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Poll: your company's biz travel policies

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
50 posts
74 reviews
Poll: your company's biz travel policies

I'm trying to get my CFO to revamp our antiquated travel policy and would like your thoughts:

When are you allowed to book a premium seat on a flight? If a flight lasts longer than ___ hours?

Does your company reimburse you if you have to pay to choose a seat? When our policy was written, you didn't have to pay to reserve a seat.....!

Do you get reimbursed for airport club membership?

My company currently requires me to submit a paper boarding pass with my T&E report. But sometimes I use an electronic boarding pass on my phone. Does your company require a boarding pass? If not, what documentation do they require?

If you or your assistant plan your travel, how do you prove you've booked the most economical flight? Our policy requires a print out of an Orbtiz matrix, which doesn't even exist any more!

Thanks for your help!

11 replies to this topic
Portland, Oregon
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
Level Contributor
34,181 posts
7 reviews
1. Re: Poll: your company's biz travel policies

Okay, seeing as you haven’t linked to an online survey I’ll give this a pass re solicitation. See answers below.

1) When are you allowed to book a premium seat on a flight? If a flight lasts longer than ___ hours?

— No Premium class allowed. Always economy, even US to India. That includes the CEO who I’ve flown with. Exceptions - medical certificates signed by a recognized practitioner.

2. Does your company reimburse you if you have to pay to choose a seat? When our policy was written, you didn't have to pay to reserve a seat.....!

—- Nope. Though they will pay up to $400 for me to upgrade a seat or class as long as I pay the rest. One of my staff took advantage of that upgrading to Business Class on Austrian (it cost $750, he claimed the $400 and paid the other $350 himself).

3. Do you get reimbursed for airport club membership?

— Nope.

4. My company currently requires me to submit a paper boarding pass with my T&E report. But sometimes I use an electronic boarding pass on my phone. Does your company require a boarding pass? If not, what documentation do they require?

— My company requires a copy of the e-ticket receipt. And that all flights are booked with the company’s contracted corporate travel agent.

5) If you or your assistant plan your travel, how do you prove you've booked the most economical flight? Our policy requires a print out of an Orbtiz matrix, which doesn't even exist any more!

— My company uses a contracted agent where the policy is embedded in the booking engine. So I have to justify anything out of policy. I usually find things within policy, but on the rare occasions I can’t I make something up, or arrange a meeting bringing that “out of policy” flight back into policy. 😈

My company has no objections to my upgrading on my own dime, including miles and elite status certificates, much of which I’ve earned through company travel. I have top tier elite status with one of my company’s preferred airlines so that helps. And for infrequent fliers my company has negotiated free “Silver” status for all employees for both work related and personal travel.

Hope that helps.

Massachusetts
Level Contributor
50 posts
74 reviews
2. Re: Poll: your company's biz travel policies

thank you very much for taking the time to respond!

Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
9,997 posts
3. Re: Poll: your company's biz travel policies

Depending on seniority this could be Business Class for any flight regardless of duration, it could be restricted depending on purpose, length of flight and duration of trip or no premium seats at all.

I think our travel policy is silent on cost reimbursement for seat reservations but not an issue for me because usually my preferred choice is automatically reserved at the time of booking, based on my profile in our agents booking engine, or I can select seats latest at online check-in.

No reimbursement for club memberships.

Yes policy requires boarding pass as well, but in China you need a hard-copy anyway to get through security check.

Same as above, the online booking tool of our contracted agent will show if you are within or out of policy with your booking and this will also been shown on the booking confirmation generated by the system.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Guangzhou
Level Contributor
14,392 posts
63 reviews
4. Re: Poll: your company's biz travel policies

Search online “common corporate travel policies”, you will find many resources and templates or software available.

Hong Kong, China
Destination Expert
for Hong Kong, Osaka
Level Contributor
62,007 posts
171 reviews
5. Re: Poll: your company's biz travel policies

For most of these questions, it depends on the particular company. Your company (CEO, MD, boss, whoever in charge) is free to do what it deems proper. I have known companies that lose lots of money and still let their employees fly business and stay at luxury hotels.

As to proving flight cost, if your company is going to be looking at this aspect, it's best to centralize the booking. I have heard many horror stories of overpriced booking when using third party agents like AMEX Travel. It might be easier to appoint someone in-house to do the job (it's not rocket science these days) if cost transparency needs to be maintained.

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Bargain Travel, Cruises, Swansea, Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Neath, Port Talbot
Level Contributor
74,269 posts
478 reviews
6. Re: Poll: your company's biz travel policies

I'm retired now, but my former employers would not allow first class rail travel or anything but economy air travel for anything but the top executives. Although I had a relatively senior position, I wa snot sufficiently elite to qualify for premium cabin flights, though I did have access to first class rail travel for some journeys which were more than thre hours in duration.

All travel was arranged for me, via HR, by a specialist business travel company. It was not allowed to arrange my own travel. I believe that was because it was considered a distraction from an employee's day job if they had to look around for flights, accommodation etc.

Geneva, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Geneva, Air Travel, Business Travel
Level Contributor
5,415 posts
655 reviews
7. Re: Poll: your company's biz travel policies

When are you allowed to book a premium seat on a flight? If a flight lasts longer than ___ hours?

My clients pay for travels. So it is up to my contractual conditions that stipulate business class over 4 hours. This is something I often saw across companies in Europe. In the US, the threshold is rathe 7 hours to exclude all domestic flights from the upgrade.

Does your company reimburse you if you have to pay to choose a seat? When our policy was written, you didn't have to pay to reserve a seat.....!

This is usually considered as petty expenses although on long haul it is not. But I never saw it reimbursed unfortunately.

Do you get reimbursed for airport club membership?

That's a US thing... In Europe, tier will give you access to the lounges.

My company currently requires me to submit a paper boarding pass with my T&E report. But sometimes I use an electronic boarding pass on my phone. Does your company require a boarding pass? If not, what documentation do they require?

When not booked via the appointed travel agent, a ticket invoice is the norm, sometimes with the boarding passes should you need to prove you travelled.

If you or your assistant plan your travel, how do you prove you've booked the most economical flight? Our policy requires a print out of an Orbtiz matrix, which doesn't even exist any more!

When not booked via the appointed travel agent, a pre-authorisation might be requested.

Thanks for your help!

Wengen, Switzerland
Destination Expert
for Switzerland
Level Contributor
8,977 posts
8. Re: Poll: your company's biz travel policies

“My clients pay for travels. So it is up to my contractual conditions that stipulate business class over 4 hours”

Can I come and work for your company :-)

W Yorkshire
Level Contributor
5,766 posts
182 reviews
9. Re: Poll: your company's biz travel policies

Am I allowed to book a premium seat ?, theoretically any flight over 8 hrs can be booked business class. In reality, your joking aren't you.

I can always charge seat reservation to my company, but I tend to book with a Sky Priority airline so I get free seat reservation.

No club membership, however I have elite status so I get lounge access anyway.

I always book my own flights, Amex travel booked through concurs is fairly wretched for me. I discussed the issues with my manager and it was agreed to let me do it my way. A Amex/Concurs price of £5k for an economy ticket to Entebbe helped him see it my way.

Hotels, where possible, and rental cars I book through concurs. We're supposed to get preferred rates, but in reality I just don't see it.

Luxembourg City...
Level Contributor
892 posts
39 reviews
10. Re: Poll: your company's biz travel policies

When are you allowed to book a premium seat on a flight? If a flight lasts longer than ___ hours?

______

Never. BUT train we can always take first class.

------Does your company reimburse you if you have to pay to choose a seat?

No, but we can claim cost of transfer/taxi to/from airport, parking at the airport, luggage (for companies for which you have to pay for hold luggage)

---------Do you get reimbursed for airport club membership?

No

We, too, still have to provide paper boarding passes. And the way to prove we booked the most economic flight is to get the offer from the travel agent we have contract with. They offer you the best value for money (not just cheapest!, they also take into account travel time, try to take out very early and very late flights). You can then ask them to book the flight for you or book flight yourself, but the price limit is their offer. If your choice is more expensive you pay the difference. If your choice is cheaper, you cannot use the difference for perks (premium or first class, lounges etc.)

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