Booking Travel

Guidance on organising and paying for trips and using the new KT portal.

Step by Step guide for PGR students on how to register and search for travel and accommodation using the Key Travel Online Portal

You should familiarise yourself with the University’s policies on travel and claiming expenses.  They are listed here.   All travel must be authorised by the appropriate budget holder prior to making any travel requests.  

  • CDT students/funds – funds requests considered via submission of a Funds Request Form (FRF), approval required from supervisors and CDT Directors.
  • IGS students/funds – funds from the IGS travel budget are considered via submission of the IGS application form, approval required from Deputy Director of IGS or Graduate School Manager.
  • Institute students/funds – students should request funds via their supervisors, approval required from Institute Directors / Portfolio Managers.

Important things to note

  • If multiple tickets are required they must be created in separate transactions.
  • Please ensure the authorised booker is available to complete the transaction at the appropriate time.
  • Prices and seat availability are not guaranteed until the ticket is issued (therefore, it’s a good idea to contact your booker to let them know when you expect to share your trip with them so that they can arrange to be available to book it).
  • You must add your traveller name as spelt on your passport (this is very important!).
  • Tickets will be emailed to the bookers email address with the option for the booker to cc in the traveller.
  • The department entered on the invoice must be the one associated to the authorised booker.


Step by step guidance is available to view and print here: 


Step 1 – Registering and creating a login account

To register to use the online KT portal, you will first need to email with your full name, school, institutional email address (not personal email) and phone number.  Key Travel will create an online account for you and email you the log in details. 

  • You must use your university email address to register.

Once you have received your log in, go to: and click ‘Login’

In the new online user / password reset section, enter your registered email address and create a new login password.

NB: After you have logged in and set a new password, subsequent logins will be via the Existing Online User.


Step 2 – Create a traveller profile

In order to search and save an itinerary, you should create your own traveller profile and we recommend you create a full traveller profile.

Go to Profile Manager, select Create your Own, and complete the personal details sections, including passport details and emergency contact information (NB passport details needed include passport number, expiry date and issue date). Enter any travel or accommodation preferences you have.  Save profile.

  • All profiles can be viewed and edited in Profile Manager.
  • Only the creator and traveller (if different) can view the content of the traveller profile.
  • It is possible for traveller’s to assign their profile to multiple profile managers if they wish to share their data.


Step 3 - After creating your traveller profile, you can now proceed to search and save your travel itinerary.

On the myKT tab, click on ‘Book Online’ and then click “Continue” (green button right at the bottom of the screen).  This takes you to the Key Travel homepage; down the left hand side of the screen are buttons to Flights, Accommodation, Trains, Eurostar, View my trips and Basket.


Step 4a – Searching for travel (flights)

The default is for round trip, but one way and multiple stops can be selected.

a) Enter your flight details into the search boxes, and any additional search options e.g. direct flights. (NB: Any previous searches will appear on the left of the screen)

b) Select “Find Flights”.  You will then be presented with the options. NB: A fare grid contains all available airlines comparing different contract types including specialist fares. Each fare type will display icons to show the most flexible options. These include hold deadline dates, changes and refunds and ticket validities.

c) Select and add your preferred options into the basket by selecting "Add to Basket".

NB: All travel must be reasonable.  If you do not choose the most economic fare, you will need to provide justification for your choice before we can book your travel.


Step 4b – Searching for travel (trains)

The default is for round trip, but one way tickets can be selected. 


a) Enter your trip details into the search boxes, and any additional search options e.g. railcards, direct trains only (NB: You can only search for trains up to 3 months in advance). Any previous searches will appear on the left of the screen.

b) Select “Find Trains”.  You will then be presented with the options.

c) Select your preferred tickets and "Add to Basket". You will be asked to confirm your travel and delivery options. 

NB: All travel must be reasonable.  If you do not choose the most economic fare, you will need to provide justification for your choice before we can book your travel.


Step 5 – Searching for accommodation / hotels

Hotels can be booked in the same way as travel; they can be booked on their own or as part of another trip in your basket (so you can book travel and accommodation at the same time). 

a) In the search area, enter your location, dates, no. of rooms and no. of occupants.

b) Press “Find hotels”.

c) The search function will display options, and there are a number of filters you can use to narrow the search for rates with breakfast. You can also choose to view options on a map.

d) To add items to your basket go to the preferred hotel, expand the “all rates” section, choose the appropriate/sensible rate and click “Add to Basket”.

NB: We would normally expect you to choose a hotel in the 3* range.  If you choose a more expensive hotel, you will need to provide justification for your choice before we can book your travel.


Step 6 - Sharing your trip with the booker

Once you have added your travel and accommodation into your basket, go to the basket and select “Share Quote” quote.  Alternatively, you may have saved your trip quote, in which case it will be saved in the Trips Folder of your portal.  Select your saved trip and:

a) Select the edit button (green pencil) in the traveller profile area, add the travellers name ensuring the spelling is as per the traveller’s passport.

b) The Share section is expanded ready for you to enter comments to the booker and add their email address into the right hand box.

c) Click send. 

NB: You should ‘share’ your itinerary with the relevant booker, which will either be your CDT, IGS or Institute administrator. This will send the quote directly to the appropriate person, who will review the trip, and if satisfied, will book the trip on your behalf.  In the cover notes section, you must add the following details:

  • Reason for travel i.e. attending NAME OF CONFERENCE reference between DATE and DATE.
  • Confirmation of budget spend – this should include source and amount of the approved funds, the date approval of spend was given and details of who notified you of the approval (NB: as noted in the CDT student FRF, IGS travel fund application or institute application.

Failure to provide the additional information as part of this procedure will result in a delay in booking your trip, which could result in a price increase.

The booker will receive your request via an email, they will check the details (i.e. it is compliant with your approved budget spend and travel is in line with the University / Research Council terms and conditions) and continue to booking (if appropriate to do so).  If they have any questions/queries they will email you.

The authorised booker will receive confirmation and e-tickets once the booking is confirmed, with the option to cc the traveller into these emails.


Problem with the Key Travel portal?

If you run into difficulties with any bookings made via the online tool please contact the Key Travel Online Helpline.


Travel Insurance

The University provides travel insurance for anyone (staff and students) who is travelling on University business.   There is no charge for insurance cover.  There is also no facility for annual travel insurance. 

Travel insurance cover is NOT automatic.

Before your CDT/IGS/Institute Administrator books your requested itinerary, they will submit an application for University travel insurance (even if travel is within the UK and involves only a day trip by air/train or an overnight stay). If a student is travelling abroad, a travel risk assessment form must be completed, which you should submit to your CDT/IGS/Institute Administrator at the same time you submit your KT Online booking request.  Failure to send the risk assessment will result in a delay in putting travel insurance in place, and a subsequent delay to the booking of your trip.

Travel insurance will be requested via the Online Insurance Application Form.  The system will generate an email confirming that the application is being processed and will be confirmed within 2 working days. 

Your trip will be booked when travel insurance has been confirmed to be in place.


Additional Information

Work-related travel health - The Occupational Health Unit can provide advice on the health aspects of travel as well as providing vaccinations. Travel advice Travel advice for many countries is available from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office Travel Advice web site.

Visas - You are responsible for arranging your own visa if one is required for entry into a particular country.  The Informatics Graduate School can provide official letters confirming your student status if one is required for the application. 

Rail tickets - Tickets can be collected at any station with a ticket machine.  A credit or debit card is required to collect the ticket, but no charge is made to the card - it's just used to check the passenger's name. When you have a seat reservation, you must ensure that you have both the travel ticket and the seat reservation ticket before boarding the train as both are required when tickets are checked by the train guard. If you have a student rail card, you must have it with you when you travel.

Hotels - Check the confirmation details and, where there is one, print off a hard copy of the hotel voucher and take it with you. In general, hotels are booked on a billback or pre-paid basis which means that you should not be asked to pay for the room when you check in or out.  If this does happen, contact Key Travel.  Their contact number will be on the paperwork. You will be expected to pay for any extras, over and above the B&B rate, that you charge to your room.