Frequently Asked Questions - ConnexUC - UC's Online Booking Portal

ConnexUC - UC's Online Booking Portal

Watch the video - Benefits of ConnexUC

A video is available that describes some of the Benefits of Using ConnexUC travel portal over other discount travel booking sites.

Am I required to use ConnexUC?

The requirement to book airfare through ConnexUC is not currently being enforced, while we gather feedback from campus. We'll update the FAQ as needed with any changes. 

Yes, for airfare reservations booked after November 1, 2021 (not travel date, but actual booking date). If you are a UC Berkeley employee, you are also required to pay for the airfare using a Direct Bill ID. The UC Berkeley Accounts Payable and Travel Office can grant an exception in certain circumstances. We strongly recommend ConnexUC be used for hotel and car rentals, but because the direct bill option is not currently available for those expenses, it is not required.

Are ConnexUC rates competitive with those I can get from booking directly or shopping online?

Absolutely! ConnexUC travel agencies use the same Global Distribution Systems that commercial travel companies such as United, Delta, or Expedia use for scheduling and pricing options. ALL accredited airlines, schedules, and prices are offered through the ConnexUC travel agencies. Airfare prices booked through ConnexUC should be equal to or less expensive than those you will find elsewhere.

Can I request an exception from booking my airfare through ConnexUC?

The requirement to book airfare through ConnexUC is not currently being enforced, while we gather feedback from campus. We'll update the FAQ as needed with any changes. 

We promise our business travelers that we will not disadvantage them with the requirement to book their business airfare through ConnexUC. As we work to continue to improve the program and listen to our business travelers, if you find a better airfare option (price or schedule/routing) that you are unable to find in ConnexUC, you can simply go ahead and book the reservation outside of ConnexUC. When submitting for reimbursement, please just make sure to upload a screen capture from ConnexUC of the search results found there and explain in the special circumstances section why that was a suboptimal choice. By providing that feedback that will allow us to continue to work with the Central Travel Office at UCOP to continue to improve the search results found in ConnexUC.  Additionally, it is essential that if you book outside of ConnexUC that you register for the UC Trip Insurance program.

If I book my airline ticket through ConnexUC, will I still get all of my frequent flier/loyalty points as if I booked directly with the airline and will I still have access to upgrades and other benefits?

Absolutely, travelers at a minimum receive all of the same loyalty rewards/points from travel booked through ConnexUC as they would if booking directly with the airline. And, in some cases, we actually have special bonus rewards negotiated with some of the airlines.  The next time you log into ConnexUC, click on "About" and then "Air" to see, by airline, the different discounts they offer exclusively to the UC and any additional perks/rewards they offer as well.

If I book my airline ticket through ConnexUC and if I need to make changes to the reservation or my flight is cancelled, can I work directly with the airline to make changes or rebook if that is my preference?

Or would I be required to use ConnexUC for changes too?

Airline tickets booked through ConnexUC have no restrictions on them, so if an employee prefers to work directly with the airline to make changes or rebook a cancelled flight they may do so. But, one of the many advantages of the program is that if you need agent assistance and don't have potentially hours to wait on hold for an airline representative, you also have access to live ConnexUC agents (fees may apply depending on the circumstance).

Can I use my personal credit card when making reservations through ConnexUC?

The requirement to book airfare through ConnexUC is not currently being enforced, while we gather feedback from campus. We'll update the FAQ as needed with any changes. 

For airfare reservations booked after November 1, 2021 (not the travel date, but the actual booking date), if you are a UC Berkeley employee, you are required to pay for the airfare using a Direct Bill ID. But, because the direct bill option is not currently available for hotel and car rentals, you will still need to use a personal credit card when making reservations for those services through ConnexUC.

May I book Southwest “Wanna Get Away” fares through a ConnexUC travel agency?

Yes, both the UC Travel Center and BCD Travel have access to Southwest “Wanna Get Away” fares, as well as exclusive UC negotiated discounts with Southwest. Either agency can assist you with a Southwest reservation and accept a Direct Bill ID as payment.

How do I contact a ConnexUC travel agency?

Complete contact information is available by logging into ConnexUC. Be aware that reservations made via telephone are subject to higher transaction fees.

BCD Travel

Phone within US: 877-885-8632

Phone outside US: 818-238-4445, press #3

Email: Connexxus.TravelRequests@bcdtravel.com or UC.CustSvc@bcdtravel.com (for invoice requests)

UC Travel Center

Phone: 310-206-2639, press #2 or 800-235-UCLA (8252) (outside the US) or locate the after hours phone numbers listed at the bottom of your ticketed itinerary.

Email: travel@finance.ucla.edu (Email is not monitored during after hours, Fridays, Weekends and Holidays.)

Shorts Travel

Phone: 877-277-5754

Email: ucsupport@shortstravel.com

Southwest SWABIZ

Phone: 800-435-9792

Why can’t I log into ConnexUC?

Only UC Berkeley faculty and staff in authorized title codes can access ConnexUC and Direct Bill. Please refer to the list of Academic Titles Granted Access to ConnexUC/Direct Bill (PDF).

If a UC Berkeley employee is not in a qualified title code but needs access to ConnexUC and Direct Bill, please contact travel@berkeley.edu to request access. Individuals who are not UC Berkeley employees (i.e., contractors, consultants, temp agency employees, students) may not be given access to ConnexUC or Direct Bill.

All users must:

  • be an active UC Berkeley employee
  • have a valid CalNet ID;
  • have a completed Berkeley Directory Listing that includes an email address and telephone number; to see your Berkeley directory listing, select ‘Directory’ at the top of the Berkeley homepage.

Please allow 48 hours for the system to build a valid profile.

Travelers not eligible for access to ConnexUC and Direct Bill should coordinate with an eligible campus employee to make guest traveler arrangements on their behalf.

Please report access problems to travel@berkeley.edu.

I’m a frequent traveler. Is it possible to save my information to a profile to make the booking process more efficient?

Basic UC Berkeley directory information is sent to ConnexUC on a daily basis.

Go to ConnexUC and use the ConnexUC profile to edit your profile including:

  • Emergency contacts
  • Loyalty membership / frequent flyer numbers
  • Authorized travel ‘arrangers’
  • Passport/Visa information

If I want to travel with family members, how can I book airline tickets through ConnexUC such that our entire family is on the same reservation?

Unfortunately, at this time, there is no simple way for a business traveler to use ConnexUC to purchase airline tickets for themselves (using Direct Bill) and family members (using personal funds) on the same airfare reservation.

For UC Berkeley employees seeking reimbursement for their airfare when traveling with family members:

  • Include a copy of the flight reservation showing travel with family members
  • Check the box on the Special Circumstances page that the trip included personal days
  • Include a statement in the explanation box that airfare was booked outside of ConnexUC due to traveling with family members

No additional approvals beyond what is customary to be reimbursed will be required.

I have a flight credit that is going to expire. Will I still be reimbursed for my flight if I book the ticket outside of ConnexUC using the credit to pay for my ticket after November 1st?

The requirement to book airfare through ConnexUC is not currently being enforced, while we gather feedback from campus. We'll update the FAQ as needed with any changes. 

If the original ticket was bought outside of ConnexUC, of course we want you to be able to use the credit that you received so that those funds are not lost. When you seek reimbursement, just make clear in the explanation box on the special circumstances page of the reimbursement system that the credit was from a ticket bought prior to the November 1st requirement going into effect. You will be required to provide the receipt from when you bought the original ticket, just to show proof of payment, but that is nothing new.

If part of my business travel involves personal time, can I still use ConnexUC and Direct Bill to purchase the airline ticket?

The requirement to book airfare through ConnexUC is not currently being enforced, while we gather feedback from campus. We'll update the FAQ as needed with any changes. 

If the personal time simply involves arriving earlier and/or staying longer at the destination at which the business travel occurred, then the requirement to use ConnexUC and Direct Bill still applies. If the traveler adds additional locations to the flight itinerary that are for personal purposes, then the airline ticket can not be purchased using Direct Bill.

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. All UC Berkeley employees can use ConnexUC to book vacation travel by paying with a personal credit card.

How should I purchase my airline ticket if it is being paid for by an external source, for example, the sponsor of a conference at which I am presenting?

If an external party is paying directly for an airline ticket for a UC Berkeley employee, then it is acceptable to purchase the ticket outside of ConnexUC. If the travel is for UC business purposes, you may self-register for UC’s travel insurance coverage on the Risk Services Travel page.

Will I still be reimbursed if book air travel outside of ConnexUC and do not provide evidence that I reviewed ConnexUC flight options for comparison?

The requirement to book airfare through ConnexUC is not currently being enforced, while we gather feedback from campus. We'll update the FAQ as needed with any changes. 

Airfare expenses booked outside of ConnexUC that do not include a screen capture from ConnexUC along with an explanation for why the ConnexUC search results were suboptimal will still be reimbursed as long as they meet all other policy requirements, but they will require additional approvals from a Dean/VC level approver.

Does the requirement to use ConnexUC apply to student or guest travelers?

The requirement to book airfare through ConnexUC is not currently being enforced, while we gather feedback from campus. We'll update the FAQ as needed with any changes. 

Only UC Berkeley employees are required to book their airfare through ConnexUC using Direct Bill. For non-employees needing UC business travel, a UC Berkeley employee can book travel on their behalf through ConnexUC/Direct Bill using the “guest” option. This eliminates the need for the traveler to pay out-of-pocket and wait for reimbursement until after the completion of travel.

What is the benefit to the business traveler to book airfare using ConnexUC and Direct Bill?

In addition to the airfare scheduling and pricing options provided through ConnexUC being equal to or better than most anything you might find on other travel booking sites, booking through ConnexUC and using Direct Bill provides many other significant benefits to our UC business travelers:

  • Flexibility to make travel arrangements either online or with an agent by phone.
  • Cancelled ConnexUC tickets result in a credit that can be used for a future flight, even if the ticket was non-refundable.
  • Supports the Direct Bill process to charge airfare directly to the university so that our business travelers do not have to pay for their airline ticket(s) in advance and then wait until after the completion of travel to get reimbursed.
  • Qualify for various airline benefits based on availability.
    • Free preferred seats
    • Upgrades to business or first-class seats
    • Priority boarding and priority standby
  • Automatic enrollment in Business and Travel Accident Insurance coverage at no cost for employees and students.

Where can I find the FAQ page in ConnexUC?

You can access the ConnexUC FAQ page once you've logged into ConnexUC. Please refer to these FAQs for additional guidance when making travel arrangements using ConnexUC.