Due to current economic impacts, largely in part to the rising cost of gasoline, inadequate airline staffing and pilots, and a shortage of operable airplanes, airfare prices have risen over 30% in the past year. For decades booking domestic travel 21 days in advance has been the status quo; unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the status quo is no longer pertinent. Advance purchasing no longer has the same cost-savings and due to an influx of post-pandemic air travel, it no longer makes sense to adhere to an ineffective practice.
The supply of flights available in accordance with the abundance of people wanting to travel for business and leisure, is permitting airfare to skyrocket. Fares once thought to be $200- $300 roundtrip have now increased at an average of 30%. In accordance with this new cost increase, it is recommended that 30% be added to the airfare estimates you find via web searches, Google, Expedia, etc., for travel requests (TR’s). Please keep in mind, airfare costs can change quickly and it is much better to overestimate, then not. Due to new procedures within CAS, extra steps are required to add funds to an underestimated TR that can slow the reimbursement process down by several weeks.
Thank you for your cooperation and for more information, contact Erin Carlson.
Rubin Observatory provides travel assistance for individuals traveling on behalf of the project. Travel assistance includes agent assisted flight scheduling, hotel accommodations, car rental reservations and Amtrak (where available) through the Rubin Obs Travel Administrator, Erin Carlson. All AURA project members traveling on behalf of Rubin Observatory must have completed a Travel Request (TR) through the Reqless 2021 system. The TR must be filled completely with reason for travel, estimated expenses, destination points of travel and preferred airport location (especially when multiple airports may be considered; i.e. LGA, JFK, EWR / DCA, IAD, BWI / ORD or MDW / SFO, SJC,OAK). Additional information such as an agenda, suggested flight itinerary or conference website information is beneficial to the funding manager and Travel Administrator when considering and responding to a TR. The TR is then routed for supervisor review and approval. The TR is required for approval funds encumbered and allows the traveler to be covered in the event of an accident or other emergency. All travelers expected to travel on behalf of the project should read the Rubin Obervatory Travel Procedure.
Once a TR is approved within the system a copy of the TR is routed to the Travel Administrator and all Project Management Admins. You will receive a response from the Travel Administrator generally within 5 business days, depending on your travel dates. Otherwise you will be contacted at least 21 days prior to the travel date, as long as this travel request allows this period of time and depending on the current travel volume. Finally, AURA has made expense reimbursement simple and seamless with online Travel Expense Reimbursement through Reqless 2021. Similar to creating a TR, you will log back into the system, access your TR and click on Create TER. Please see the TER webpage for more information.
Non-AURA Rubin Observatory project members will need to fill out a form to request travel until future notice. Angela Lewis will be submitting TR's and TER's for Princeton University, and affilates, Rubin subsystem members and Regina Matter will be initiating TR's and TER's for SLAC, and affilates, Rubin subsystem members.
Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Support Agreement No. 1202910, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded Rubin Observatory Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). The DOE-funded effort to build the the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.
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