AIM will provide a travel allowance for airfare and ground transportation from the home institutions of participants. Because funding comes from the National Science Foundation, there are travel requirements that must be met in order to qualify for the travel allowance. Participants must use the most cost-effective means of travel, which means economy class tickets for air travel. Guidelines do not allow reimbursement for insurance, priority boarding, seat selection, economy plus, business class, or first class tickets. Ground transportation, up to a maximum of $200, also includes baggage fees, mileage, car rental, and airport or hotel parking.

Travel allowances (airfare+ground transportation) are:

1) within California – up to $300
2) within North America – up to $700
3) from Europe/Middle East – up to $1400
4) other overseas travel – up to $1800

Until the end of June, 2023, AIM activities will take place in San Jose, CA

The San Jose Airport (SJC) is less than one mile from the DoubleTree Hotel and only two miles from AIM in San Jose. The San Francisco Airport (SFO) is 33 miles away. Monterey Airbus operates from SFO to provide ground transportation. More detailed directions.

After July 1, 2023, AIM activities will take place in Pasadena, CA

The airports convenient to Pasadena are Los Angeles International (LAX) and Hollywood Burbank (BUR).

Because of the Fly America Act, participants coming from outside the U.S. must purchase a ticket from a U.S. flag carrier (an airline owned by an American company) or an EU (European Union) carrier, unless exempted by one of the following Open Skies Agreements:

  • Participants may use a Japanese carrier as long as the point of origin or destination is an airport in Japan.
  • Participants may use a Swiss carrier as long as the point of origin or destination is an airport in Switzerland. Likewise for Iceland and Norway.
  • Participants may use an Australian carrier as long as the point of origin or destination is an airport in Australia.

These exemptions do not include the U.K., Canada, or Mexico. All flights originating in the U.K. or North America must bear the designation of a U.S. airline. This means that the ticket must show the flight code of a U.S.-based carrier, independent of which company actually operates the flight. Normally this means that the ticket must be purchased from the U.S. airline. Tickets from British Airways and Air Canada cannot be reimbursed.

Workshops and SQuaREs run Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. Participants should plan to arrive on the Sunday and depart on Saturday or possibly late Friday night. AIM does not pay for Saturday night lodging. In the event that a funded participant does not attend four full days the air fare reimbursement is half the total.

This document is intended to cover the most common travel-related situations. Where unusual circumstances arise when you are not purchasing a roundtrip ticket from your home airport to SFO/SJC just for the workshop/SQuaRE dates then please contact Harpreet Kaur at and check our FAQ for AIM Participants.