Travel Policy for AAOS Board of Directors and Council Chairs

The Academy/Association (AAOS) policy for Board Members’ AAOS business travel is outlined below. This policy is effective January 1, 2022.

Domestic Air Travel

Travelers are strongly encouraged to utilize CorpTrav, AAOS’ official travel agent, to make their travel arrangements for AAOS business. In so doing, the airfare and agent fees are charged directly to AAOS but travelers retain any reward miles that apply and have access to 24 hour travel assistance. In addition, AAOS receives complimentary air travel certificates in proportion to the number of tickets and/or the amount of airfare AAOS books. These certificates are then used for special, unbudgeted events or costly tickets. (No reward miles are earned when traveling on a certificate.) There may also be special airline discounts applied based on the volume of travel. Round-trip travel should be booked on one airline whenever possible (i.e., the same airline for both the departure and return flights).

Board Members and Council Chairs may fly one class up from Coach for all AAOS Board-related activities. Board-related activities are defined as Board meetings, Board workshops, Board/Officer Retreats, the Annual Meeting, NOLC and the Fall Meeting. The three members of the Presidential Line may fly one class up from Coach for all AAOS-related travel.

Board members may also upgrade Coach class trips for all AAOS-related travel. Receipts for purchased upgrades, up to $600, should be included with each expense voucher. If mileage is used for upgrades, we follow IRS guidelines in terms of documentation and miles valuation. Statements indicating upgrades are required. Mileage upgrades will be reimbursed at $450 and since they are considered taxable income by the IRS, AAOS will issue a 1099-Misc after the end of the calendar year.

Use of a private airplane is strongly discouraged due to liability issues as the Academy’s insurance will neither cover the volunteer traveling aboard a private airplane on AAOS business nor the AAOS.

International Flights

Board Members and Council Chairs may travel Business Class for all international flights. (For purposes of this policy, flights to/from Canada, Hawaii and Alaska are not considered to be international flights but will be reimbursed under the Domestic Air Travel policy outlined above.) Please refer to the International Travel Policy for more information.

Flight Changes and Baggage Fees

AAOS will reimburse the cost to change flights up to $400 which includes the airline change fees depending on the facts and circumstances of the change. The baggage fees charged by airlines for checked bags will be reimbursed for up to two bags. Overweight baggage fees will not be reimbursed.

Related Topics

Spouse Travel

Spouse travel (i.e., transportation and meals) is reimbursed for the December Board of Directors’ meeting. The spouse’s air travel will follow the Board Member’s or Council Chair’s class of travel. Social activities for the Spring Board Workshop will be covered for spouses, but travel is at the expense of the Member.


Lodging accommodations should be made at mid-price hotels, such as Hilton, Marriott, or Hyatt properties. AAOS will reimburse lodging expenses up to $250 per day including all taxes, with the exception of hotel stays in New York, Washington D.C., and San Francisco, which are reimbursable at a maximum of $400 per day including all taxes.

Travelers to Rosemont, Illinois, are expected to stay at the Hampton Inn where AAOS has preferential room rates of $119 plus tax, unless the meeting is at another venue. Stays at other Chicagoland hotels will be reimbursed at the Hampton Inn preferred rate and transportation costs are not reimbursable.

Meals and Beverages

AAOS will reimburse individuals for meals and beverages in conjunction with official AAOS business at a rate of $125 per day, excluding those meals provided by AAOS. The entire $125 may be applied towards dinner or a single meal. Some programs or events may limit the daily rate to less than $125 and notification will be made prior to the event. Meals taken in lieu of AAOS-provided or AAOS-sponsored meals are not reimbursable.

Other Travel Expenses

AAOS will reimburse individuals for usual and customary miscellaneous expenses related to travel in conjunction with AAOS business. Allowable expenses in this category include:

  • Wi-Fi usage on flights
  • Internet usage based on the hotel’s access charge and reasonable usage
  • Hotel in-room movie or use of hotel fitness center
  • Customary gratuities for baggage handling, etc.
  • Ground transportation to and from airports
  • Valet laundry service up to $50 when travel covers seven consecutive days
  • Master accounts at hotels will only cover the room and tax. Any other expenses are to be paid by the traveler and claimed on the expense voucher, if appropriate
  • Personal expenses are not reimbursable unless otherwise noted. Examples of these expenses would be child care, pet care, entertainment, clothing or toiletry purchases, and salon or spa services

Automobile Travel

AAOS will reimburse individuals traveling in conjunction with AAOS business via personal automobile at the published US Government Internal Revenue Service rate per mile ($0.585 per mile effective 01/01/22). Hotel shuttle vans and taxis are the preferred mode of ground transportation.

Add-on/Personal Travel

Add-on/personal travel is defined as travel either before or after AAOS meetings that is scheduled at the sole discretion of the traveler or any spouse travel outside of what is outlined above. All expenses incurred with add-on/personal travel are the responsibility of the traveler.

Expense Reimbursement Policy

Original receipts are required for each travel expense item that is $25 or more, including taxi fares and car services, however, the traveler is encouraged to obtain receipts for all expenses. As required under IRS guidelines receipts for meals should be detailed showing individual food or beverage items, and all attendees at the meal should be notated. Meals for attendees whose expenses would be covered by AAOS normally will be reimbursed; others will not. Hotel receipts should include detailed room folios.

Expense reports (with receipts documenting all costs of $25 or more) are due to be submitted using the member expense voucher form within 30 days of the completed travel. This ensures timely reimbursement and accurate record keeping. It is recommended to email the expense voucher and receipts to Tina Slager, at Alternatively, all Board Members and Council Chairs are welcome to use our expense management system Expensify; contact Tina Slager for information. Reimbursement checks are typically issued within two weeks of receipt of vouchers, however, it is recommended to be set up for direct deposit for reimbursements (contact Tina Slager). 

Reimbursement Related to Spouse Travel - The Internal Revenue Service considers the cost of spouse travel assumed, paid, or reimbursed by an organization to be compensation (i.e., reportable income) to the Board Member or Council Chair and not a business expense. If the amount of the spouse expense exceeds $600 in any calendar year, an IRS Form 1099-Misc will be issued for that year. It is AAOS policy to reimburse the Past President for the estimated tax liability for spousal international travel on behalf of AAOS. A federal and state composite tax rate of 50% is used to determine the tax liability.