In a recent post on r/MaliciousCompliance, Reddit user Warm_Tomato2126 shared a story from his time working in Africa.

The man had been flying to and from work on a 10-week in-country, 2-week at-home rotation for four years, however, someone at the head office decided to cut costs and changed his flight, saving the company about £80 (roughly $96).

The employee obliged but he also needed additional hotel and taxi bookings, which ended up costing the company way more than the ticket itself.

This employee had his work travel routine planned to the smallest detail but the company still thought they could improve it

Image credits: Gustavo Fring (not the actual photo)

And completely messed it up

Image credits: antheap (not the actual photo)

Image credits: ArtHouse Studio (not the actual photo)

Image credits: Nicola Barts (not the actual photo)

Image credits: Warm_Tomato2126

Now the company is paying the price

Corporate credit cards, business travel policies, and airline miles all incentivize employees to spend as much as possible on work trips. “If you’re a corporate traveler, to try to get the points, you spend as much as humanely possible. If you work for a company that allows you to fly business class, you’re taking the most expensive, most luxurious ticket that is not going to get you in trouble,” said Dan Ruch, the founder of Rocketrip, an organization that saves companies on business travel. “That doesn’t make you a bad person; that makes you human.”

Not only should employees be checking company travel policies for preferred hotels and airlines, but they should learn what fees and expenses are reimbursed by the company, otherwise they may end up paying for expenses they didn’t plan to cover.

If the corporate office wants to save money, tickets probably shouldn’t be their top priority, as airfare typically makes up just 17-27% of a company’s travel budget. The priciest part is lodging, which sums up to around a third (34%).

Many seem to know this. A Hipmunk Survey on millennial travel found that 74% of millennials have stayed at a vacation rental (such as those available through Airbnb) on a business trip, an experience shared by just 38% of Generation X and 20% of boomers. The idea of staying in a vacation-type rental for work travel would have been completely foreign 10-15 years ago.

But the sector should be seeing more money in the near future

However, business travel budgets are poised to rise in 2023 as companies benchmark against pre-pandemic levels of travel spending despite growing uncertainty over the economic outlook.

“If you’re looking at it from a purely financial perspective, I think what we continue to see is more and more corporates budgeting for growth in their travel,” CWT Chief Customer Officer Nick Vournakis said, citing strong demand for meetings and events.

“I haven’t seen anyone overly wary with regards to recession in how they are travel planning for 2023,” he added.

CWT and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) estimate airfares will rise by 8.5%, hotel rates by 8.2%, and ground transportation by 6.8% in 2023 as an industry hit by labor shortages and input cost increases rebounds from pandemic lows.

The original poster (OP) answered people’s questions in the comments

And most of them liked the way he handled the situation

But some didn’t find it amusing at all