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Travel policy tips: coach class for everyone?

3 min
Posted: 17 February 2019Updated: 29 September 2020
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When it comes to company travel policy there is no one size fits all. This is especially true when defining your company policy for flight upgrades. There are many factors to consider, including the competitiveness of your labor market and the frequency of business travel. Also the needs of your different traveler groups and your corporate culture.

Class of service policy in action

We’ve compiled examples from a number of different Egencia clients to help you land on the right airline class of service policy for your travel program:

A large technology company allows travelers flying for longer than nine hours to book from multiple classes. With advance travel manager approval, they can book from either premium economy, business or first class. This policy allows employees to stay productive on the road and arrive at their destination more refreshed than if they’d traveled coach.

financial institution allows all travelers on flights longer than five hours to book business or first class. They view their employees as their most important asset and this policy keeps their travelers comfortable. They also have a relatively low volume of flights that qualify for this perk, so it’s sustainable from an economic perspective.

A US-based global software firm took a more cost conscious approach in their class of service policy. They set a price threshold above the lowest logical fare for flights that can be used on any fare class. For example, flights between North America and Europe get a $1000+ allowance above the lowest logical fare. Then, there’s an allowance of $250 above the lowest logical fare on domestic US flights longer than four hours. This can be used for Premium Economy or Preferred Seat Selection.

A U.S. retailer offers cabin class upgrades for specific traveler groups. Senior executives and board members are permitted to book first and business class on flights longer than three hours. These rules apply to both domestic or CEO approved international flights. Senior executives are also permitted to travel business class on international flights but must have CEO approval to book first class.

A growing global software firm allows for a higher class of service on flights longer than eight hours, with executive approval. This approach puts control in the hands of each department, rather than under one central decision-maker.

technology firm with a global footprint decided to keep their policy consistent across the board. All of their travelers fly coach but are offered a per flight allowance of $80 for seat upgrades. This helps them keep costs low but still allows travelers the flexibility to upgrade for their comfort.

Talk to the experts

These examples demonstrate the many ways you can strike a balance between traveler productivity and cost saving. Once you’ve determined the right policy for your organization, it’s easy to set up on your Egencia site.

Learn more here.