Our corporate travel department was actually a separate business, so the more 
they sold the more money they made. I have no idea where the business class 
travel policy came from, but I know it was corporate-wide.

I got into a big tiff with them once over some travel to Australia and New 
Zealand. I had a voucher from NWA for a $2000 business class round trip to 
Sydney that I wanted to use for a business trip Down Under. Corporate travel 
wouldn't let me use it because they had committed to United to use them for 
that route. The United fare was around $5,000, if I recall correctly. I know 
the difference was pretty substantial.

"We get spiffs from the airlines for committing to book with them, which is why 
we have to use United," was Corporate Travel's reasoning for spending twice 
what it would otherwise cost.

"How much of that "spiff" comes back to my department?" I asked.


Yeah, right. So I ended up going Down Under on United for twice what it would 
have cost me otherwise....

Here's some more twisted corporate logic:

The Company wanted to get its hands on frequent flyer miles, but since these 
were earned by the individual there was really no way for them to do it. Now 
maybe they could have by working something out with the airlines, but 
administering it in a company of +8,000 people would have been a real nightmare.

So our head corporate counsel, who also happened to be the owner's wife, comes 
up with this plan:

You accumulate frequent flyer miles. You use them to book business travel. When 
you do so, Corporate will reimburse you for the lowest published fare for that 

Oh, and yes, the reimbursement will be taxed as personal income.

So I use my frequent flyer miles to fly to LA and back. This is probably worth 
maybe $500 booking normally using my miles. Corporate Travel combs through the 
prices from every possible carrier that flys the same route and finds a $99 
fare. I get a reimbursement check for $99.00 less taxes. Good deal, eh?

Needless to say, this policy died a pretty quick death.

<head slap>


Sent from my iPad

> On Jun 22, 2015, at 6:06 PM, G Mann via Mercedes <mercedes@okiebenz.com> 
> wrote:
> To keep Corporate travel departments from stuffing you, the star salesman
> or engineer, into the baggage compartment with Aunt Fluffies pet poodle,
> because they could save .12 cents and look good.
> Besides.. being pampered by a very attractive stewardess with a delightful
> British accent for 11 hrs on BA first class flight built company loyalty
> and good will which kept you from quitting at next job review cycle when
> you only got a .3% raise despite having increased corporate earnings each
> quarter you spent weeks away from your family.
> Carrot on stick business perk..
> On Mon, Jun 22, 2015 at 2:51 PM, Kaleb C. Striplin via Mercedes <
> mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:
>> Why did they have such rules?
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>> On Jun 22, 2015, at 3:27 PM, Dan Penoff via Mercedes <
>> mercedes@okiebenz.com> wrote:
>>> Corporate rules required that we fly business class on any travel over 8
>> hours total air time.  That meant that any time I left the USA I was flying
>> business class.  I could also control who I booked on, so since most of my
>> travel was to Asia and the Middle East I stuck with Northwest and KLM - KLM
>> was a mandatory for security reasons, we couldn’t use any other carriers to
>> the Middle East with the exception of El Al, who, of course, had a limited
>> number of destinations in that part of the world.
>>> Since NWA and KLM code shared and were partners, I was able to corral my
>> miles into one big honking account.  This was also back in the day where
>> NWA issued a 20,000 mile voucher for every 20k you earned, good for one
>> domestic airfare in the US.  You could “stack” them to use for upgrades and
>> international travel as well.  Because they could be endorsed over, there
>> was a very brisk secondary market for them, too.
>>> I think I sold six or eight of them in a lump to a ticket broker the
>> year we built our house in Port Washingon, WI for something like $5,000.
>> They were good for two first class trips to Europe at that amount, I
>> believe.
>>> I made Platinum every year I flew, and back then getting first class
>> upgrades was pretty easy and automatic for Platinum members. I don’t think
>> I flew coach for 6-7 years straight.  My international travel kept me in
>> first class on all my domestic f


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