds:
    • Name of Travel Agent field
    • Agency Name field and saves the document (do not change the file name)
    • The Agent applies their digital ID and saves the document again
  3. The Agent sends an email, with the above referenced document as an attachment, to the Traveler
  4. The Traveler saves the completed form and uploads to SAP Concur as supporting documentation for the transaction

Clearing Fill-and-Print Form Fields:

This form has the "Clear Form" Bookmarks enabled. To clear ALL form field entries:

  • If left-hand column is not displayed when the document is opened, click the small arrow located at about the mid-point of the left-hand side of the screen to reveal the column
  • Click "Bookmarks" (looks like a ribbon)
  • Click "Clear Form"

If you encounter any difficulties, contact the GURU support staff by submitting a Technical Support Form request.

Number of Copies and Ultimate Distribution:

Table of distribution and retention of the Fly America Act Waiver Checklist
Original Ultimate Distribution: Retention Periods: Disposition Method:
Original SAP Concur expense report General Funds = End of fiscal year +7 years

Restricted Funds = End of grant/contract (close date) +7 years
Electronic document and data = delete and empty recycle bin
Transitory Copy Copies created during the digital ID process and

Once verification of successful upload into SAP Concur
End of fiscal year +1 year Paper document = Secure Bin disposal or shred

Electronic document and data = delete and empty recycle bin

*Transitory Copies are University Records that have temporary value and, as a result, may be destroyed after they are no longer needed. In no event shall be retained longer than the official copy of the University Records as delineated on the Records Retention Schedule.

Where to Send Completed Forms:

The form is uploaded as supporting documentation to the SAP Concur expense report when the airfare is charged.

Contact Information:

For questions, additional detail, or to request changes to this form, contact the Business Area Financial Officer.

Cross References: