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Corporate Travel Cuts: Coporate Concern or Cynical Cost Cutting???

Corporate Travel Cuts: Coporate Concern or Cynical Cost Cutting???

Old Sep 24, 01, 9:17 am
  #1  
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Corporate Travel Cuts: Coporate Concern or Cynical Cost Cutting???

I strongly suspect that many companies are instituting very restrictive travel policies NOT so much out of concern for employee safety and welfare in light of the events of 911, but as a disgustingly cynical cost cutting measure.

Now, this has not impacted me personally, as my CEO has actually ENCOURAGED us to get out on the road. But many, many folks I have spoken with are being grounded. But the FACT is that air travel is safer then ever, what with vigilent pax ready to thrash any would-be hijackers into a dead, bloody pulp.

With earnings down and many stocks hit hard, a few of us are theorizing that companies are using 911 as a convenient excuse to slash corporate travel budgets.

Comments?
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Old Sep 24, 01, 9:30 am
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I work for a major financial corporation based in the Southeast. Generally I travel domestically 3 or 4 times each month. Last week we all got a memo, stating that we should severly restrict any travel, and all travel must now be pre-approved by senior managment. Yes, somehow I do see this as more cost cutting than concern, but I also know that many welcome the chance to delay travel and spend more time at home with family and friends.
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Old Sep 24, 01, 9:57 am
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The company I work for had started curtailling travel rather strenuously back in late February to early March. When the FAA allowed planes to fly again, they strongly urged everyone to wait on travel until they could get everyone home who had been stranded during the grounding. Now they simply ask (as they already were) that travel be limited to business critical needs.

My company does tend to follow U.S. State Department guidelines for travel, so if military action results in recommendations from them, I'd expect to see my company adopt similar restrictions.
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Old Sep 24, 01, 10:13 am
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I work for a mid sized money manager in Manhattan. Among recent travel developments here:

1.) All travel must be business critical and be pre-approved by a managing director. Pre-approval used to be at the VP level.

2.) They are reminding everyone to adhere to a policy that has actually been in place for some time wherein no more than 2 officers may be on the same flight. If 3 or more officers are traveling, even if working on the same project/deal, then we have to split up.

I see #1 as a cost cutting move, and #2 are business continuity planning.

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Old Sep 24, 01, 10:29 am
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My company had already cut its travel to the minimum before this. In fact, we had cut it more than we should have so we moved it back up a bit. September 11th didn't change that.

What we have done is cut way back on pressure for individuals to travel. The least bit of personal discomfort is enough reason not to be asked to go. Enough of us are willing to travel today that this is not a problem.
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Old Sep 24, 01, 10:54 am
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Budget cuts reduced travel until the new fiscal year which began July 1. After September 11, travel restrictions have returned to last fiscal year's restrictions. Everything still must be pre-approved and State Department warnings are strictly enforced.

I don't think necessarily we have cut back on travel as an excuse so much as there is not much budget. I think however the airlines have cut back with such massive layoffs. For example 20,000 employees laid off? That would seem like almost all of the employees entirely. We are 10,000+ employees in DC encompassing several blocks and we thought we were huge!



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Old Sep 24, 01, 12:10 pm
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My company (9000+ people internationally) also restricted travel to "business critical" and required division president approval. Effective 9/17, I think partly in response to government urgings to return to business, they dropped the new restrictions.

We also monitor the State Department's watch list.
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Old Sep 24, 01, 8:24 pm
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Koko:

Funny you mention this, as I just tonight made a similar comment to Mrs. BIM. My company has also instigated the "business-critical" limitation.

Thing is, that leans towards the assumption that travel before this period would not have had to be "business-critical", which to me doesn't make "business sense" for a company to have supported.

Some of my colleagues have argued that Trade shows, off-site training and the like are not that important, but to my line of work, these are critical activities.

Looks like the business to be in is video-conferencing.

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Old Sep 24, 01, 11:51 pm
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Koko -

As you are, we are be encouraged to get back in the air. Travel restrictions that were in place before 9/11 have been lifted. Every day I get an email saying "Please resume travel and business as usual". Hmm. Works for me.
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Old Sep 24, 01, 11:59 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by 767-322ETOPS:
If 3 or more officers are traveling, even if working on the same project/deal, then we have to split up.</font>
Just curious, does this apply to flying only, or are you also not allowed to travel on the same bus, in the same taxi, etc. ?
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Old Sep 25, 01, 10:16 am
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Well our company (which is a mid-sized consulting firm), could not have us not travel, since we work at client locations. Luckily, they did allow us to choose our "risk tolerance". I really have no problem with flying.. my problem would be with driving between LAX-MSP.
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Old Sep 25, 01, 9:27 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by kokonutz:
With earnings down and many stocks hit hard, a few of us are theorizing that companies are using 911 as a convenient excuse to slash corporate travel budgets.

Comments?
</font>

I would agree 100% I will not be traveling until June.
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Old Sep 25, 01, 9:35 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by auh2o:
Koko -

As you are, we are be encouraged to get back in the air. Travel restrictions that were in place before 9/11 have been lifted. Every day I get an email saying "Please resume travel and business as usual". Hmm. Works for me.
</font>
So do you have any openings? I would love to work for a company that would ask me to travel more.

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