Travel Policy for AAOS Volunteers & Staff

The Academy/Association (AAOS) policy for AAOS-related travel for volunteers and staff is outlined below. This policy is effective January 1, 2018. Travel guidelines for members of the Board of Directors and for Council Chairs are outlined in a separate policy.

Please note that no member is eligible for reimbursement for travel to the Annual Meeting. This is the case even if a member is scheduled to attend a Council or Committee meeting during the course of the Annual Meeting.


The AAOS recognizes that volunteers give generously of their time and spend time away from their practices to participate in AAOS events. When this dedication on the part of members is added to the fact that more than 3,000 trips are made by AAOS volunteers in the course of a year, it becomes paramount that the AAOS travel policy be fair, consistent, and easily understandable. In addition, it must provide for prompt and accurate reimbursement of expenses incurred. Finally, it must fulfill certain obligations required by the Internal Revenue Service and also adhere to principles of prudent management.

Domestic Air Travel

Volunteer travelers are strongly encouraged, and AAOS staff are required (any exceptions must be approved by the Finance Director), to use CorpTrav, AAOS' official travel agent, to make their travel arrangements for AAOS business. In so doing the airfare and agent fees are charged directly to AAOS but travelers retain any reward miles that may apply and have access to 24 hour travel assistance. In addition, AAOS receives complimentary air travel certificates in proportion to the number of tickets and/or the amount of airfare AAOS books. These certificates are then used for special, unbudgeted events or costly tickets. (No reward miles are earned when traveling on a certificate.)

Round-trip travel should be booked on one airline whenever possible (the same airline going and returning). If a ticket for a volunteer exceeds $600, CorpTrav will contact AAOS staff to authorize issuing the ticket.

Discounted non-refundable and non-transferable main cabin coach class tickets for scheduled meetings should be purchased at least 21 days prior to travel, as this will generally yield the lowest fare available. Non-refundable does not mean that the ticket can’t be changed. If a non-refundable ticket is cancelled, CorpTrav will receive credit for the cost of the ticket, to be applied to future travel for the same individual on the same airline.

The fee to book the ticket is $12 if the ticket is purchased online and $32 if acquired over the phone – i.e., agent-assisted booking. There is an additional $15 charge for agent-assisted booking if done after hours, between 7:00 pm-7:00 am.

AAOS will reimburse for the additional fees charged by the airlines for checked bags up to a two bag maximum. Overweight baggage fees will not be reimbursed. Flight changes will be reimbursed up to $200 per round trip. Travel or flight insurance will not be reimbursed.

Use of a private airplane is strongly discouraged due to liability issues as the Academy’s insurance will neither cover the volunteer traveling aboard a private airplane on AAOS business nor the AAOS.


Upgrade purchases are not reimbursable, including upgrades to Economy Plus, however, additional fees for aisle or window seats are allowed.

International Flights

Volunteers traveling on behalf of the AAOS can travel Business Class on all international trips. Staff members whose flight time is at least seven hours may also travel Business Class. (For purposes of this policy, flights to/from Canada, Hawaii and Alaska are considered domestic.)

Related Topics


Lodging accommodations should be made at mid-price hotels, such as Starwood, Hilton, Marriott, or Hyatt properties. AAOS will reimburse lodging expenses up to $250 per day including all taxes, with the exception of hotel stays in New York, Washington D.C., and San Francisco, which are reimbursable at a maximum of $400 per day including all taxes.

Travelers to Rosemont should stay at the Hampton Inn, where AAOS has preferential room rates. Stays at other Chicago area hotels will be reimbursed at the Hampton Inn preferred rate, currently $134 plus tax, and transportation costs are not reimbursable.

Meals and Beverages

AAOS will reimburse individuals for meals and beverages in conjunction with official AAOS business at a rate of $125 per day, excluding those meals provided by AAOS. The entire $125 may be applied toward dinner. Some programs or events may limit the daily rate to less than $125 and notification will be made prior to the event. AAOS does not reimburse for meals taken in lieu of AAOS-provided or sponsored meals, or for meals after travel has concluded (i.e., after return flight).

Other Travel Expenses

AAOS will reimburse individuals for usual and customary miscellaneous expenses related to travel in conjunction with AAOS business. Allowable expenses in this category include:

  • Wi-Fi usage on flights
  • Internet usage based on hotel’s access charge and reasonable cost (See Exhibit A)
  • Hotel in-room movie or use of hotel fitness center
  • Customary gratuities for baggage handling, etc.
  • Ground transportation to and from airports
  • Valet laundry service up to $50 when travel covers seven consecutive days.
  • Master accounts at hotels will only cover the room and tax. Any other incidental expenses are to be paid by the traveler and claimed on the expense voucher, if appropriate.

Personal expenses are not reimbursable. Examples include, but are not limited to, child care, pet care, entertainment, and toiletry purchases.

Automobile Travel

AAOS will reimburse individuals traveling in conjunction with AAOS business via personal automobile at the published US Government Internal Revenue Service rate per mile ($0.545 per mile effective 01/01/18). If a personal vehicle is used in lieu of airline travel, mileage reimbursement may not exceed the cost of the commercial 21-day discounted Coach airfare.

Automobile rental for travel in conjunction with AAOS business is discouraged. Hotel shuttle vans and taxis are the preferred mode of ground travel. If rental cars are necessary, AAOS has negotiated special rates with Hertz and Avis. Please use the following information when booking a rental:

CV# 02KS0023

AWD# J095822

Special Rules Regarding Travel

Add-on Personal Travel

Add-on or personal travel is defined as travel either before or after AAOS meetings that is scheduled by and at the sole discretion of the traveler. All expenses incurred with add-on travel are the responsibility of the traveler.

Expense Reporting/Receipts

Original receipts are required for each travel expense item that is $25 or more, including taxi fares or car services, however, the traveler is encouraged to obtain receipts for all expenses. As required under IRS guidelines receipts for meals should be detailed showing individual food or beverage items. Hotel receipts should include detailed room folios.

Expense reports (with attached receipts documenting all costs of $25 or more) are due to the Accounts Payable Department within 30 days of the completed travel. This ensures timely reimbursement and accurate record keeping. Reimbursement checks are typically issued within two weeks of receipt of vouchers.

Exhibit A

Internet Access Procedures when Traveling

The traveling employee, member, or faculty will be reimbursed for Internet use for AAOS business or AAOS-related research. Some computer systems do not support all methods of Internet connection.

Internet Access

In order to be reimbursed for Internet connectivity, the traveler must utilize one of the following:

The hotel's local Internet service provider to access the Internet at the hotel's stated per diem rate. It is the responsibility of the hotel guest to obtain this information and specifics regarding log-on and/or passwords upon check-in, or His/her own Internet service provider if that provider has a local access number or toll-free access for the area where the employee, member or faculty is traveling. It is the responsibility of the employee, member or faculty to ensure that this option is a viable alternative prior to traveling.

Most national Internet service providers (ISPs) have areas on their websites where local access or toll-free access numbers can be found. Please note that when using the service provider's toll-free access number in lieu of a local access number, a surcharge or per-minute charge is typically added to the subscriber's monthly bill. This will be the subscriber's responsibility to pay and is not reimbursable.

Many national ISPs also have a customer service number to call for the local access number for a given travel destination. Small providers may not have a national access network. The traveler should contact his/her individual service provider for more details.