Uber/Lyft, AirBnB/VRBO and corp travel policies

Old Oct 18, 16, 10:08 pm
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Uber/Lyft, AirBnB/VRBO and corp travel policies

Does not corp travel policy have specific mention of Uber/Lyft and AirBnB in terms of encourage/discourage/no opinion?

Our travel policy (Fortune 100 IT company, >50K employees, every single region/country has its own travel policy instead of one global) - Uber is qualified as taxi and employees can book it as long as it can provide the same level of comfort/accountability as regular taxi. Which was great help to reduce taxi expenses during my last trip in Brazil - taxi one way Porto Alegre-Sao Leopoldo is US$60, while Uber was 5 times (!) cheaper - you can get an idea how much would it cost for 5 days round trip via taxi vs. Uber.

As far as for AirBnB - situation is not that clear. Corp travel insurance might not cover AirBnB rentals.
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Old Oct 19, 16, 8:57 am
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Uber is not a problem with my employer, and is expensed like a taxi.

AirBnB would not be permitted - All air and accomodations must be booked via Concur to ensure we're within low-cost travel policies, and AirBnB isn't in Concur.
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Old Oct 19, 16, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by invisible View Post
Does not corp travel policy have specific mention of Uber/Lyft and AirBnB in terms of encourage/discourage/no opinion?

Our travel policy (Fortune 100 IT company, >50K employees, every single region/country has its own travel policy instead of one global) - Uber is qualified as taxi and employees can book it as long as it can provide the same level of comfort/accountability as regular taxi. Which was great help to reduce taxi expenses during my last trip in Brazil - taxi one way Porto Alegre-Sao Leopoldo is US$60, while Uber was 5 times (!) cheaper - you can get an idea how much would it cost for 5 days round trip via taxi vs. Uber.

As far as for AirBnB - situation is not that clear. Corp travel insurance might not cover AirBnB rentals.
are you sure corp travel insurance covers Uber?

in NYC, sure (Uber = licensed & insured as a black car/limo service under TLC). in other places, depends
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Old Oct 19, 16, 10:04 am
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Our corp travel policy does not refer to either. We're a midsized company that doesn't really have a dedicated travel group that keeps these things terribly up to date. I'm sure someday there will be a revision that discusses them.

I use Lyft/Uber all the time but would never consider AirBnB for a business trip in its current state. Once it's more regulated like hotels, as it should be, I may consider it. I have less aversion to VRBO but am not likely to be in a situation where it would apply. Closest thing I'd have to this kind of stay would be the apartments you occasionally see on Booking.com. In the right situation, I'd consider it.
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Old Oct 19, 16, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by gglave View Post
Uber is not a problem with my employer, and is expensed like a taxi.

AirBnB would not be permitted - All air and accommodations must be booked via Concur to ensure we're within low-cost travel policies, and AirBnB isn't in Concur.
We use Concur as well, but concur!='low-cost'. Last time it offered $280 per night at Motel 8 next to SFO.

Originally Posted by paperwastage View Post
are you sure corp travel insurance covers Uber?

in NYC, sure (Uber = licensed & insured as a black car/limo service under TLC). in other places, depends
As per travel policy, using private cars for transportation is allowed, and it is not specifically noted that the private car must be owned by the employee.
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Old Oct 19, 16, 11:01 am
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We have access to Concur, but aren't required to use it.

I have yet to encounter a single instance where it added any value whatsoever. It seems like a tool designed for companies big enough to have significant airline discounts.
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Old Oct 19, 16, 4:17 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
We have access to Concur, but aren't required to use it.

I have yet to encounter a single instance where it added any value whatsoever. It seems like a tool designed for companies big enough to have significant airline discounts.
In the context of hotels, Concur serves us properties that in the price-range allowed by the beancounters, and alerts management for approval if one tries to book a hotel that exceeds the permitted dollar amount.

So if I book the Hilton instead of the Hilton Garden Inn I'll be flagged.

Ditto with airfares.
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Old Oct 19, 16, 4:56 pm
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Both my current and previous employer, small software companies under 300 employees but in multiple countries WW, do not specifically mention services such as Uber or AirBnB in their travel policies.

I am very comfortable with Uber/Lyft and use them routinely. Their bills are easy to file for business expenses (easier than taxis in many areas) and I've never gotten push-back from my employer on it.

AirBnB/VRBO, though, I push back on. My experience using them for leisure trips is that they're too unpredictable. Every owner has their own unique policies, little things are often missing, and getting problems addressed often takes way the heck more time and effort than it would in a hotel. I might tolerate these risks for a leisure trip but I will not for a business trip.
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Old Oct 19, 16, 11:36 pm
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Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
Both my current and previous employer, small software companies under 300 employees but in multiple countries WW, do not specifically mention services such as Uber or AirBnB in their travel policies.

I am very comfortable with Uber/Lyft and use them routinely. Their bills are easy to file for business expenses (easier than taxis in many areas) and I've never gotten push-back from my employer on it.
Uber is great for expense reporting. Never lose a receipt. I wish every business just emailed receipts. Date, time, route and price dead clear. Of course, not every employee welcomes that level of transparency!

I hate trying to keep hold of taxi receipts, often shoved into your hand while you're grappling with bags , and then stuffed into your pocket.

Otherwise, my company is even smaller, and doesn't tell me how to do things except occasionally when they get an empire-builder in HQ.

The main thing is to keep control of my budget and keep costs down. Business class is a needless extravagance. The only time I really appreciate the difference is really long-haul like UK-Australia and then the cost is usually too great to justify.

I wouldn't use Air BnB for business travel. I get offered to stay with family when I'm in their town but it's not good and they don't really appreciate the need for good internet, mobile signal and taking/making calls at all hours due to the 24/7 nature of our business. They don't understand why I can't just switch off and I don't want to offend them so it's much better to get my own room in a hotel.
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Old Oct 19, 16, 11:48 pm
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When I see staff members handing Uber cards to visitors or otherwise recommending Uber, it concerns me. These would be guests whose travel expenses we're reimbursing. If something would happen in an Uber, we could be sued. I would feel the same way if we were suggesting that people use LCCs for business travel, especially in parts of the world where there are safety issues associated with LCCs. Potential liability seems to be less of an issue if you give people some flexibility to pick their own reasonable travel arrangements or book from established third parties who are likely to have good insurance.
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Old Oct 20, 16, 3:51 am
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Originally Posted by paperwastage View Post
are you sure corp travel insurance covers Uber?
what would your corporate travel insurance cover related to a taxi ride? damaged bags? theft? injury? i've never heard of any corp travel insurance as it pertains to taxi rides

uber has 5 million dollar liability on any trip, so if you get hospitalized that would be your first underwriter to hit up.

my small company only uses uber: safer, cheaper, cashless, more reliable, and very easy to expense.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
. If something would happen in an Uber, we could be sued. I would feel the same way if we were suggesting that people use LCCs for business travel, especially in parts of the world where there are safety issues associated with LCCs.


how would someone working for a company get sued for something happening in an uber. is there less likelihood this would happen in a taxi?

has this ever happened? rider gets sued by someone. i mean some taco bell executive lost his job due to his behaviour on an uber trip but i dunno of any litigation ever happening....
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Old Oct 20, 16, 7:46 pm
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Uber is approved by the company (mid-sized tech) and there's integration with Concur so you can chose to have specific trips sent to Concur from within the Uber app. Between the primary insurance that Uber provides (in the US) and the cashless, digital aspects it solves a lot of problems.

I wish Uber existed when I was making weekly, sometimes daily trips out to the data centers in Secaucus taking cabs from Secaucus Junction. Between having to save self-filled out receipts and making sure to have cash - there are benefits for the employee and the company.

Originally Posted by darthbimmer View Post
AirBnB/VRBO, though, I push back on. My experience using them for leisure trips is that they're too unpredictable. Every owner has their own unique policies, little things are often missing, and getting problems addressed often takes way the heck more time and effort than it would in a hotel. I might tolerate these risks for a leisure trip but I will not for a business trip.
This. That said some Einstein at Concur thought it was smart to build an AirBnB app integration in Concur. Someone asked travel about this and it was
told there is no restriction but if you get burned by the restrictive terms or by an owner flaking - you are responsible. Meaning if you book a non-refundable rate and your plans change, you eat the fees. Or if you end up incurring expenses because of an owner not being available to let you in. Ultimately, who needs that nonsense. You need that as much as you need another hole in your head. Plus if something goes wrong, most owners don't have additional inventory to give you. You can argue whether or not AirBnB serves a purpose for leisure travel but for business travel it's a no go.
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Old Oct 20, 16, 10:31 pm
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I use Uber whenever possible for work purposes as well as personal. It's super easy to take a screenshot of the receipt and upload it directly through our expense app. Not to mention it's virtually always cheaper than a cab. Our company policy doesn't say anything for or against Uber but virtually everybody uses it from my director all the way on down.
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Old Oct 22, 16, 12:45 pm
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We're explicitly encouraged to use Uber, Lyft and Airbnb. I work one of the SF tech firms with several thousand employees.

We use Concur and it's required for airfare but somewhat optional for hotels. If you're using a group conference rate or staying at an Airbnb, you're exempt from using Concur as long as the price isn't too much higher.

I use Uber everywhere over cabs but still generally stick for hotels for business travel. Probably half the trips in our company are to either NY or SF so I understand why they're encouraging lower-cost options in those two cities.

Other than conferences, all my business travel is to SF where I stick with the Westin at Union Square.
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Old Oct 23, 16, 5:45 pm
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