Fly America Act

The Fly America Act is a federal regulation that requires travelers to book on a U.S. flag carrier for travel that is reimbursed from federal grants/funds regardless of ticket cost or convenience. 


There are exceptions to the Fly America Act when it is not reasonable to fly on a U.S. flag carrier*. The most common exceptions are the use of Code Sharing and the Open Skies Agreement. A full list of exceptions can be referenced on the GSA website, and are as follows:

*All exceptions must be documented. 

  1. When a U.S. air carrier is not available.
  2. When using a U.S. carrier service would extend the travel time by 24 hours or more.
  3. When a U.S. carrier does not offer a nonstop or direct flight between origin and destination, and using a U.S. carrier:
    • Increases the number of aircraft changes outside the United States by two or more;
    • Extends travel time by six hours or more; or
    • Requires a connecting time of four hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
  4. When the flight time from origin to destination is less than three hours and using a U.S. flag carrier doubles the flight time.
  5. When there is an applicable Open Skies Agreement in effect that meets the requirements of the Fly America Act.

The exceptions provided by the Open Skies Agreements for government-funded travel do not apply if your transportation is funded by the Department of Defense (DOD).