Financial Services

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Air Travel

Economy air travel often includes more than one class of travel.  For example, Air Canada economy rates may include “Tango”, “Flex”, or “Latitude”, with “Tango” being the most economical and “Latitude” being the least economical air fare.  Price differences between these fares can be significant.  The Tri-Council Agencies (NSERC, SSHRC, and CIHR) stipulate the lowest fare available must be used for air travel.  Therefore, if all three economy classes of travel are available, the expectation is the “Tango” air fare may be claimed.

If the passenger is limited to a certain flight and the lowest available air fare for that flight is “Latitude”, the “Latitude” fare would be acceptable in this scenario.  A written justification must accompany this type of expense claim.

Business class travel may only be used if pre-approved by the Tri-Council Agencies and must be accompanied by a medical note.  In cases where business class is claimed because it is more economical than the economy fare, the lowest economy fare available must be used as the comparator.


The following classes of travel and corresponding air fare quotes are available for a given flight:

Tango (Economy):     $1,500

Flex (Economy):        $1,650

Latitude (Economy):  $1,800

Business:                 $1,700

In this example, although Business class is more economical than the Latitude (Economy) fare, since the lowest fare available is Tango (Economy) at $1,500, the Tango air fare must be claimed in this scenario.

In order to avoid processing delays, air fare expenses must be accompanied by the quoted available air fares and proof of payment.  If applicable, a written justification or a copy of the agency pre-approval must also accompany the expense.

If you have specific questions regarding this communication, please contact Research Accounting at

Kind Regards,

Research Accounting

Financial Services