Getting the best business class travel deals has become more important now than ever before. Your employer suddenly may ask you to sign a form that indicates you have read your company's business travel policy. Don't feel that you are being insulted or that the next step may be to show you the door. You are not alone.
Companies are starting to use online booking tools. Unauthorized expenses are nailed by special software, often in advance of the plane leaving the ground. Employees who aggregate unauthorized expenses are not reimbursed. A few major companies are even conducting annual audits of travel expenses.
Business Class Travel: The Brighter Side
Keep your chin up because business class still beats economy class. The first perk of business class comes even before you take your seat. You should have access to a business class lounge with drinks, snacks and newspapers. You might even be able to take a shower and a nap.
Frequent business class travelers know that nothing is more important than leg room. In economy, 36 inches is considered generous. In business class, the norm is 50 to 60 inches. If that's not what you get, you might want to put that airline on your last-option list for future business travel.
Seat recline has its importance as well. If you are looking for 180 degrees (parallel to the floor), you'll probably have to keep looking. But you can usually get about 160 degrees worth of recline, and you may discover that this is even more comfortable.
Airlines are cutting back on some of the frills, even in business or first class. While those in economy may get tuna fish, you should expect lobster tails. Times may be tougher, but caviar has yet to be banned. You should still get an actual porcelain plate, and free drinks to boot.
Are you a really picky eater? If you're in business class, some airlines will let you preorder a specific meal to fit your tastes.
You should expect audio and video on demand. Either there will be a display built into your business class seat, or you can ask for a DVD player.
If you are a hard-working business traveler, forget all of these amenities. You have work to do. You also should expect power sockets for laptops, along with Internet access. And since you have a tight schedule, you will be among the first out of the plane.
The Best Deals
You can sometimes cut costs by patching together connecting flights instead of making a straight run. You can save hundreds of dollars if you are willing to accept some layovers.
Some dealers are known as first- and business-class discounters. They buy a person's frequent flier points and then sell them to business travelers. Be careful, because they might be breaking some of the rules, and the airlines are now on the lookout.
The best strategy to reduce business class travel costs is to keep your own frequent flier points for yourself. About 75 percent of accrued points are never redeemed.
Before you relax in your spacious and comfortable business class travel seat, there's a little bit of work to be done. This starts by reading through each airline's benefit programs to find those that best fit your needs.
One way to make sure that you don't waste your reward points is to remember that you can use them for purposes other than a free or discounted flight. You can use them for hotel rooms. You can get concert tickets or VIP access to entertainment events and expos. This is especially useful if you must entertain a client during a business trip.
Of all of the amenities, the most important is still a good seat with lots of leg room. You can also use reward points to get a better seat on a flight for which you have already paid. So sit back, relax, close your eyes and take a snooze. Business can wait until later!
You don't need business travel insurance. It's not required to travel in the same way that car insurance is required for you to drive. But if you aim to relax and enjoy your trip, then you should have business travel insurance.
Flying used to be the best business travel choice, period. However, as airlines become less reliable, you might be better off driving to an important meeting. Here's some advice on what to take into account before you make the call.
A host of hotel business travel services are made available by hotels, which compete harder and harder with one another for your patronage. Since you are in the driver's seat, you should aim for Fortune 500 treatment.
These business travel tips will ensure that you get the best deals even when traveling for business.