Make us your home page

Businesses to tighten squeeze on travel expenses

Anyone who spends workweeks on the road knows it's no job for weenies. Attention, road warriors: It's time to strap on additional armor.

If they haven't already, companies big and small are poised to cut back on travel expenses. That means travelers should expect to find accommodations on the road less accommodating. Not that it's been a day at the beach having to deal with airline delays and bad service.

On Tuesday, American Express Business Travel and the Association of Corporate Travel Executives talked about how companies plan to deal in 2009 with higher air fares, new fees and fewer flights amid a weak economy. A few high points:

• Watch your meal spending. Instead of sushi at a fancy airport restaurant, grab a sandwich.

• Remember your college roomie? More businesses will insist that same-sex employees on training trips share a room. This probably won't apply to people on sales calls or performing work for clients.

• Back of the plane, pal. American Express says just 49 percent of international business travelers fly in business class — the lowest share since 2004. Nearly 90 percent of domestic business travelers booked by the company fly on discount coach fares.

The travel executive association asked members how 2009 looked for travel spending. Two-thirds expect to spend less or the same as in 2008.

Travel managers will crack down on employees who bend the rules, like booking routine trips less than two weeks in advance, warns Susan Gurley, executive director of the association. But a few changes might not be so bad.

Out-of-town company meetings will likely take the biggest cuts. And you may be encouraged to take a rental car on the next trip. It's cheaper than paying mileage on your own car for drives of more than 150 miles.

• • •

A quick mea culpa on last week's column about security screening of airline travelers with metal implants. Several readers wrote that they don't experience long waits for Transportation Security Administration officers to give them a pat-down or metal detector "wanding'' at Tampa International.

Businesses to tighten squeeze on travel expenses 09/23/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 23, 2008 10:40pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. PolitiFact Florida: How would Florida fare in Graham-Cassidy health care bill?


    Following a sharp rebuke by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., hit the airwaves to defend his bill that would undo much of the Affordable Care Act.

    Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.
  2. Whatever happened to the Zika epidemic?


    Remember Zika?

    The last time Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians about the potential threat of the mosquito-borne virus was in July, when he urged residents to still be vigilant against bug bites and standing water. At the time, doctors and researchers were bracing for what was supposed to be another active summer …

    Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are responsible for transmitting Zika. Cases of the virus are down dramatically in Florida.
  3. Pinellas licensing board needs cash. Will the county give it any?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– The grand jury that said Pinellas County should not take over the troubled construction licensing board also said the county should bail out the agency before it goes broke in 2018.

    Pinellas County Commission chair Janet Long isn't keen on the idea of the county loaning money to keep the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board afloat. The county has no say over the independent agency, which could run out of funding in 2018. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]
  4. Is the Bundt cake back? How retro baked goods are becoming trendy again


    Once there were grunts and slumps, buckles and brown betties. Oh, and pandowdies and sonkers. In the olden days, people routinely made angel food cakes, tomato soup cakes and hummingbird cakes. These were not Duncan Hines mixes, but rather confections made from scratch following yellowed and stained recipes in your …

    Nothing Bundt Cakes in Tampa offers a variety of options, from tiny “bundtinis” and 10-inch cakes that serve 18 to 20 people. Core flavors include lemon, marble, red velvet and chocolate-chocolate chip, with featured flavors like confetti.
  5. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]