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Booking flights

Discussion in 'Teaching overseas' started by manth_rider, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. manth_rider

    manth_rider New commenter

    My new employer has told me to book flights & they will reinburse when given receipts upon arrival.

    My question is, when booking flights, do you generally book return flights or just the outgoing flight?

    Obviously a return usually works out cheaper but at this point in time, I'm unsure of what date I would like to book the return date for.

    Also, would it be frowned upon if I bought a more expensive ticket (but still within the allowance budget) so that I could take additional luggage with me?

    I also get a shipping allowance in addition to my yearly flight allowance so would use that to ship items that I won't need immediately.

    Thanks in advance for any advice given.
  2. Mainwaring

    Mainwaring Established commenter

    If an option is within the budget you have been given you need not fear any frowns.

    Just once in twenty years abroad we found it necessary to exit at the end of the first year of our contracts. It would have saved us a lot of money if we had had the return half of our tickets stashed away. The cheapest 'bucket' tickets don't have that option so I would suggest 'flexible' return flights if you can book them within the budget.

    One of the schools we worked in gave teachers the option of a 'full economy' home ticket with no restrictions. This could be converted into several cheap flights to different destinations. Some of our staff travelled round the world. My contract as Head of School gave me full Business class tickets for our family of four. Mainwaring minor, who had early delusions of grandeur, was outraged that I always converted this to multiple cheap flights. Except, of course, when I travelled on school business, when I went Business class. More outrage.

    Give your travel agent the school's parameters and book the best flexible deal within the given budget.
    manth_rider likes this.
  3. rachel_g41

    rachel_g41 Occasional commenter

    With some airlines, the return is only very slightly more expensive than a one-way, check out the prices for both. Then, if you don't use it, it doesn't matter.

    Also sometimes the penalty for changing dates isn't too bad - one school I arrived at had already changed the Christmas holiday dates when I got there and had forgotten to tell the newbies - the change cost me 100$ (on a return flight price of 1100€) so didn't seem too horrific.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
    manth_rider likes this.
  4. stopwatch

    stopwatch Established commenter

    Ditto what others have said.

    It sounds like you know what your allowance is (correct?). In this case, buy to the budget if necessary, including excess baggage (although this can be expensive in itself).

    We always bought a return flight for our first flight out, so that our final exit would be a single fare (schools tend to give a one way fare allowance on exit anyway).

    If you are not sure when you will next be back, you change the date for around £50. However,generally you can only change for a later date (in my experience).

    Where are you flying too?
    manth_rider likes this.
  5. blueskydreaming

    blueskydreaming Lead commenter

    I was asked to book a single last year, so I did, BUT I bought the most expensive single I could (which the school agreed to because they don't understand airline pricing, and it was within the flight allowance limit) then I changed it for free to a return AND upgraded to business class with my miles, by logging in to my account with that airline (I've had an account with them for a long time - but you can join an airline as soon as you've booked the flight, if you book it directly from them, then you'll be able to do this and join their airmiles scheme). It made my flight allowance go further ;-)

    Depending on the airline you can change the return flight date for free, if you buy the most expensive ticket (I fly Emirates).
    manth_rider likes this.
  6. shazzamac

    shazzamac New commenter

    If you're not SURE and font want to risk it, send the hr the flight you are thinking to book and ask.
    Or get in writing the max amount they will pay. I fell back on that email once when the business manager left just before I arrived, and the new one wanted to pay less. Whip out that email. No argument!
    I had another school that said if I bought a return, even though it was cheaper than a single, they would only pay half of that cost.
    Hr might ask to see the ticket/receipt... Ask.
    I just got premium economy tickets from dxb (current location) to Shanghai approved, since I took screen shots of cost of economy lhr (country of origin) to Shanghai and it was MUCH more expensive! Saved the cost of 1way dxb lhr. Bizarre pricing!
    Every school is different. Good luck.
    manth_rider likes this.
  7. afterdark

    afterdark Occasional commenter

    Agree with lots of the previous answers.
    Generally speaking get the specifics in writing.
    1 What is the upper price limit, usually economy for many people.
    2 Will they pay for a return ticket? or only a single = half of return. Some places cut off their noses to spite their faces in this regards.
    3 ask what proof they need, some employers want the ticket stubs which many people throw away without thinking. I think this is a ploy to get out of paying personally. Obviously you got there if you are stood there asking for the money back.
    4 Take screen shots if you book online and pay by credit card which many people do.
    5 email the screen shots and emails to work email to print out at the schools expense
    4 check that dependents are covered, read the wording carefully, beware of the use of the phrase "your flight" check that it actually means your family's flight.
    5 do not accept an agencies assurance of anything, get it directly from the employer
    6 check allowances for excess luggage and/or freight
    7 get all of the information/ details in writing, i.e. print out the email etc

    If you have done your homework then it any problems that exist should be at "their end" not yours.
    manth_rider likes this.
  8. manth_rider

    manth_rider New commenter

    Thank you all very much for these very informative replies. You have all been so helpful & I am very grateful. :)
  9. 576

    576 Established commenter

    I am the only one who's never had to buy my own flight??
    About to begin 3rd overseas job and the school has always booked the flights for me.
  10. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    I have always had it offered, and each year i get a choice whether i want to take the flights they are offering or book my own and get the money instead. For my own convience i always book my own
  11. tjh102

    tjh102 Occasional commenter

    My first school booked mine out but they stopped doing that as they had a few staff that year no-show at the airport. They figured that it was better to reimburse staff than be out of pocket. My current school does the same.
  12. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    My schools have varied. So far two required me to pay and get reimbursed. Four have bought me tickets themselves.
  13. 576

    576 Established commenter

    That makes sense.


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