Interview with Dan Parnas about ConnexUC
What is ConnexUC?
ConnexUC (formerly Connexxus) is the UC's system-wide travel program.
Discounts and Rewards
ConnexUC provides access to discounts and rewards with airlines, lodging, car rental, and rail.
Managed by UCOP
ConnexUC is managed by UCOP, who negotiates discounts and rewards on behalf of employees.
Options to Book Travel
ConnexUC provides options to book travel with the UC Travel Center, BCD travel, Southwest Business, and Airbnb.
UC Travel Center
The UC Travel Center is a UC booking system with ticket exchange, customer support, and travel agency customer service.
BCD Travel is a third party system that hosts various higher education organizations.
Why Should I Use ConnexUC?
It can be frustrating to have to learn to use a new system but, ConnexUC’s online user interface, Concur, has a very similar design and user experience when compared to other popular travel search tools like Google Flights or Kayak. Concur is one of the most widely used business travel search engines in the world. As with any new system interface, there is a learning curve, but the travel team feels the benefits of using ConnexUC are well worth it for employee travelers.
Quite a bit of thought has gone into making the options in the system work with the needs of UC employees and the travel team regularly welcomes feedback on how they can continue to improve the user experience. Because ConnexUC is a UC system-wide program, it automatically includes the negotiated benefits at a system level for travelers. There are so many great benefits already in place, travelers may not know about them all.
Benefits to Using ConnexUC
ConnexUC provides access to exclusive discounts only available to the UC on airfare, car rental, train travel, and hotels.
ConnexUC provides possible access to:
- Preferred seating
- Complimentary seat upgrades
- Free Wifi
- Priority check-in
- Priority boarding
- Priority standby
- Involuntary downgrade protection
- Preferred re-accommodation
- Travelers receive increased consideration for better recognition outcomes when a flight is delayed or canceled
- Preferred seat protection
- Travelers receive preference in retaining their original seat assignment or seat attributes (such as Economy Plus, aisle, window, etc.) in the event of an aircraft swap
Car Rental Membership Status
ConnexUC provides immediate access to car rental membership status that allows you to bypass the rental counter and go straight to your rental car after a flight:
- Hertz Gold Plus
- Emerald Club for Enterprise and National Car Rental
- Dollar Express
- Thrifty Blue Chip
- Get the trip price held while you book
- Hold a flight reservation for up to 36 hours before having to pay for it
Bill Airfare Directly to the University
- Don't pay airfare out of pocket and then have to wait until the completion of travel for reimbursement
- Use Direct Bill to pay
- Enjoy built in travel policy compliance on the front end
- Avoid finding out after the fact that your expenses may not be reimbursed
Automatic Travel Insurance
- Get travel insurance included automatically
- Travel insurance coverage includes:
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Personal property loss
- Non-medical security extraction
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Passport replacement assistance
- Travel insurance coverage is worldwide, 24 hours a day
- Including 14 days of personal deviation or non-business related activities during a trip
- Travel insurance coverage includes:
Ticket Protection Services
- Ticket protection services
- Name changes
- Tickets booked on other booking sites explicitly prohibit name changes
- Managing unused, non-refundable tickets
- Even non-refundable tickets booked through ConnexUC result in credits that can be used for future travel
- Name changes
- Online booking
- Access to live agents by phone
- Significantly reduced call times compared to airlines
- Changes to reservations made in ConnexUC can still be made directly with the airline
- No restrictions on reservations booked through ConnexUC
- Assign another UC Berkeley employee to make reservations on your behalf
- Save travel information for future bookings:
- Frequent flier membership number
- Hotel rewards program
- Car rental rewards program
- TSA Pre-Check number
Frequent Flyer Rewards and Points
- Rewards and points earned by booking on any other booking site are also earned with ConnexUC
- All frequent flyer memberships in your profile are automatically entered in your reservation
Discounts and Benefits for Personal Travel
- Use UC discounts and benefits for personal travel for you and your family, or when traveling on business
Key features when using ConnexUC
- If a trip has to be canceled, employees will receive a credit to be used for their next trip.
- UC policy requirements and UC negotiated rates are built into the booking options.
- Employees can book a combination of business and personal travel in ConnexUC.
- ConnexUC can be used to purchase tickets for personal travel with travelers paying out of pocket and requesting reimbursement only for the business portion of the flight(s).
- Booking through ConnexUC automatically enrolls business travelers in the UC insurance program for the portion of their travel that is business.
- UC Berkeley employees can use ConnexUC to book vacation travel by paying with a personal credit card.
- Using ConnexUC for the first time - the basics of how to set up your profile
- Benefits of Using ConnexUC - a video overview of navigating the system and its benefits
- System access requirements for using ConnexUC - how to access the correct systems
- Using Direct Bill - how to charge business-related airfare to the university
- ConnexUC - frequently asked questions about the system
- Direct Bill - frequently asked questions about the direct bill system and process
- UCOP Central Travel Management
- UC Travel Center booking information
- Get help - training resources for travel