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Would you turn down a really good job if the travel policy was all Y?

Would you turn down a really good job if the travel policy was all Y?

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Old Jul 17, 18, 1:32 am
  #286  
 
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I once was working on a project with a client who had a Y-only policy, although thankfully my employer's J policy over 5 hours was still valid unless travelling with the client on the same flight. Therefore I very rarely actually travelled with my client and he did understand!

The project was split between the UK, US East Coast and China. Maybe once a month, my client had to travel from US East Coast to China direct in Y and was expected to work on the day he landed (if there were working hours left in the day). The guy didn't make it to the end of the project - he finally had enough and resigned 6 months before we finished the work, which then caused well over $100k impact to the project as his knowledge and leadership were really valuable. In this case I do think that the negative impact outweighed the savings to my client's business.
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Old Jul 17, 18, 4:32 am
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I havn't contributed to this (but it's an interesting thread) as I set the Y only policy

But, years ago, and BA related, I worked for a very large travel company, and things were slightly different. i.e. Virgin would give us '9 strikes a year' - 9 times they would intervene to sort out our mess-ups on VS ticketed bookings before they said no (so if a mess up cost less than £100 to fix, we wouldn't ask a favour except towards the end of the year when we had a number of favours left). Anyway, due to considerable BA business, we had a number (not sure of exact amount, let's say 20 for arguments sake) space available upgrades on any sector we could use for staff (saved us trying to pull favours for every staff booking on BA), and the MD used 8 of them to upgrade LHR-EDI on his stag do. Needless to say the rest of the company were furious as that meant that was 8 sectors to Singapore or the like that we couldn't use.

it was common place (as BA / QF had a great industry Y RTW fare) for young sales staff to fly SYD/MEL-LHR in Y and then straight into the office off their 6am arrival to avoid using holiday time (the most precious commodity people in travel sales had). However, there was a well covered incident where a member of staff of a rival company came off a Sydney flight and crashed his car and died after falling asleep at the wheel on the way into the office. Many companies then unilaterally enforced a 'no straight into work after a 24 hour OZ/NZ flight'. Obviously this could have happened driving home, but it caused the industry to stop and think about the crazy travel some people were undertaking as it was so cheap. CHC for a long weekend so see friends? Why not, it's only £150.
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Old Jul 17, 18, 4:48 am
  #288  
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I won't be able to work for a company with Y only policy. It's unlikely I will be able to walk off a long haul Y flight due to ongoing back problems (last time I tried it just as a dare, I suffered for a week).

I observed a funny thing once. A specific rank of employees (about 50 of them) were offered an option to choose between transatlantic business class flights that involved two sectors (one short haul followed by the transatlantic sector) but required them to leave at the crack of dawn (I can't remember which airline it was), or a direct flight in Y that left at a civilised time on BA. This was before the days of WT+. It was then left up to each person to choose.

Not a single person chose the business class flight such was their dislike of getting up earlier than absolutely essential!
The rumour had it at the time that the company deliberately gave them those two options, knowing full well that it was unlikely many would choose the J option.
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Old Jul 18, 18, 9:38 pm
  #289  
 
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Count me out as well. Y-only ain't gonna cut it, unless I get compensated extra for self-upgrades.
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Old Jul 18, 18, 10:39 pm
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Y only for occasional travel is understandable.

For something more intense, more than a few long haul trips each year, there ought to be some discretion into each itinerary and how it is booked. Without this, office/travel managers can end up booking you on moronic flight combinations (putting aside the whole class/status debate) leaving at odd times from odd places with odd airlines. My sister and I both travel a lot. Her travel is booked for her, whereas mine is under my control (book & expense). The result is I’m far happier about being able to travel (and able to accrue status), whereas her fee rises to price out unnecessary trips.

For something very intense, control over scheduling becomes most important. Plans change, which drives change fees and flexible tickets. Given the high value of “not showing up”, change fees become easier to justify. But once flexible tickets are being paid for, it can become quite reasonable to buy/plan around a higher class of travel by buying in advance. For instance, my conference travel has known dates far in advance. Flexibility might mean paying only the deposit on a BA holiday package, but a higher class if travel can be secured. You can also compare receipts with team members who haven’t booked travel in advance, and yours might compare favourably....

Blanket J policies might be nice, but I agree they can be tough to justify every time at a corporate level. Particularly with last minute booking and changes.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 6:36 am
  #291  
 
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Ah, I find this thread fascinating!

Having worked across the spectrum of business, and jobs with no travelling to weekly travel, here are my thoughts:
  • travelling intensity makes or breaks job satisfaction in my view, especially if you have a family. This is super important to confirm the travel intensity before you start.
  • Y is absolutely brutal for cross-Atlantic. Its OK if you can travel the day before and "work" remotely from the hotel and get a good nights sleep before meetings.
  • Having said that, I don't think J is any better for UK to East Coast. The journey is too short to get any meaningful amounts of sleep. So if you have a lot of East Coast trips, J is not as much benefit as it seems.

I currently work for a company that only provides Y flights. It is brutal, so what everyone ends up doing is taking day flights. Which means on a typical travel week, its Monday in the air (little work done), Tues-Thurs meetings + work, and Friday in the air (no work done), so only 3 days of productivity. Unless you have a very micro-managing boss, you should be able to pull this off.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 9:20 am
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I work for a number of different companies and my travel plans vary with who I work for.

One company allows us a budget and we book within that (and pocket the rest) which allows for great flexibility and paying for a higher class if you want. Some people put aside the excess they make and put it into a J flight when you really need one (like to/from Sth America). Other clients book travel for me and it is invariably in Y. However it is highly unusual to ever fly LH and then go on site the same day. Same with travelling back. Those days are travel only and that only changes with SH flights to EU. So this is bearable.

I was thinking for a while that I was hard done by, but after reading some of the company Y-only policies on here I realise that actually it's not all that bad, and I still charge of course for the travel time.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 11:19 am
  #293  
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Originally Posted by boonkoh View Post
I currently work for a company that only provides Y flights. It is brutal, so what everyone ends up doing is taking day flights. Which means on a typical travel week, its Monday in the air (little work done), Tues-Thurs meetings + work, and Friday in the air (no work done), so only 3 days of productivity.
Ditto.
Usually fly back on Thu evening overnight, so might not get a full work day on Thu.

We get J for Asia flights but not across pond (even west coast to EU).

How anyone can do a real days work the day they land after a transatlantic in Y baffles me. Last time I tried it took me several days to undo the ensuing nonsense. But as others have said, I think it would still be struggle even in J. Might be able to cope in F but it wouldn't work politically even if the $/useful day made it worth it.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 1:24 pm
  #294  
 
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I currently work for a start up at the moment. All Y including the CEO.

What annoys me is that they will do anything to save a 5er. I live 2 miles from LHR and they have tried to send me to Gatwick before! When I said it would cost £75 each way in a taxi they thankfully changed their minds.

I interviewed for a job this week in a events based job where I would be on the road for 12 weeks a year. They send 200 people out each week and when I was told they hire a plane I laughed and thought no gold for me.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 2:18 pm
  #295  
 
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The blanket Y only thing might sound very egalitarian, but it might also be indicative of something else, such as accountant control freakery, where only the CFO can sign off a paper clip. Ergo, it might not be quite the dream job you think it is. In the same circumstances in the OP’s shoes I’d try to find out how tight the CFO’s purse is in other areas.

30 years since ago, in my days in the boiler room stoking the fire of an old school investment house, one day all staff at all levels from post room and shoe shine to fund managers and chairman received a paper memo stating that “company travel on Concorde and private jets was only by boardroom approval”. Of course, at my level there was much derision and joking, and little did I think later on in life I’d have the opportunity to experience those things, albeit out of my own pocket.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 4:39 pm
  #296  
 
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I have no problem with a Y only policy as long as they let you book the airline of your choice and the flights of your choice. That's what I have and I am fine with it.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 11:37 pm
  #297  
 
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Another post to say that if travel is an important part of the job then it will get you in the end. One of my US competitors has this and I have seen enough turnover in their client facing VPs doing 15 hour trips in Y to know that it is a false economy (if you will pardon the pun). Maybe in my 20s and 30s I would have seen it differently but in later life I can see why it wears you down.

i just donít get the policies based on status. Have a travel policy for all and have a remuneration policy that takes care of status.

Last edited by Robespierre; Jul 19, 18 at 11:48 pm
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Old Jul 20, 18, 5:53 am
  #298  
 
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The dynamics of decision making revealed in this thread are fascinating.

Health and Safety, Personal Safety, Family, personal choices, use of money, too many cheerless beancounters, and so on.

The one that intrigues me most is the one about always travelling in Company time. So the Co loses Monday and Friday, (say) due to their travel rules. That's 40% of time in that week, and perhaps 20% of time overall. I have never worked for a Co that could afford that!
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Old Jul 20, 18, 6:29 am
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Originally Posted by Ancient Observer View Post
The one that intrigues me most is the one about always travelling in Company time. So the Co loses Monday and Friday, (say) due to their travel rules. That's 40% of time in that week, and perhaps 20% of time overall. I have never worked for a Co that could afford that!
I've always regarded that as the companies problem not mine. In the past where requested to do this one company rewarded me very well for weekend flying to YYZ every 3 weeks, being young just the fact I was going somewhere different paid for was good enough and Y didn't bother me - not least I had never been in J in my life and when I did once get upgraded it was into the pre cradle seat cabin so not the flat beds and TVs we have now

When my regular commutes ended (by now always J both s/h & l/h) I moved to a new company and they eventually asked me to travel (in Y) in my own time in what amounted to a near overnight to Delhi and straight to work, then overnight back again on Friday night - no recompense - that was their policy. They learnt about my policy - a big 'NO'. The pressure increased to get me to go so I just left and found another job
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Old Jul 20, 18, 7:00 am
  #300  
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Left unsaid in all of this is the fact that some employees have market power and others do not. Saying that one would not accept a job with a Y-only policy is easy if one has choices or the assets not to have to work. On the other hand, if one is stuck for one reason or another and the choice is the Y-only job or unemployment, that is a tougher choice for most.

From the employer perspective, this is a problem too. If the higher-performing employees have mobility and will eventually leave over Y-only, the policy becomes an impediment to excellence. Maybe the employer doesn't care and is content with mediocrity.

There are, of course, occasions where there are different incentives. A startup may have a brilliant future and an employee a brilliant future as well, but the startup lacks cash and therefore may do all it can to save cash. But, the employee -- perhaps with stock options or orther incentives -- resigns himself to steerage in return for future riches. But, that is not the case for most people and only a small subset.
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