Those extra airline fees that generate billions of dollars for the nation’s air carriers have become a part of life for most business travelers. But not all airline fees are legitimate business expenses in the eyes of corporate America.
For example, 91% of corporate travel managers who were surveyed recently said they would reimburse employees for checked-baggage fees, but only 3% said they would cover in-flight entertainment charges.
The survey of 651 travel managers in the U.S. and Canada was conducted by the GBTA Foundation, the research arm of the Global Business Travel Assn., a worldwide trade group for travel managers.
About half of travel managers said they would reimburse for in-flight meals, and 10% said they would allow travelers to charge their employers to upgrade seating on domestic flights, according to the survey released this month.
As for hotel charges, 89% of travel managers said they would reimburse parking costs and 84% said they would pick up the tab for Internet access, whereas 9% said they would pay for goodies from in-room mini bars, and 4% said they would reimburse for the costs of in-room movies and other entertainment, the survey found.
Joe Bates, research director for the foundation, said most travel managers don’t track extra airline fees because the charges are so new that many companies don’t yet have the ability to record and tally them.
“The biggest issue is that it’s hard to find the information,” he said.
But if you’re a business traveler, you might not have to worry about getting caught sneaking an unauthorized charge onto your expense report. According to the survey, 72% of travel managers said there are few or no consequences for violating corporate travel policies. 08-29-2011. Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times.