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badgersfly Jun 25, 13 2:38 pm

Corporate Flight Policies for Employees Booking Business/First Class?
I am interested to hear what policies employers have in place for business class (or first) class travel. Basically, when is it okay to book a business class ticket over an Economy ticket?
As an example, does your company require that Business class can only be purchased on flights that are over X hours in duration? Are there any caveats as to cost of the flight (i.e. it may be a flight that is 14 hours but an Economy ticket is $2,000 and a business ticket is $12,000, so I have to book Economy)?

If this is covered in another thread, please direct me to it.

emma69 Jun 25, 13 4:15 pm

Most places I have worked have an 'over X hours' policy for business class. A couple have had 'no business class within North America' rules, regardless of duration. There are sometimes exceptions for internal meetings, and I've known specific airlines business class be excluded because their cost was so much higher than other airlines (Emirates in the case I recall). Many places also have a 'prudency' policy - if you knew you were going to a meeting in Sydney 3 months ago, but waited until the day before to book your (now full fare) flight, without good business reasons, you would be hauled up to explain yourself.

I've also known companies have policies on the type of fare - i.e. no full Y or the fares that basically get you an instant upgrade to business, despite being technically economy fares. Depends how savvy the expense / travel department are!

mwabd1 Jun 25, 13 4:16 pm

Corporate Business Class Hours of Flight Policies?
Anything over 8 hours is Buisness Class regardless of price.

Segments Jun 25, 13 4:50 pm

Corporate Business Class Hours of Flight Policies?
No Business class ever

Maigret Jun 25, 13 4:50 pm

Self-employed and my T&C's say over 6 hours is business class. However, there's always a degree of flexibility. Went to China for a smallish business and travelled in Economy (BA - not bad). Am currently working at a FTSE 50 subsidiary in California, and business class wasn't an issue.

The nature of my work means I know several weeks in advance that I'll be in x Location for a set number of days or weeks so I will book a restrictive and cheaper ticket. (I got MAN-AMS-MSP-SMF in business for <2400 all in, when BA wanted over 6k). I will also be flexible on routings if that has a significant impact on price.

I once got a cheap F ORD-LHR for less than the client paid for J, but I wouldn't typically fly real F (non-US domestic) if a client was paying.

Maigret Jun 25, 13 4:59 pm

Slightly OT I once tendered for an engagement for a large European company who wanted a fixed price for the whole job including flights, accommodation, per diems etc. I costed it on my > 6 hours rule. I won the work then the moral dilemma started over which class should I book. Shall we say I compromised but not to the point it was silly (e.g. BA WTP on daytime TATL, Flew AY J to China rather than BA J). Ultimately blew any savings on some very nice hotels and restaurants.

cyclogenesis Jun 25, 13 5:10 pm

Over 12 Hours.. However if you ask for it get ready to have your travel request denied.
US based federal contractor.

Old Aussie employer it was 8, same deal.. BUT unlike current employer they paid for lounge access once you had international travel.. That softened the blow nicely.. current US employer: no dice..

mbece Jun 25, 13 5:21 pm

Over seven hours nonstop and you can book J/F -in which case we must book the cheapest/better deal according to the website we use.

mandolino Jun 25, 13 5:31 pm

I set my own budgets and do a lot of long haul, as do the service engineers who follow in my wake.

My principle is "profligacy is the enemy of profit" but within reason - we look for good deals and upgrades. We allow our service guys to buy priority passes and other forms of lounge access. No set rules, just try to keep costs down without making things too uncomfortable.

Gamecock Jun 25, 13 5:39 pm

US military.

Not unless you have a note from a medical officer. In the last ten years I have written a grand total of one such note.

badgersfly Jun 25, 13 5:51 pm

Sounds like it is all over the board. Those of you with an hour threshold, do you ever balk when the business fare is just too high and relegate yourself to economy?

rriopel432 Jun 25, 13 6:40 pm

As a consultant, I fly on OPM. So I can never book a business/first class. Sometimes, I'll luck out and have to pay full fare and get instant upgraded but that's about it. I never leave the country and half my flights are RJ145 so it really doesn't matter anyways.

Redhead Jun 25, 13 7:21 pm

International over 5 hours, so US transcons are economy. Purchase two weeks in advance if possible. Use least expensive carrier. No requirement to make connections. We used to be able to buy one annual club membership but that went away about 5 years ago.

gooselee Jun 25, 13 8:08 pm

Originally Posted by Segments:20989370
No Business class ever


We also have dollar limits based on duration of flight (layover time not included) which is completely unreasonable and everyone exceeds constantly. Similar to our hotel policy that flags any hotel booking over $75/night ($90 in NYC) and encourages Priceline but does not allow prepaid bookings.

All in the name of satisfying auditors. I'd much rather just have a "use common sense" policy, and am relatively certain we'd actually end up spending less overall if we did.

invisible Jun 25, 13 9:19 pm

Fortune 50 company with 40K employees
Quote from the copr travel policy:

2.1. Flights
The standard class for flights is coach (economy) class.
Please ensure that you consider the lowest proposed air fare indicated by the booking channel.
The lowest proposed fare for flights is the lowest price that fulfills the following conditions:
 Time: The flight can depart up to two hours before or after the requested departure time, and arrive up to two hours before or after the requested arrival time.
 Airport: Flights can depart or land at nearby alternative airports.
 Airlines: You can travel with an airline other than the requested airline.
You can only accept a higher fare if business requirements make it necessary (for example, urgent and fixed customer meeting schedules).

Employees may book flights in business class if
 One segment of the round-trip travel (outbound or return flight) is longer than eight hours, and the employee has already taken two round-trips within one calendar year where one segment of the round-trip travel (outbound or return flight) was longer than eight hours. All eligible flights taken from January 1st onwards, within the calendar year count towards this “two-flight” rule. These prerequisites must be fulfilled each calendar year.
Members of the Global Leadership Team (GLT) and Extended Leadership Team (EGLT) may book flights in business class if
 One segment of the round-trip travel (outbound or return flight) is longer than two hours

All employees may book flights in business class if the flight is billed to the customer. Such trips are billable if the trip is
 part of a customer project or
 the travel expenses will be charged to the customer or
 the costs incurred are posted to sales orders.
However I do know companies (or rather, people working in such companies) who only purchase full fare F for TPAC/TATL flights.

P.S. I personally used the rule above to book SIN-NRT-NYC-SFO-NRT-SIN with ANA's C with the price tag of $6K. It was my first flight in C ever. And most likely next one will be coming no early than in several years...

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