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Tall Traveller, employer won't pay for biz class

Tall Traveller, employer won't pay for biz class

Old Jan 6, 06, 12:21 pm
  #1  
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Tall Traveller, employer won't pay for biz class

Hi,

I'm very very tall (6'9"). My employer is sending me overseas for work and refuses to pay for business class. The flight is about 7 hours in coach. I regularlly fly short flights in coach and usually get an exit seat, but it's still a tight fit. Does anyone have any suggestions about how I can get my employer to supply me with adequate accomodations? I don't want to say I'm disabled, because ethically I'm not sure about that, but it is not healthy for me to sit in a 33" pitch seat for 7+ hours.

Any suggestions / experiences / links will be helpful and appreciated

Thx
~The Tall Guy
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Old Jan 6, 06, 12:23 pm
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by talltravel
Hi,

I'm very very tall (6'9"). My employer is sending me overseas for work and refuses to pay for business class. The flight is about 7 hours in coach. I regularlly fly short flights in coach and usually get an exit seat, but it's still a tight fit. Does anyone have any suggestions about how I can get my employer to supply me with adequate accomodations? I don't want to say I'm disabled, because ethically I'm not sure about that, but it is not healthy for me to sit in a 33" pitch seat for 7+ hours.

Any suggestions / experiences / links will be helpful and appreciated

Thx
~The Tall Guy
I would try and convince your employer to spring for BA WT+, it is still technically "economy" class and the major difference between WT and WT+ is the 7" extra legroom you get. The prices are reasonable too.

Cheers
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Old Jan 6, 06, 12:23 pm
  #3  
 
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Is the price an issue to the employer? Probably the easiest way to deal with that is to offer to pay part of the difference. I wouldn't suggest the whole difference since that would be a lot in some cases. You don't mention what airline you will be flying or whether you have any status on that airline.
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Old Jan 6, 06, 12:44 pm
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Thanks for both pieces of input,

1. I didn't know about WT+, this could be an option since I only do need the legroom

2. being a true FT member, I'd prefer to go on AA or CO since I have status on both but not enough status (gold) to secure an upgrade on AA, and I'm pretty sure CO doesn't upgrade platinums to Europe. I like the suggestion of offering to cover some of the difference out of my pocket, and yes price is the main issue, since a coach seat is aroun 350$ and a biz class seat is around 10X that. They suggested I use miles to upgrade, but I'm hesitant to use personal miles to upgrade.

BTW I'm looking to go from BOS to Germany, Italy and London and back a few times in the next few months.
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Old Jan 6, 06, 12:54 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by talltravel
how I can get my employer to supply me with adequate accomodations? I don't want to say I'm disabled, because ethically I'm not sure about that
I can probably clear up one thing for you: I don't think being tall will qualify you for special disability protections, and even if it did I don't think an employer is obligated to buy you a J/F seat.

I'm very tall as well, I've flown for years for business, and I feel your pain about sitting in coach. But I know if I tried to play this card anywhere I worked, it would have gone over very badly internally, and it definitely wouldn't cause the employer to change the travel policies. Think about it: if they buy you a J/F seat, that sets them up to buy everybody a J/F seat, and they definitely aren't doing that. It will just serve to get you labeled as a whiner or worse.

The BA WT+ idea is a good one. Obviously sticking with any airline on which you have status (and therefore access to the exit row) is another good one. Worst case, if you're really worried about your health, connect through Iceland so you don't have any excessively long flights.
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Old Jan 6, 06, 1:13 pm
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Lightbulb Time vs money

I sympathise Talltravel. What is your company travel policy on flights over- say- 5 hours? I know a lot of companies who insist on coach for short flights and allow biz for long-haul.

On a practical point however, it's not likely you can sleep in an economy seat. Therefore your flight hours are not sleep hours and can be counted as work hours. This could be a good argument if your employer gives you holiday days if you travel on weekends. He will want to minimise the holiday 'cost' to him- as each day of vacation he gves you will 'cost' him money. But if he put you in biz- the 'cost' to him is less.

[I have heard of a certain airline whose travel policy for long-haul overnight flights was:
- economy- take the next day off to recover
- business class- come into work in the afternoon
- first or concorde- go to work from the airport]

You didn't mention how long each trip would be-- but if you fly eg BOS-FRA- on a Monday for example, you will arrive tired and wrecked on Tuesday- but ready for a Wednesday meeting. If you travel business class- you will still arrive Tuesday but having had a good night's sleep, and could actually work on Tuesday. You will be more productive.

$350 sounds cheap. If your travel does not include a Saturday night- isn't the flight ticket more expensive? I suggest boooking Sunday- Friday trips because the difference between coach and biz will not be as much.

Finally if all else fails- European carriers do allow pax to congregate around doors, so if you are stuck in economy at least you can stretch your legs and pass the time chatting to other pax.

Good luck! ^

Last edited by typhoon; Jan 6, 06 at 1:15 pm Reason: mispelt OP name
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Old Jan 6, 06, 1:51 pm
  #7  
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i would use mi's to ug if possible, but now, aa has the $250 in addition to mi for long int'l ug's....hopefully, you get the mi's from your work travel....

good luck.
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Old Jan 6, 06, 2:19 pm
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I realize that it's not currently one of your preferred airlines, but United offers an Economy Plus access pass for $299/year. That buys you 3 to 5 inches more legroom than standard economy, plus a reduced probability of the adjacent seat being occupied on flights that aren't full. (If you travel enough to get some status with United, then Economy Plus is "free.")
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Old Jan 6, 06, 2:35 pm
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There is an episode of the Simpsons where Homer finds out that if he gains enough weight, he will be allowed to work from home!

Now, I know we all have control over how much we weigh, and you have no control over how tall you are, but.....

If the company buys you a biz class seat because you are tall and need extra legroom, shouldn't they also by Homer a biz class seat because he's larger needs the extra width....

As other have pointed out; over ridding established policy for you, opens a whole can of worms for the employer.

I would suggest you find a solution to offer the employer that wouldn't make them as uncomfortable. Fly out a day early, so you can spend an extra day resting before work, fly an airline that will allow you to use your miles to upgrade, get the exit row and spend as much time walking/standing while in the air, fly United and pay for E+...
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Old Jan 6, 06, 4:43 pm
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1. I wonder how tall you have to be to basically "always" get an exit row. Recently, I read a profile about Manute Bol, who now travels a lot for humanitarian work. He said that he always flies coach but that they "always" give him an exit row.

2. In regards to companies paying for tall people in business or coach, my father used to work for a large, very well-known, US company. One of his co-workers was tall (>200cm), and, according to company policy, was always allowed to fly business/first. They used to travel together, my dad in coach and his co-worker in first (even on short flights). This was probably 15-20 years ago. Of note, my father was never peeved about this (although it was basically all domestic, mostly within the region). Don't know how things are now, but there is precedent.
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Old Jan 6, 06, 5:54 pm
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Originally Posted by talltravel
They suggested I use miles to upgrade, but I'm hesitant to use personal miles to upgrade
Not to sound trite, but if it's for your personal comfort to upgrade, why not? the option to consider might be in coupon connection to see if you snag a couple of EVIPS to upgrade if flying AA and before some expire at the end of Feb (depending on when you are actually flying, of course) good luck ^
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Old Jan 6, 06, 6:30 pm
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I agree that you should be using your own miles. I'm 6'5" and I had the same problem. There was no way I was going to fly coach that far squeezed into a tiny seat with no legroom.

There was another person at my company who stamped his foot down and said he wasn't going anywhere if they didn't pay for J.

We gave him his J ticket and never sent him back for another trip. I figured out how I could make the situation work and never dreamed of asking them to pay for something as silly as a paid business class ticket (these things are outrageously expensive and I don't see how anyone justifies their expense). I used my carrier, UA, even though the routing to India was awkward at first (ORD-SFO-NRT-SIN-BLR vs. ORD-FRA-BLR on LH) ebcause I could earn and spend my miles. I work hard everytime I need to go to find the flights that work and put in a minimum of 3 hours on booking my tickets to make sure I get what I need without making silly demands. I also now book tickets for a couple of other people when they need to go (including our CFO who used her own personal miles to buy an award ticket in J).

In exchange, I go whenever I want or need to, I get to see the world, and my employer finances my 1K status. At first, I didn't have SWUs, so my mileage balance didn't grow (I'd earn 40,000 miles for a trip to India and 20,000 domestically in the months in-between and spend 60,000 miles on a round-trip upgrade), but it wasn't hurting me. Now that I've flown enough to be a 1K and get SWUs, I use those for both my travel and even gave 2 to a coworker so he could upgrade.

Sorry. I'm just not sympathetic to the idea that you don't think it's important enough to spend your own miles on.
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Old Jan 6, 06, 6:39 pm
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Originally Posted by robb

Sorry. I'm just not sympathetic to the idea that you don't think it's important enough to spend your own miles on.
Me neither. The company is paying for your transportation, which they should, but they should not have to pay extra for more comfort (especially 10x more ). If you want to get the most comfort for the least amount of $$, UA's E+ seems to be the best

Cheers
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Old Jan 6, 06, 7:18 pm
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Well in view of your height BA in business isn't an option anyway.

If I was you I'd fly AA and ask my employer to stump up for B class in economy. Then you can use your own miles (10k each way) to upgrade to business class which you should earn the bulk of on the trip anyway.
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Old Jan 6, 06, 7:22 pm
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Originally Posted by robb
I agree that you should be using your own miles.

(these things are outrageously expensive and I don't see how anyone justifies their expense).
The first quote I do agree with...the second is totally and completely insane.
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