Fly America Act

Fly America Act & Open Skies Agreement

Under the Fly America Act, only US air carriers shall be used for travel reimbursed from federal grants and contracts. However, there are exceptions to using only US air carrier services, depending on the scenarios below:

  • Generally, U.S. air carrier services that provide nonstop or direct service from the origin to the destination must be used, unless such use would extend travel time, including delay at origin, by 24 hours or more;
  • Generally, U.S. air carrier services that do not offer nonstop or direct service between origin and destination must be used on every portion of the route where it provides service, unless when compared to using a foreign air carrier, such use would:
    • Increase the number of aircraft changes outside the United States by two or more; or
    • Extend travel time by at least 6 hours or more; or
    • Require a connecting time of 4 hours or more at an overseas interchange point.
  • Code-sharing agreements with foreign carriers. The ticket, or documentation for an electronic ticket, must identify the US carrier's designated code and flight number.
  • Open Skies Agreements. “Open Skies Agreements” are bilateral or multilateral air transportation agreements to which the United States and the government of a foreign country are parties. Under the Open Skies Agreements, the United States government entered into several air transport agreements that allow federal funded transportation services for travel and cargo movements to use foreign air carriers under certain circumstances.

For assistance in determining if a US air carrier is required please reference this decision tree, and this sample list of carriers that are considerered US Flag Carriers.