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” ……..you would hope the company travel policy is flexible enough to allow people to book “outside” the policy ……….”
You’d think so Tim, but the reality is that many company in-house travel departments or agents who have to blindly follow a policy laid down by bean-counters who are devoid of contact with, or understanding of, the real world, or who are getting a kick back. Or they use a programme like SAP for travel management which has a badly designed and inflexible user interface designed by programmers trying to be smart but having no understanding of the real world.
Some years ago when I was working for a multinational I ended up with three choices to get back to my work location. A ticket from LHR on BD for £400, LHR on BA for £600, or LGW on EZY for £50. I chose the last, hired a car (another £20) had Sunday lunch with my sister, and drove to Gatwick.
Put in my travel expenses the following week and was given a bollocking by travel manager (someone who had never even worked in an agency), head of department, and director, for travelling outside policy (which was to use only legacy carriers). When I pointed out that the fundamental and stated purpose of said travel policy was to save money, they said I was ‘disrespectful’. Fuggem.