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Fly America Act and Open Skies Agreement


As of January 1, 2021, The United Kingdom (U.K.) is no longer a member of the EU. Consequently, the Open Skies Agreement with the EU does not pertain to the U.K. Travelers must use a U.S. Flag Carrier to travel from the U.S. to the U.K. and not a U.K. airline (e.g., British Airways), unless they use a different Fly America Act exception. Travelers may continue to use an EU agreement for travel from the U.S. to the U.K. as long as the flight stops in the EU prior to arrival in the U.S. or the U.K.

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Fly America Act

A federal law (Title 49 U.S. Code, Section 40118) that established a legal requirement that all government-financed air travel be performed by U.S. air carrier services where such service is available.

All flights (domestic and international) supported with federal awards must be taken on U.S. flag air carriers, regardless of cost or convenience – unless an exception, as listed in the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) is authorized.

To ensure compliance with the Fly America Act, travelers are encouraged to use Caltech's preferred travel agency, Christopherson - Business Travel or the CardQuest travel portal.

Exceptions to Fly America Act

Travel charge on a federal grant or contract must be booked using a U.S. air carrier unless an exception, under Federal Travel Regulation, is authorized for travel on a foreign air carrier. Authorized exceptions must be documented and certified.

Exceptions are listed below:

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