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I always seek to get best value. I generally book my own travel, and that allows me often to save money in absolute terms, while enhancing my own enjoyment.
So, I will fly via FRA to keep costs below what a direct LHR-LAX flight might otherwise cost. I am not certain you can “bid” for premium cabin fares (except for Private Jet flights, which I know is possible), but would be interested to know if that is possible.
On this journey, I will leave London a day earlier to allow me to have a relaxing journey and enjoy the FCT.
Rather than going straight into the city (too “relaxed” to drive on arrival, and I need my own car in LA), I need somewhere to rest before I pick up the car and check into the “proper” hotel.
I therefore pay for the first night myself as it was my decision to arrive a day early; the airport hotel allows me to avoid afternoon traffic and to delay renting my car by one day, this also saves money.
I also use priceline for personal travel. When my expenses are on a per diem basis, it often works well to economise on the first night, therefore allowing me to stay somewhere nicer than would normally be the case on subsequent nights, as this brings down the average cost per night of the whole stay.
Since belts have been tightened all round, I have found these workarounds are a good way of ensuring I can continue to travel in the manner to which I have become accustomed, while keeping costs down to a minimum.
I have in the past paid full whack for that airport hotel (and have enough points to stay free), but there are better deals through priceline and using a discounter does not materially affect my stays.
So I suppose the answer is that I combine personal and business travel to the best advantage of both those paying my expenses and my own personal preferences in order to maximise both parties’ utility.
And I do like a bargain!