hypothetical question for who flies long-haul internationally in Business Class (company paid)

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by jonspencer, Oct 12, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    965
    Status Points:
    735
    all companies seem to have different policies; all employees of certain pay scale or title; any flight over a set number of hours; some are flexible per flight or maybe nobody flies Business Class.

    my current situation is any flight over 6 hours, so it is painful when there is a 5.5 hour flight :mad:

    I have had many people say I cannot believe you did not fly Business Class on such and such flight but I am not sure if they realize just how much the fare difference is.

    so my question is:

    if you were getting comfortable in your Business Class Seat on a flight of 6 hours or more and the stewardess approached you and said "Pardon me Mr __________ would you exchange seats with a passenger in Economy if I give you USD 2000 in cash right now? "

    give your honest answer, it will be your own private shame to feel the sting and indignation of flying in "cattle class" and your company will never know you took the $2000 (which is +/- actual cost difference) :cool:
     
    jbcarioca and tondoleo like this.
  2. MX

    MX Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    4,805
    Status Points:
    2,545
    I've traveled in all classes of service, and I honestly never felt any "stings" or "indignation" from using international coach. I actually dislike monotony, and would welcome an occasional change of scenery. As far as your fantasy of swindling your employer of 2 grand, I'd be more concerned about my standards than the risk of discovery. It feels like a really crude and tacky move, even for a fantasy.
     
    kiwi, jbcarioca and tondoleo like this.
  3. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    To ask the question another way, would you be willing to go to prison for $2000?
     
    jbcarioca and tondoleo like this.
  4. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Huh? What imprisonable offense do you consider being proposed by the OP?
     
  5. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I don't know if they still do this, but ING offered employees the opportunity to downgrade on TATL flights, giving employees half of the savings in cash. (I presume it would have been some sort of compensatory payment, but I never asked for sure.)

    I did not work there, but I found this policy to be poorly thought through. The reason to pay for premium travel is mainly so your employees can arrive moderately more refreshed, and perhaps ready for business. I used to fly to Australia regularly for business, and arriving after a first class flight, it was a fair bit easier to just turn up directly to the office after the 24 hour journey from NY.

    The risk with the ING policy is twofold: staff taking unnecessary trips to earn some cash and turning up in AMS after not having slept a wink on the overnight flight having sat in back....and costing the company the resulting productivity. I could see this working perhaps if they stipulated employees take a vacation day upon arrival...but that was not a plan.
     
  6. tondoleo
    Original Member

    tondoleo Gold Member

    Messages:
    16,063
    Likes Received:
    100,905
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I will forego the litany of banker jokes and money and provide a serious answer:

    MSPE is referring to Grand Theft.

    There was a scandal involving MLB umpires in 2001 for the exact type of activity suggested by the OP. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/mlb/news/2001/06/22/clark_fired_st/
     
  7. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    Status Points:
    1,270
    One argument is that it's like a company provided per-diem. If I get, say, $150/day for meals and choose to eat at McDonalds and pocket the extra money, is THAT legitimate? [I'm not saying I agree with this behavior but it's just another point of view.]
     
    jbcarioca and tondoleo like this.
  8. tondoleo
    Original Member

    tondoleo Gold Member

    Messages:
    16,063
    Likes Received:
    100,905
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I respectfully disagree with you that any travel ticket purchased by your place of employment is akin to a per diem. The company has bargained and paid a set price for you to get between two points in a particular class of service. If one changes the class of service for their own financial gain it is theft. It is the business's money. Not the employees.
     
  9. milchap
    Original Member

    milchap Gold Member

    Messages:
    27,629
    Likes Received:
    148,027
    Status Points:
    20,020
    A sound legal argument.....and good ethics also. :)
     
    guinnessxyz, jbcarioca and tondoleo like this.
  10. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,201
    Likes Received:
    61,716
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Every single time.

    Keep in mind that purposefully trading in the C/J ticket for one in Y and pocketing the difference is reportable income as far as the IRS is concerned. You face significant fines and/or jail time if you fail to report it. But if it is just a downgrade situation that's less clear.
     
    tondoleo and jbcarioca like this.
  11. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    Status Points:
    1,270
    I agree. But how far a stretch is it to say they paid $150 for a particular class of service (i.e. fine restaurant) and you downgraded (to fast food) for your own financial gain. Why isn't that just as much theft?
     
    tondoleo likes this.
  12. tondoleo
    Original Member

    tondoleo Gold Member

    Messages:
    16,063
    Likes Received:
    100,905
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Your example is theft.:)
     
  13. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,274
    Likes Received:
    2,287
    Status Points:
    1,270
    You mean you are agreeing both the airline class change and the per-diem example are theft? I can agree with that. But most people don't think anything about keeping an excess per-diem. I'm still asking why is it any different? [But granted, I'm just asking to make a point and have people ponder.]
     
    tondoleo likes this.
  14. kiwi
    Original Member

    kiwi Gold Member

    Messages:
    16,851
    Likes Received:
    27,973
    Status Points:
    20,020
    I disagree that a per diem is a good analogy. In the OP's example a downgrade has an effect on post-flight productivity to the detriment of the employer. Taking a cheaper meal is unlikely to have the same effect.
     
    tondoleo likes this.
  15. GenevaFlyer
    Original Member

    GenevaFlyer Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    4,277
    Status Points:
    2,470
    Hi all,

    Just some thoughts:

    0. Let's leave the IRS out of this for now ...

    1. I used to work for a company which offered 50% of the cash savings if you either used your miles to upgrade from coach to business if you were entitled to it, or 50% of the savings if you used miles to book a ticket instead of the company issuing one. (Example: using 25K miles for a IAD-SEA ticket which cost $2500 at the time, getting $1250 in cash in return. It was certainly a perk appreciated by many

    2. If my company flies me business, yes, I would not take the downgrade offer, as there are expectations with regards to my performance once on-site

    3. If I were to pay for the ticket, heck, I would be open to the offer ...

    GenevaFlyer
     
    tondoleo likes this.
  16. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    965
    Status Points:
    735
    some of the replies here are funny and not because the poster actually had a sense of humour

    this post was certainly not meant to promote a swindle of anyone; an employer or a tax man

    it was just a question of what your own personal value was for a Business Class seat, nothing more :D
     
    tondoleo likes this.
  17. GenevaFlyer
    Original Member

    GenevaFlyer Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    1,178
    Likes Received:
    4,277
    Status Points:
    2,470
    As I said ... it all depends on who paid for your ticket ... if it's my personal cash, it's open for discussion :) If it is compamy cash, many other factors enter into play

    GenevaFlyer
     
    tondoleo likes this.
  18. I very much agree with your POV here. Anything that effectively takes money from an employer is dishonest. The employee does already benefit from the points earned on company paid travel and should be happy with that.
     
    tondoleo likes this.
  19. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    The umpires certainly got caught up in a similar situation. Their collectively bargained contract specifically addressed their actions, and even provided for it in certain circumstances. (Most employment agreements have no such provisions.)

    I can see the irs's point of view. But, assuming you report the refund amount as "other income" on your return, it would seem no crime occurred. And, assuming no such provision precluding it in an employment contract, and with several large, well respected companies actually offering such a program for employees, it would be tough to consider this unconscionable.

    No references whatsoever to consider this grand theft. Other than failure to report income, I don't see the crime still. The assertion by mspe is incorrect.

    Of course, employment is at will in most states. If your employer isn't happy, she can sack you. No reason required.

    (In a move that would make MP'ers proud, I recall when the umpire scandals broke...may umpires used miles or segments to upgrade back to the forward cabin!)
     
    YULtide and tondoleo like this.
  20. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

    Messages:
    28,201
    Likes Received:
    61,716
    Status Points:
    20,020
    My last company had an explicit policy on per diem that it was a fixed rate, regardless of what we ate. If the. Rulewas submit a receipt and I submitted a meal I didn't actually eat that would be very different. If the company says I have $nnn to do my work and I keep the leftovers that's different than them buying me something and my trading it in for personal gain.
     
    tondoleo and anileze like this.
  21. tondoleo
    Original Member

    tondoleo Gold Member

    Messages:
    16,063
    Likes Received:
    100,905
    Status Points:
    20,020
    NYB, this is not an arbitrage/value play. It is a theft plain and simple. Theft is an act that knowingly obtains or uses the property of another with the intent to permanently deprive them of their property. In this case the cash difference between the 1st class ticket and the replacement. Failure to report income falls within the ambit of theft. You could report the funds as other income but that is not true. It is not your money. It is theft. In my example the MLB contract states you cannot take the cash difference for financial gain. IOW, you would be stealing from MLB.
     
    MX likes this.
  22. tondoleo
    Original Member

    tondoleo Gold Member

    Messages:
    16,063
    Likes Received:
    100,905
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Good point OP. I hijacked your thread due to my continuing disputes with NYBanker.

    I will answer the question you pose in this post. I would value a one way Biz Class seat for a flight of 6 hours at $ 750.00
     
  23. jonspencer

    jonspencer Silver Member

    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    965
    Status Points:
    735
    my original hypothetical question could have been better

    I should have used an award ticket for the Business Class seat rather than one that was company paid

    this also relates to question of what 1000 points is worth with your particular frequent flier program, with Emirates it is around USD70-80
     

Share This Page