‘My record year was more than 250,000 miles.’ New Company Creates A Travel Policy That Saves Them Money, But Frequent Flier Proves Them Wrong
by Trisha Leigh
I always figured that when a job requires their employees to travel for work, they go out of their way to ensure that travel is as painless as possible.
Apparently that’s not always true, though they might come to regret it.
OP was a huge airline traveler in the course of his job, which of course created favorites and preferred ways to travel.
When a new corporate bean counter arrived, though, things changed.
I used to fly a lot for work – my record year was more than 250,000 miles on just my favorite airline. Then the company I worked for was bought by another company with a much more restrictive (actually oppressive) travel policy.
We could only book coach class with the new company and it couldn’t be more than $100 over the cheapest airline serving a particular airport.
I would usually fly out of FLL, PBI, or MCO. And only once in a blue moon MLB.
With the new policy I was pretty much forced to use SouthWest, Spirit, Frontier and the likes. And this is now where MLB was standing out.
After the big financial crash in 2008 there was only one airline left in MLB for many years and that was Delta – which happened to be my favorite airline.
Now, OP had to jump through some hoops to keep flying the way he wanted – sometimes even saving money doing it “his” way and keeping the airline credit for himself.
So instead of a $600 ticket on Delta out PBI (because there was a $400 on one of the cheap airlines) I followed the travel policy and booked a $1,400 coach ticket out of MLB.
Our travel policy also did not allow us to book first class. When you travel on short notice however, it is quite possible that there is discounted first class still available while all the remaining coach seats are full fare. In other words the first class ticket is cheaper than the coach ticket.
So I would make sure I book my flight in compliance with the corporate travel policy and then contact the airline to adjust my booking – turning that expensive coach seat into a first class seat plus getting the difference in Delta Dollars (too bad our corporate policy required us to also book “nonrefundable” fares LOL).
Then, the company began to insist they use a travel agent/company to book so the policy could be enforced. They agreed with OP and continued to use his little tricks to get around the more asinine rules.
That is what happens when a grumpy bean counter creates a corporate travel policy. Later they wanted us to only book through Amex Travel Service so that Amex would enforce the policy.
More than once I heard comments like “I’ve never seen such a stupid policy …” and quite often they would book a flight for me overriding the “no first class” when first class was less expensive or they would recommend to me to do exactly what I did in the past – booking the expensive “in policy” flight and then deal with the airline directly to make it better.
All’s well that ends well, but I doubt the corporate guy really learned any lessons.
The top commenter had a hilarious (and similar) experience.
Everyone is just pushing the money around.
Make it make sense.
The waste is pretty astounding.
Sometimes people just can’t get used to one more thing.
Businesses make enough money.
But it sure seems like, with a little common sense, they could be making even more.