Thinking about Trouble with Travel Philip V. Spina, CRA 31 Jan 1995 13:08 EST

Dear Fellow Hunters of Cheap Airfares -

Ok, so we all know how (or at least can dream up) ways to "beat the system"
and while I agree that airline pricing and ticketing restrictions are silly,
arbitrary, and sometimes unfair, I think we need to seriously consider what
it is we have seen discussed over the past few days.

1.  Staying over an extra night or two when that is the most cost effective
(cheapest?) way to travel.  No reasonable auditor could object to travel
order that included a reasonable justificatin for saving funds by extending a
trip.  In fact, if a trip was not extended to travel at the lowest possible
cost, I believe that a justification of the higher costs should be required.
Whether dealing with sponsors or our own institutions, we need to minimize
costs by using this approach.

2.  My personal favorite (which I haven't seen discussed but am sure someone
has thought of) is to "nest" two tickets and to throw away the unused
portions thus saving those annoying $25-35 reticketing penalties.  While this
is cheaper than buying a full fare coach ticket, I don't think I'd want to
try to explain to the auditors why we spent money for two tickets, charged
them to the grant, and then only took one trip.

3.  Buying two tickets for the same trip - "Nesting" airline tickets and
using both for different portions of two different trips.  An airline ticket
is a contract between the passenger and the airline for transportation.  The
contract contains certain terms and conditions which the parties have agreed
to in advance.  If we are willing to knowingly violate the terms of this
contract, why not some of those annoying and unfair terms and conditions
imposed by sponsors?

Of course, none of the above is applicable if the airline tries to put me on
an ATR or other plane with propellers.  Then I plan on walking . . .

Phil -

Philip V. Spina, CRA
Director, Office of Research and Sponsored Programs
Wright State University
122 Allyn Hall
Dayton, Ohio 45435
(v) 513-873-2425
(f) 513-873-3781