Stay up to date on current travel restrictions on the University of Waterloo's travel advice page.

General travel questions and Procurement & Contract Services responses:

What is the rate per kilometer driven?

The University of Waterloo pays $.59 per km, with some limitations in terms of high km claims. See travel policy for specifics.

Will Procurement arrange for my flights or book hotel rooms on my behalf?

No, our expertise is negotiating the general contracts and making arrangements for the university as a whole. We have engaged a preferred travel provider named FCM if you wish that someone make these arrangements for you.

Why is FCM the University's “preferred” travel provider?

In order to ensure that we have a supplier who is fully aware of University of Waterloo travel requirements, we decided that it was prudent to have a single firm who was able to manage University of Waterloo requirements with industry expertise.  A request for proposal was issued and an evaluation committee from all aspects of the University of Waterloo determined FCM Travel to offer the most value for their fee.

What can I use FCM for, and how much does it cost?

FCM (either bookings from directly within Concur or through an FCM agent over the phone/email) may be used for University of Waterloo business travel only. You must have a UW Concur account to book airfare, hotels, and car rentals with FCM.

FCM has a team available to aid in world travel, offering contacts and expertise for travel via air, train, car, and hotel. They also have 24hr emergency assistance, worldwide. FCM charges are pro-rated based on if it was an online booking ($9) or if a personal agent is required ($28). 

Please note when comparing prices that "basic" fare type is purposefully blocked from sale in Concur due to to the extreme inflexibility (no changes, no ability to cancel for credit, no seats or bag included, no frequent traveller mileage and the first fare type to get bumped off the flight in case of overbooking).  It is not recommended to book these fares for any business travel.  

What can I NOT use FCM for?

FCM cannot be used for non-University of Waterloo travel.

Travel cannot be booked for or on behalf of individuals who do not have an active UW Concur account.

FCM cannot be used for UW group or UW visitor travel at this time.

Additionally, FCM cannot be used for personal travel or travel related to Affiliated Colleges or other non-UW business entities such as related associations and groups.

Booking tips and tricks:

  • Travelers with more complex bookings, like multi-destination bookings, or for travelers who need assistance booking or changing an existing booking should call 833-259-6285 or email FCM at
  • Please start a new email for each new enquiry
  • Kindly avoid changing the subject line when communicating with FCM to assist with channeling your inquiry

Who are Travel notification emails sent to?

FCM travel booking notification emails are sent to:

  1. The Traveler; AND
  2. The Travel Arranger (if the booking was made by a travel arranger) AND in some cases,
  3. The Traveler’s Manager. The travel notification sent to the manager is not a hard stop approval.  It is meant for informational purposes only. The Travel manager is the Traveler’s one-over-one direct supervisor pulled from the Traveler’s Concur profile (generated by WorkDay). This is not the Financial Approver on the work order. Notifications to managers are sent in the following circumstances:
        1. Any air bookings (whether paid personally or via the corporate credit card),
        2. When air or rail is charged to the corporate credit card.
        3. Any premium and business class bookings
        4. Any air bookings beyond the dollar tolerance of lowest logical fare, and
          1. Items out of tolerance will generate a “justification” requiring the traveler to select a reason for the out-of-tolerance booking as well as provide a comment as to why.
            1. Air Fare is greater than the least cost logical airfare plus 300 dollars and All Flights are within the country/region: Canada, United States of America 
            2. Air Fare is greater than the least cost logical airfare plus 500 dollars and Any flight not within the country/region Canada, United States of America 
            3. Hotel Rate is greater than the location rate or $600 

Please note that you cannot opt out of receiving these notifications.

Regardless of the work order charged, travel notifications go to the Travelers one-over-one direct supervisor, not the Financial approver on the work order.

Changes to travel arrangements:

If the flight has to be canceled, there is usually a 24-hour void window possible from the time of booking.  For hotel or car, if the booking is not within the cancellation period (i.e. usually 48 hours for hotel reservation), then it should be canceled without penalty. The manager or traveler would need to call the FCM team to make these adjustments. A fee may apply.

Selecting the correct work order:

There is no work order validation by FCM. FCM is only verifying that the work order is in the correct XXXXX-XXXXX format. It is the responsibility of the traveler to input the correct work order at the time of booking. If you are unsure of the correct work order, please contact your (Faculty) Financial Officer prior to completing any bookings.

What about all the additional charges when I rent a car?

With the contract that we have negotiated with Enterprise, there should be no add on insurance or any other type of additional billing, within Canada or the United States.

There is not space on our University of Waterloo Enterprise web site to put our 18 digit Accounting Flexfield?

No there is not, you need to provide Enterprise with that information when picking up the vehicle. If you provide a University of Waterloo account number, do NOT give them your credit card information for any reason.

Why is travel paperwork so difficult at the University of Waterloo?

As a public institution, we are subject to many rules and regulations in terms of accountability and reporting to various granting agencies.

Is travel at the University of Waterloo environmentally friendly?

No – it is pretty clear that any travel is inherently not environmentally friendly. However, we have tried to factor environmental considerations into each of our travel contracts.  The most environmentally friendly initiative you can make relative to traveling is to find an alternative such as a conference call, or Zoom/MS Teams.

Can I use my Purchasing Card for travel expenses?

Unfortunately, you cannot.  See note above about reporting.