In November of 2021, we requested feedback on the process to book business travel. We appreciate your patience while we reviewed your feedback and assessed potential improvements. We received great feedback, most of which came from our faculty, although some came from staff.
We reviewed all the feedback carefully, shared it with the Chancellor and her cabinet, and have decided to scale back the mandatory use of ConnexUC. We will continue to strongly recommend the use of ConnexUC and Direct Bill for air travel, but will not require it at this time. The travel team will work to address some of the gaps that were identified during the public comment period. If and when it is agreed that all gaps have been mitigated, we will reconsider whether making this a requirement is appropriate.
Some of the most common themes that we found in the public comment included:
- If using grant funding for travel, shouldn’t the terms of the grant supersede campus policy?
- Campus travelers don’t have the time to learn new systems and often prefer to book travel using mobile apps while on the go.
- Paying with a direct bill requires familiarity with chartstrings, which the traveler may not have and adds time and complexity to the booking process.
- ConnexUC does not allow a traveler to book multiple tickets online under one reservation when traveling with others.
Many other concerns that were voiced were actually based upon common myths about ConnexUC, or based upon past experiences for services levels that have since improved. For example, we can assure you that ConnexUC does have access to all the same pricing as other travel sites, as well as exclusive UC negotiated discounts. Common reasons for different results can be found on the ConnexUC Compared to Other Travel Sites page. As a result of this type of feedback, we are committed to expanding our efforts to communicate and educate the campus about the ConnexUC program. There are some important resources on our Why Use ConnexUC page that address these concerns. We would also encourage campus travelers to review the frequently asked questions about ConnexUC, which are updated on a regular basis and watch a video overview about using ConnexUC on the Why Use ConnexUC page.
Already, improvements have been made to the ConnexUC program and to the service that the program provides because of the constructive feedback that was provided by our campus community including:
- A Sustainable Travel Guide is now available on the travel site. You’ll find helpful information and resources there, including instructions for how to book your air travel by selecting flights with the lowest CO2 emissions.
- When booking rental cars through ConnexUC, you can now get access to all-electric or hybrid vehicles at participating locations that will meet UC Travel policy guidelines for reimbursement.
- Instructions for booking group travel are now available as well, to simplify the process and obtain ConnexUC travel agent support/coordination when needed.
As a result of these new offerings and resources, exclusive UC negotiated discounts and the security that we can provide through the UC travel insurance program, we remain firmly convinced that the use of ConnexUC offers many benefits to our campus travelers that you won’t find anywhere else and we strongly encourage all of our campus travelers to give it a try.
More information about ConnexUC and Using Direct Bill to Charge Business-Related Airfare to the University is available on the travel website. If you would like to request a training session, or if you have any questions, email the travel team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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