Tips for Business Travel
Business travel is the main part of many Americans’ job requirements, whether it’s for conferences, training or meetings with an out of town client.
Just like when traveling for fun, when traveling for business, things can go wrong. AirHelp, the world’s leading air passenger rights company, has insider tips to help prepare business travelers before their next trip.
May I privately redeem earned bonus miles?
This very much depends on where you live and who you work for. In Germany e.g., the Federal Labor Court decided that bonus miles that are earned on business trips do belong to the employer. The most common rule is that any frequent flyer miles earned on the job belong to the employer since the person who ordered and paid for the flight should be on the receiving end of special airline benefits. However, the distribution of bonus miles or points may also be regulated by job contracts, so it is probably worth having a chat with your employer about it.
Can employers demand that I only travel with hand luggage to obtain cheaper tickets?
The good news is: no company can force you to only travel with hand luggage. The bad news: the employer is not obligated to pay for the extra cost of checked luggage. However, you might be able to claim this back as “marketing costs” when doing your tax declaration.
Is it possible to upgrade or downgrade a passenger?
If for some reason the airline has to upgrade you, they cannot charge you for this. However, if they downgrade you, they do need to by law pay a financial compensation which depends on ticket price and length of the flight. Important to note that in this regards, there is no difference between business and leisure travel, this compensation is granted by law and therefore belongs to the travelers.
Vacation after business trip: Who pays for the return flight?
If you’d like to prolong your stay for a few days, the question of whether your employer pays the later return flight very much depends on the employer, as there is no general rule for this. However, for orientation the advice goes to keep it in a 90% balance, meaning that for 10 days of business travel you might stay for 1 additional leisure day. In any case, this needs to be clarified with the employer.
Flight delayed, canceled – and compensated even though the company paid for the ticket?
The European law EC261 was made to protect travelers for the hassle they go through when experiencing heavy flight disruptions, not to reimburse a company’s travel budget. Due to this, the compensation owed does always belong to the traveler – even though the company paid for the ticket. And this makes sense, just imagine you’re on a business trip, and your flight home is delayed five hours. You sit in the airport for hours working in the terminal. This delay means you can’t get home to your family for dinner. Should your employer be compensated for the time you lost? The employee who is traveling is entitled to compensation for time and discomfort under EC 261 as they are the ones who experienced the ordeal of the disrupted flight, not the businesses that employ those travelers. Compensation belongs to the traveler, not the employer because EC 261 is a consumer law, not a company’s travel expense financing opportunity.
Is my partner allowed on a business trip?
If you are one of those couples who cannot survive without each other not even a single day, than this will be music to your ears, because your partner is of course allowed to travel with you on your business trip, as long as s/he covers his/her own travel costs or possible additional room costs. However, given the nature of your travel is a business trip, you should still keep the balance, as your partner is very likely not invited to your meetings, etc.
Non-Work-Related Accidents During Leisure Time
If you are already out there for your boss, it is only natural to enjoy the foreign place you are in once the job is done. But take care: If you are involved in a mugging or accident while you are out on your own during a business trip, this does not necessarily qualify for a work-related accident. Your social accident insurance won’t be activated only because you’re traveling for your job. The rule around European countries is that work-related insurance does not apply to personal matters outside of work-related activities.
Saving Taxes: Private Calls on Business Trips
Most employees use their phone on business trips. It is not only necessary to consult with colleagues, partners, and employers, but private calls can hardly wait either. It is good to know that phone bills are tax-deductible as income-related expenses, once the business-related trip takes longer than a week. Private matters at home can only be regulated from afar by causing costs which exceed the regular human needs.