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Beating corporate travel policy

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gaz0303

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The QF FF adjustments haven't had any effect on my status earn but the tighter policing of our corporate policy on travel is going to really hurt. Any suggestions on how to play nicely with policies that state it must be cheapest economy fair and most direct?

I have found that either booking super early or last minute has worked as well the 'the time is more appropriate' excuse.

Not looking forward to returning to terminal 2 at SYD and no lounge.

Next trip to SYD was more than $250 cheaper on Rex than QF so can sympathise with the policy. Im even jumping on Lionair next month to save $.
 
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OzEire

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I'd be careful posting that on a public forum. If your company found out they may take a dim view of your clear intent to circumvent their policy. If they took a legal avenue, is maintaining status worth losing your job ?

That said, my suggestion is to quit and go work for yourself... then you get to set the travel policy :)
 

dajop

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Next trip to SYD was more than $250 cheaper on Rex than QF so can sympathise with the policy. Im even jumping on Lionair next month to save $.
I am OK with such policies but would draw the line at Lionair. Tiger, Jetstar, yes ... Lionair no.
 

Dan_

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Who do you book through? At my previous job we used CWT. There are a couple of ways to get around that. We always had to use the cheapest, but I set it up through preferences to only ever show Virgin flights, excluding the QF and JQ flights. This meant that according to the system, I was always compliant with the policy and my travel was never flagged.

My current job I get to choose so no dodgyness required lol
 

gaz0303

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Our system does not allow for preferences to be set but it looked like a nice bug in the system. A different job looks the way forward if status is my main goal. That goal isn't high up the list (can I say that on AFF!).
 

BAM1748

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Travel on your own time in the evenings if domestic or weekends if international, point this out but it's on the proviso you fly QF.

Or, I need to be there/leave at this time for a meeting, oh look at that only QF get there at the right time.
 

yohy?!

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Any tips for the golden triangle and getting for carrier of choice? I have 16 weeks of fares to buy and the difference is about 8aud per week :(
 

gaz0303

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Any tips for the golden triangle and getting for carrier of choice? I have 16 weeks of fares to buy and the difference is about 8aud per week :(
Assuming you don't have access to VA lounges, does the "I can work in the lounge" but not at the gate get any traction?
 

yohy?!

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Assuming you don't have access to VA lounges, does the "I can work in the lounge" but not at the gate get any traction?
I'll give it a shot - fortunately we don't use CWT here like our US parent so there's no system limitations just a person who does the bookings...
 
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Shan Man

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Any tips for the golden triangle and getting for carrier of choice? I have 16 weeks of fares to buy and the difference is about 8aud per week :(
Those 737's can get quite claustrophobic.... if you dont like cramped spaces :p
 
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Hi Gaz,

The opportunity may not to work against your policy but try and make it work for you and if there is an opportunity for influence also try and improve this. If you have lounge access already at QF is the F and B savings taken into consideration when benchmarking fares?, I would expect there would be at least $30 in savings per flight on meals if you are in the lounge eating and working instead of eating at an airport, if you can highlight this a variance may be considered and a reason code could be added to your reporting which should get you on QF more often and should also demonstrate the value that you are being offered. The other consideration is how often you change your ticket, with change fees on the increase many companies opt for the cheapest outbound and a semi flex return, if you work in an industry where changes cannot be helped I would push for a flexi on the return increasing your earn rates and reducing the cost of change. If your travel company can provide reporting on cost of change this should help as well, the easiest way as you mentioned to ensure that QF is the cheapest or close to is to book as early as possible. Domestic demand has been fairly flat and the airlines have a clear strategy, they want to be able to offer cheap fares to the leisure traveller who can be flexible with when they fly and can also book and plan early and maximise the corporate dollar. The unfortunate part for open skies best fare of the day is Jetstar and Tiger will always be cheaper, if Tiger is the cheapest and you would prefer Jetstar they do price beat the price by 10% if the flight is around the same time. This is a manual process so could not be done if you use a booking engine and can only be done manually by your travel agent so will incur a higher fee.

I am not suggesting this however I have heard that individuals in companies have ensured to utilise the maximum extent of all allowances for meals etc and after a reasonably short period of time their finance team recognised that they actually saved money flying on their preferred and making use of lounge memberships due to status.
 

risky

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Gaz has some great suggestions, and they should have an impact where rationality and flexibility are possible. For those corporate booking systems that are purely rules-based, and human interaction is minimal or non-existent, you have to work out how to work within those rules to get the outcomes you want. It isn't always possible, and it may not always be elegant, but once you can establish what inputs through certain rules and filters generate what outputs, you may be able to get closer to what you want.


  1. You need to know what you want.
    Carriers, flights, times, fare types, layovers, side-trips, timings, etc.
  2. Use alternative systems and tools to establish the optimal itinerary
    and also work out which likely alternatives will be offered that you want to avoid
  3. Learn what options and variables are available to you in the booking system
    you might be able to use these to include or exclude particular times, interim destinations, etc
  4. Enter the key parameters into the company booking system, and then keep tweaking it.
    You may have to go through multiple iterations to see if you can get close to what you want.
    eg you can do a fair bit with modifying the required departure/arrival times, and the windows they fall within.
  5. Know when to apply the law of diminishing returns -
    sometimes you just can't get to the optimal itinerary you established earlier
 

andye

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Have to be vigilanr.Recently beat CWT quote and asked them to book my routing. Ended up on 777 instead of 380 and 2 fewer hours in Hong Kong as I didn't check they had done exactly as I asked
 

yohy?!

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It's interesting seems there are regularly times where QF prices drop below VA and it then takes VA a few hours to update theirs to match which can be useful but no pattern to it.

Also at peak times I noticed a block of 2 hours where flights had fully sold out on VA in some classes but this seemed to show as fully sold out altogether...was able to ticket QF before more seats were released again.
 
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