B A R N A R D C O L L E G E
Fly America Act and Open Skies Agreement
Rules and Regulations for Federal Grants
Fly America Act
If a Barnard College faculty member or staff member is utilizing funding provided by the federal government for domestic travel, s/he must use a US flag carrier (an airline owned by an American company) regardless of cost or general convenience to the traveler.
When scheduling international travel using funding from a federal grant, faculty and staff members must ensure that all flights use a US flag carrier or a foreign airline that code shares with a U.S. flag carrier. (There are some exemptions to this for certain circumstances. See below.*)
Code sharing happens when two or more airlines “code” the same flight as if it was their own. U.S. airlines can sell seats on the plane of a foreign air carrier and, in such instances, the seat is considered the same as one on a plane operated by a U.S. flag carrier. You can ensure that compliance with the Fly America Act is satisfied by checking that the U.S. flag carrier’s designator code is located next to the flight numbers on the airline ticket, boarding pass, or on the documentation for an electronic ticket (a receipt, for instance).
If you have questions about this process, please check with Institutional Funding.
Open Skies Agreement
The “Open Skies” Air Transport Agreement, published by the General Services Administration on October 6, 2010, explains the multilateral agreement that establishes additional exemptions to the Fly America Act. The Open Skies Agreement allows qualifying travelers using federal funds to travel on both European Union airlines as well as US Flag Carriers.** The Open Skies Agreement includes all member countries of the European Union as well as Iceland and Norway. The US also has similar Open Skies agreements with Australia, Switzerland, and Japan. For travel in:
* The exemptions to the Fly America Act are listed below and available on the GSA website.
** Faculty using Department of Defense (DOD) funding for travel are not permitted to use Open Sky Agreements for exemptions in their travel. Unless faculty qualify for exemptions noted in FTR 301-10.135, sections (a), (d), (e), (f), and (g), they must use an American carrier with their DOD funding.
*** Information on GSA City-Pairs may be found here. Barnard College faculty and staff using federal grant funding are unable to obtain the fare offered through this GSA program. According to the GSA, ineligibility to use the benefits of the City‐Pair Program does not impact access to the Open Skies Agreement as discussed above. Essentially, if transportation is between two points of travel for which there is a city‐pair contract fare in effect on the GSA website, Barnard College faculty and staff traveling using federal grant funding are still required to use U.S. flag air carrier service in accordance with the Fly America Act. Always check if there is a City-Pair agreement before purchasing tickets. The list of City-Pair Programs is available here.
If you have additional questions, please contact Institutional Funding.