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New Job - All Y Travel Policy - Tips on how to get round it?

New Job - All Y Travel Policy - Tips on how to get round it?

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Old Apr 20, 19, 2:41 am
  #1  
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New Job - All Y Travel Policy - Tips on how to get round it?

Hi All,

I have started a new job with a firm that has an all Y travel policy... as travelling in premium cabins is 'not something that brings value to our customers'. Eek. The rule is that if you want to fly in anything above Y you need to screenshot the Y fare from Concur, claim the cost of that and you personally pay the difference. Many people in the office say they are flying business but I feel too new to ask them how they are doing it as I doubt they are paying the difference so must be skirting the rule somehow. Any tips on how to get around it from the more seasoned corporate travellers on here?

My best guess is to get Concur to price a pretty expensive Y flight from London and then I just book a low-cost J flight from whichever close European city has a good price for the same route and swallow the difference, or use miles to upgrade.

There used to be a site that you could plug in your destination and multiple starting point cities to get a price from all in one search - forgotten what it was does that still exist?

Please help me continue to turn left! :-)

Thanks.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 2:48 am
  #2  
 
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How long are the sectors in Y that you will be flying?
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Old Apr 20, 19, 2:50 am
  #3  
 
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Your strategy is sound for long haul flights, as long as you can find the best value starting point and you don’t mind the hassle of flying to Wurope to start. ITA Matrix or Google flights will be your friend here. I often did the same in my last company, even though the travel policy was J. I couldn’t justify prices out of London so often flew from Europe and regularly found F prices cheaper than J. Where will you mostly be travelling to?
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Old Apr 20, 19, 2:50 am
  #4  
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You're referring to Matrix ITA although you can no longer plug in airports from different countries as a starting point so you'll have to do that in a more manual fashion. I would imagine that you'll have other problems with an ex-EU approach too in that you'll need to position there and back and take time out of work to do that. Perhaps that won't be a problem for you? You'll also possibly run into flexibility problems so be sure to check the fare rules of the Concur fare quote. If you choose to pay for an alternative fare that has less flexibility and then need to change your plans you may find yourself on the hook for those costs too.

It's probably a good idea to talk with your colleagues to form of a view of what is considered acceptable practice.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 2:51 am
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by golfmad View Post
It's probably a good idea to talk with your colleagues to form of a view of what is considered acceptable practice.
This
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Old Apr 20, 19, 2:54 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by richardwft View Post
How long are the sectors in Y that you will be flying?
All over, but I am not bothered about the European flights, just the long hauls.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 2:58 am
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Be aware that avios upgrades may be difficult if your employer has access to private fares via the TA. This is particularly true if you have flexible and refundable tickets booking into the cheap fare buckets.

That said, AUP still seems to work when I have tried it, although I am normally using that to get to WT+ or CE, so no turning left as such...
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Old Apr 20, 19, 3:02 am
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If the policy is not tightly policed, my guess is some colleagues might have got Photoshop for Christmas.
Not recommended, just a guess.
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Last edited by richardwft; Apr 20, 19 at 3:59 am
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Old Apr 20, 19, 3:07 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by ba bob View Post
All over, but I am not bothered about the European flights, just the long hauls.
Well, as long as you don’t mind spending a bit of money yourself, you could be in a great position here. Over the past couple of years I regularly found last minute J flights to long haul destinations all over the world for around £2k. With late Y flights often in the mid-teens, you may not have to contribute too much.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 3:17 am
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Concur may have the feature to enable you to specify quiet tightly which flight times and arrival/departure airports you will use, and maximum connection numbers and durations. This can result in a pretty chunky economy fare.

As you clearly know, being flexible with start/end points and a willingness to connect can result in low premium/business fares. A willingness from your employer to allow ‘working from lounge’ can also help no end if leaving a day early is the key to a much lower fare. But the single best way to avoid higher business fares is to book a long way in advance - and most actual business travel isn’t planned that way unfortunately.

As others have advised, speak to colleagues and find out what the custom and practice is.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 3:19 am
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I've flown Y (and more recently a bit of W) for work for years. It's really no big deal. If you can't sleep, watch the films or listen to an audiobook. If you're cramped, walk around. Usually in Y I doze a bit, I have certainly had as good a sleep in Y as in some premium cabins.

On the other hand, anyone demanding I fly long haul Y is going to pay for a rest day on arrival, and if I fly weekends to get costs down, I'm having them back as days in lieu. There's a quid pro quo here, and the "it doesn't add value for our customers" is the weakest possible argument for building a cost saving mentality within a business. It's treating employees as cost items rather than value adds.

It seems your company has a reasonable policy in allowing self-upgrades, that's more than many have, as the spend is channelled through an OTA via Concur for a kickback, and you're pretty much stuck with that. I would tend not to try to game the system by using high cost flex Y fares as a basis of comparison, just take the best options under the constraints you're under and work from there.

But you took the job, the job is presumably rewarding in other ways. There are certainly employers who will fly you around in J, and it's an open jobs marketplace. So look at why you took the job in the first place, and if the travel policy isn't good enough, vote with your feet.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 3:21 am
  #12  
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Concur is merely a rules based system that applies whatever your company policy is to your origin and destination points. If the policy is cheapest Y across all airlines, that’s what it’ll return. If it’s to give preference to particular airlines, that’s what it’ll do. If you try to book something outside that it’ll go into an approval queue and not ticket.

If you know how it applies the rules you can manipulate it - for example, if you want a oneworld flight rather than a Star Alliance one that’s cheaper, then move the departure time and acceptable window to the minimum to exclude the Star flight. That means time on ITA Matrix to filter out the flights you want before putting them into Concur (at least, it’s quicker to do it that way). You’d be extremely lucky to be able to specify a time that meant Business was cheaper than both WT & WTP.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 3:31 am
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Slightly specific tip if you'll be flying to North America in particular. There's three OW east bound 'day flights:' 2 BA from BOS and JFK, and one AA from ORD. I did this from BOS recently in Y and I found it a completely different experience than red-eye TATL. I was lucky because loads were very light in my flight, and I had a really great crew, but I can definitely report I had basically no jet-lag the next day (the early start needed for the day-flight to work actually helped me adjust). Just route to one of these three hubs, spend a night at the airport hotel, and take the day flight. I'll be doing the ORD one next month (albeit in W this time), will report on how that goes, as that is of course a bit longer.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 3:53 am
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Originally Posted by Mordac View Post
Slightly specific tip if you'll be flying to North America in particular. There's three OW east bound 'day flights:' 2 BA from BOS and JFK, and one AA from ORD. I did this from BOS recently in Y and I found it a completely different experience than red-eye TATL. I was lucky because loads were very light in my flight, and I had a really great crew, but I can definitely report I had basically no jet-lag the next day (the early start needed for the day-flight to work actually helped me adjust). Just route to one of these three hubs, spend a night at the airport hotel, and take the day flight. I'll be doing the ORD one next month (albeit in W this time), will report on how that goes, as that is of course a bit longer.
This is the key to better transatlantic flying and crew love these flights as well.
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Old Apr 20, 19, 4:45 am
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Another vote for the Eastbound dayflights from the US, other airlines have 'em too; very Y-policy friendly.
I find myself checking the 'lowest fare didn't include baggage' drop-down pretty much every booking.
By & large there are Premium Economy options findable at a small extra to the Y-fare on the exact same flights.
Nesting to capture a Sat night or 7-day minimum across 2 or more trips can work on occasion too.
I do find ex-EU options more limited these days, so biz a rarer beast.
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