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Travel Expenses: Dumb Things your Company has Done

Travel Expenses: Dumb Things your Company has Done

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Old Jan 16, 19, 1:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Kevin AA View Post
If your employer doesn't pay for your expensive breakfast at home, why should your employer pay for your expensive breakfast on the road? Pay for it yourself.
The same reason why they don't pay for anyone's cheap breakfast at home but do pay for their cheap breakfast on the road. Same reason why they pay for your <any derisive adjective> dinner on the road but not at home. Because I can get the eggs I like for $7/dozen at Whole Foods but can't pay $1.75 for 3 of them while I'm in a Courtyard on the road at my company's request.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 1:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Kevin AA View Post
If your employer doesn't pay for your expensive breakfast at home, why should your employer pay for your expensive breakfast on the road? Pay for it yourself.
That has nothing to do with quality or breakfast. Your employer does not likely make your mortgage payment, but pays for your hotel, does not make your car payment, but pays for a rental, and does not pay for lunch / dinner at home, but does so when traveling.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
That falls into the same category as any other upgrade whether it is a hotel, rental car or flight. Either pay for it yourself or negotiate your designer breakfasts beforehand.

Every company I've worked for has always had "that guy" who can only fly business, chafes if the sheets aren't 1,000 count, despairs when sharing a cab with a co-worker, has a receipt for every tiny thing and believe it's his absolute right to gourmand dining when traveling. When I'm traveling I try not to be "that guy." YMMV.
No one on here is demanding gourmet options or designer breakfasts. They’re saying that the free breakfast buffet is often way below an acceptable standard and they are choosing to buy breakfast elsewhere instead of forgo it entirely.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 3:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
That has nothing to do with quality or breakfast. Your employer does not likely make your mortgage payment, but pays for your hotel, does not make your car payment, but pays for a rental, and does not pay for lunch / dinner at home, but does so when traveling.
Your mortgage payment does not change if you're gone for a few days, or even a few weeks.

Your car payment does not change if you're gone for a few days, or even a few weeks.

When you go on a business trip, you get FREE meals, and you can collect points for the airline trip and hotel stay. It's actually a money-maker.

When I traveled for business all the time 20 years ago, I collected hundreds of thousands of FF miles and hotel points. I used them later for lots of free trips by air and lots of free stays in a hotel.

People who complain about the free hotel breakfast and want to charge a more expensive breakfast have an attitude problem. If they're important enough to the company, fine. But if you're replaceable, think twice. For crying out, is your breakfast demands really going to make a serious dent in your bank account if you pay for it yourself?
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Old Jan 16, 19, 3:47 pm
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Originally Posted by roberino View Post
No one on here is demanding gourmet options or designer breakfasts. They’re saying that the free breakfast buffet is often way below an acceptable standard and they are choosing to buy breakfast elsewhere instead of forgo it entirely.
If it is below THEIR acceptable standard then THEY should pay for it not demand their employer pay for a second meal because they are a fussy eater, believe chain motel buffets are beneath them or can't get their day started without "organic/pasture animal proteins."

It's the same with on-demand movies. If the free TV channels in your room aren't suitable to your ratified tastes don't expense a pay-per-view movie. Pay for it yourself.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 5:55 pm
  #411  
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let's get back on track about dumb things employers have done wrt travel expenses --

in the early days of affinity programs, policy memos regarding "theft" of mileage (company paid for the ticket, therefore company banks the miles) and dire warnings about disciplinary action were of course front and center, but nobody in Travel Accounting gave a rip about hotel programs ... I have more than a few former co-workers who hit Lifetime Platinum with Marriott over maybe a six-year period of monthly (sometimes 2x/month) SEA<-->BWI trips
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Old Jan 16, 19, 7:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Kevin AA View Post
Your mortgage payment does not change if you're gone for a few days, or even a few weeks.

Your car payment does not change if you're gone for a few days, or even a few weeks.

When you go on a business trip, you get FREE meals, and you can collect points for the airline trip and hotel stay. It's actually a money-maker.

When I traveled for business all the time 20 years ago, I collected hundreds of thousands of FF miles and hotel points. I used them later for lots of free trips by air and lots of free stays in a hotel.

People who complain about the free hotel breakfast and want to charge a more expensive breakfast have an attitude problem. If they're important enough to the company, fine. But if you're replaceable, think twice. For crying out, is your breakfast demands really going to make a serious dent in your bank account if you pay for it yourself?
My gym membership does me no good on the road. I regularly pay $20 a pop to do yoga, Pilates or go to a spin studio on the road. I can't expense that. I forget anything, I can't expense that. I pay for a lounge membership and eat my dinner at the salad bar there, I can't expense that even though I could expense a dinner elsewhere. I dislocate my shoulder playing tennis and have to go to an out of network ER and pay a $500 co-pay, I can't expense that (this has happened to me). I travel on personal time, a lot, and don't get to bill OT. It's not like travelers are living high on the hog. If it was an easy life, everyone would do it or people would last a lot longer than they usually do.

Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
If it is below THEIR acceptable standard then THEY should pay for it not demand their employer pay for a second meal because they are a fussy eater, believe chain motel buffets are beneath them or can't get their day started without "organic/pasture animal proteins."

It's the same with on-demand movies. If the free TV channels in your room aren't suitable to your ratified tastes don't expense a pay-per-view movie. Pay for it yourself.
I'm not a fussy eater. I simply know what I want to eat and am going to eat that way on the road too. Our limit on food per day is $125. It's really easy to eat my fussy breakfast within those confines even if the hotel has a crappy powdered egg buffet. I believe my BMI, waist, resting heart rate and lab results all support the healthy choices I make both on the road and at home.

And mostly, I don't pay for it myself because my company is run by visionaries who understand how to take an idea to market. And if they've got employees willing to go on the road 30 weeks a year to deal with demanding customers while simultaneously programming AI/ML algorithms, then they probably are gonna let those people eat breakfast where they want.
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Old Jan 16, 19, 7:41 pm
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
let's get back on track about dumb things employers have done wrt travel expenses --

in the early days of affinity programs, policy memos regarding "theft" of mileage (company paid for the ticket, therefore company banks the miles) and dire warnings about disciplinary action were of course front and center, but nobody in Travel Accounting gave a rip about hotel programs ... I have more than a few former co-workers who hit Lifetime Platinum with Marriott over maybe a six-year period of monthly (sometimes 2x/month) SEA<-->BWI trips
What did employees have to do, transfer the miles from their personal account into a corporate one? That is draconian!
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Old Jan 17, 19, 1:19 am
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Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
If it is below THEIR acceptable standard then THEY should pay for it not demand their employer pay for a second meal because they are a fussy eater, believe chain motel buffets are beneath them or can't get their day started without "organic/pasture animal proteins."

It's the same with on-demand movies. If the free TV channels in your room aren't suitable to your ratified tastes don't expense a pay-per-view movie. Pay for it yourself.
Not wanting food that immediately gives one stomach cramps does not make one a fussy eater. That’s clearly way below anyone’s standards.

This is is not the same as a pay per view movie. A person doesn’t need a movie. They do need food.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 4:54 am
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At the end of the day it all boils down to how important the employee is to the company. If you make 6 or 7 figures, your employer is unlikely to worry about breakfast expenses on the road; if you become useless or redundant, it won't matter what kind of breakfast you have – he will let you go.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 7:59 am
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My company does not complain about the small stuff. On the other hand, it only pays for nonrefundable economy flying for everyone, without regard to length of travel (upgrades are on you), and expects people to not pay more than necessary for hotels. Since a lot of those are conference hotels, they are still sometimes fairly expensive. They would not complain about a breakfast or a latte. I believe they consider traveling to be a burden on the employee and are reasonable about expenses. That said, I have had a long practice of not putting in for reimbursement on every little thing. No papers, lattes, metro tickets, fast food or the like. Stuff I might have bought for myself if still home. I want a clean expense report that gets approved with a 4 second look. So mostly airfare (I attach boarding passes and write on them "Upgraded at my own cost"), hotel, some more expensive meals and meals with clients, taxis and ubers, and that is about it.

Also, if the hotel for a conference is expensive, I will sometimes pick another within walking difference if it is as good but substantially cheaper (and I tend to prefer the boutiques over the chains). No one is making me do that, but I am aware there are budgets, and I don't want to be that guy who is known to travel expensively.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 8:09 am
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Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
If it is below THEIR acceptable standard then THEY should pay for it not demand their employer pay for a second meal because they are a fussy eater, believe chain motel buffets are beneath them or can't get their day started without "organic/pasture animal proteins."

It's the same with on-demand movies. If the free TV channels in your room aren't suitable to your ratified tastes don't expense a pay-per-view movie. Pay for it yourself.
I am vegetarian, and do not eat things if they contain or are cooked with meat. There are thousands of others like me, either for religious reason, or personal choice. I stayed at one hotel that had a hot breakfast buffet - great, I thought, there are fresh eggs, potatoes, toast, as well as yogurt and fruit. Then I realized both the potatoes and the eggs were cooked on the grill top with the bacon, and the yogurt contained gelatin. The restaurant declined to do any eggs cooked to order in a separate area. While I could eat the toast and fruit, neither of them contain protein, and thus aren't really a suitable breakfast. I simply went down the street and bought a breakfast containing eggs and expensed it without issue. If an employer questioned it, I would have a problem - if I was, for example, Jewish or Muslim, would they really expect me to eat items that contain pork fat?
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Old Jan 17, 19, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by Kevin AA View Post
Your mortgage payment does not change if you're gone for a few days, or even a few weeks.

Your car payment does not change if you're gone for a few days, or even a few weeks.

When you go on a business trip, you get FREE meals, and you can collect points for the airline trip and hotel stay. It's actually a money-maker.

When I traveled for business all the time 20 years ago, I collected hundreds of thousands of FF miles and hotel points. I used them later for lots of free trips by air and lots of free stays in a hotel.

People who complain about the free hotel breakfast and want to charge a more expensive breakfast have an attitude problem. If they're important enough to the company, fine. But if you're replaceable, think twice. For crying out, is your breakfast demands really going to make a serious dent in your bank account if you pay for it yourself?
Not everyone makes money while they are away. Having to hire a pet sitter, put a mail stop on or have someone go in to water your plants and remove the newspapers from your front door and shovel your walkway are expenses you wouldn't have if you were working in the office and are typically not reimbursed. Others may have child care costs they wouldn't normally incur, additional cell phone charges to call home, and whilst at home they could watch their cable tv, out of country they may have to pay, say, Itunes to watch a movie or TV show to stop them going stir crazy. I make healthy vegetarian food at home most days, and don't eat much in the way of fast food. Therefore I am not going to be content with fast food when I am out of the office either. I know some companies don't reimburse lunch or coffees (on the basis that you have to pay for lunch and coffee anyway if you were in the office) but that is a load of bull, because buying lunch is far more expensive than brown bagging it from home or using the work kettle.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 8:45 am
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Originally Posted by emma69 View Post
I am vegetarian, and do not eat things if they contain or are cooked with meat. There are thousands of others like me, either for religious reason, or personal choice. I stayed at one hotel that had a hot breakfast buffet - great, I thought, there are fresh eggs, potatoes, toast, as well as yogurt and fruit. Then I realized both the potatoes and the eggs were cooked on the grill top with the bacon, and the yogurt contained gelatin. The restaurant declined to do any eggs cooked to order in a separate area. While I could eat the toast and fruit, neither of them contain protein, and thus aren't really a suitable breakfast. I simply went down the street and bought a breakfast containing eggs and expensed it without issue. If an employer questioned it, I would have a problem - if I was, for example, Jewish or Muslim, would they really expect me to eat items that contain pork fat?
The appropriate choice would be to negotiate the dietary requirements in advance with an explanation. Just keep in mind that your colleagues may not have the same needs and wants. It's never helpful to stand out in the crowd.

Originally Posted by Artpen100 View Post
I have had a long practice of not putting in for reimbursement on every little thing. No papers, lattes, metro tickets, fast food or the like. Stuff I might have bought for myself if still home. I want a clean expense report that gets approved with a 4 second look. So mostly airfare (I attach boarding passes and write on them "Upgraded at my own cost"), hotel, some more expensive meals and meals with clients, taxis and ubers, and that is about it.

Also, if the hotel for a conference is expensive, I will sometimes pick another within walking difference if it is as good but substantially cheaper (and I tend to prefer the boutiques over the chains). No one is making me do that, but I am aware there are budgets, and I don't want to be that guy who is known to travel expensively.
This is a mature and sensible approach. My days of occasionally playing fast and loose with expenses are long past and this is my general outlook toward travel expenses.

High flyers who refuse hotel chain breakfasts with claims of picky eating habits and tender tummies in the belief their employer should pay for breakfast bistros suitable to their refined tastes should never work for government if expenses are subject to freedom of information. The indigestion caused by having your line-by-line spending habits in the media will outweigh the temporary digestive upset of even the worst hotel buffets.
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Old Jan 17, 19, 9:20 am
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Originally Posted by Badenoch View Post
High flyers who refuse hotel chain breakfasts with claims of picky eating habits and tender tummies in the belief their employer should pay for breakfast bistros suitable to their refined tastes should never work for government if expenses are subject to freedom of information.
Every government project I've been on was per diem which was always more than enough for my refined tastes.
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