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What would you do, regarding work expenses

(40 Posts)
shteiner Thu 21-Mar-19 12:52:47

I need to be in a certain european destination for a couple of weeks work over the summer. At my workplace we have to fill in forms before with an estimate of costs and then they see if they think the quoted amount is reasonable, you then get the amount.

I quoted £400 for the flights as I was going to have to fly from a regional airport. They approved this, so I have £400 to play with for flights. My work schedule changed so I can now fly out of a London airport (much cheaper).

Do I still get the cheapest flights, or say sod it, they’ve alotted me the money and book nicer flights or hope to upgrade to business.

Alsohuman Thu 21-Mar-19 12:58:15

If I thought they existed, I’d say nicer flights, do you mean not at silly o’clock?

shteiner Thu 21-Mar-19 13:00:12

Yes sorry. Will have to fly early anyhow. I mean fly BA from london city rather than fly Ryanair from Stanstead

HollaHolla Thu 21-Mar-19 13:00:17

Don’t you have regulations around your work expenses. Like - we’re not allowed to fly anything but economy, unless the flight is longer than 6 hours?

IWouldPreferNotTo Thu 21-Mar-19 13:01:06

If it were the companies I'd worked for you'd upgraded to business class when you submitted the receipts it would get caught and you'd only get paid what the economy would have cost and there would definitely be a disciplinary action.

If it was just getting a better flight time then that would be fine to some degree.

Generally expense policies are quite clear that you should be travelling in the cheapest manner which still has reasonable flight times and travel times.

Ellisandra Thu 21-Mar-19 13:01:08

Are you joking?!

Your company will likely have a policy on flight class. Mine won’t approve Business under a certain grade for less than 7.5 hours, for example.

Even if you don’t ha e specific guidelines like that, you’re likely to have a general statement about making cost effective choices. For me, that isn’t always cheapest - I can pay more for a better timed flight that avoids late arrival and driving tired, for example.

It’s taking the piss out of your employer to just think “oh I’ve got £400 to splash”. It was your estimate, not their target!

If you spent way over the odds on a European flight and worked for me, we would be having words - and I would note your attitude.

HollaHolla Thu 21-Mar-19 13:01:09

Oh god. Avoid Ryanair. You might never get there on time. I’d go for the non Ryanair option every time. Even if it is BA.

Alsohuman Thu 21-Mar-19 13:01:32

If BA from London City suits you better, go for it.

Ellisandra Thu 21-Mar-19 13:04:04

Curious where in Europe via what route you thought was going to cost £400!
I fly all round Europe for work and the only flight I remember over £400 was Moscow at short notice.

shteiner Thu 21-Mar-19 13:06:05

I’ve already checked, and no we don’t have a policy regarding flights. The issue is that the city is also a very popular summer destination.

SandyY2K Thu 21-Mar-19 13:06:26

Do you have to produce receipts? Would you not need the balance for other necessary expenses?

Personally, where work expenses are concerned, I like to be 100% straight. It's just not worth getting into trouble and potentially losing my job over a few quid.

If £400 covers the better flight from London, then I'd take it. I'd establish if there is a policy to pay back any expenses that were less than anticipated.

shteiner Thu 21-Mar-19 13:08:02

We don’t need to produce receipts, we just get sent the chunk of money we estimated it would cost.

Merryoldgoat Thu 21-Mar-19 13:10:06

So you just submit an estimate and they give you the money? No receipts? This seems...odd...

Or do they pay it via payroll as an allowance/taxable benefit?

ShartGoblin Thu 21-Mar-19 13:10:53

Upgrading to business class I don't think is ok but going BA instead of Ryanair is totally fine. They have a reputation for cancellations and late departures so it's completely justifiable if you need to be there on time for business.

Merryoldgoat Thu 21-Mar-19 13:10:58

We don’t need to produce receipts, we just get sent the chunk of money we estimated it would cost.

Bloody hell - the way some businesses operate never fails to astound me.

elessar Thu 21-Mar-19 13:11:30

What a strange way to do expenses! So if you got a £60 return flight you can just pocket the rest? That seems like very poor business practice.

Personally I would fly with a decent airline from a convenient airport, even if it cost more. But I would consider it piss taking to upgrade to business or to use the money for something not directly related to the travel.

OhDiddums Thu 21-Mar-19 13:13:21

I would just book decent flight times incase there's any questions asked later on.

BarbaraofSevillle Thu 21-Mar-19 13:17:35

Your company expenses policy is very strange. We get the cost of the flight whether it is £40 or £4000 and I would have thought most places would do it that way.

Allowing you to guess the amount and they just give you the money is madness.

Hahaha88 Thu 21-Mar-19 13:18:54

Upgrade to business class? Ok enjoy that flight cos I doubt you'll be sent on anymore when your employer finds out

Sparklesocks Thu 21-Mar-19 13:19:27

My workplace is happy to pay for ‘reasonable’ travel costs, so if City airport was closer to me they’d pay the extra for BA – it would probably even out when you compare the costs of travelling to a regional airport from home, but they wouldn’t allow me business class for short haul as that’s not reasonable. If I sneakily tried to put Business through I’d most likely getting a bollocking or worse.
I would just give them a heads up, it’s not worth risking potential fallout. Even if getting business class for short haul isn’t explicitly banned in the policy, they’re probably assuming you’ll make sensible choices with company money.

Noonooyou Thu 21-Mar-19 13:24:29

I agree, really strange way to do expenses! How are you supposed to guess everything?! Flight costs vary SO much!

Purpleartichoke Thu 21-Mar-19 13:25:19

So if you underestimate the expense, you are out of pocket on work travel?

MRex Thu 21-Mar-19 13:26:55

You'll get taxed on the expenses if you're given random amounts like that, which could get expensive. You might prefer to have them pay exact amounts, can you ask if they'll do that?
Fly BA from LCY at a decent hour, it's not worth business class for short haul.

badlydrawnperson Thu 21-Mar-19 13:35:37

We don’t need to produce receipts, we just get sent the chunk of money we estimated it would cost.

As others have pointed out - that's going to cost you a lot in tax (unless you're an MP of course).

froufroufoxes Thu 21-Mar-19 13:38:47

If this is a business trip why is everyone appalled that she would fly business?

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