Elite status seems like a pure fringe benefit. From traveling for work so much, you get a set of benefits at hotels and airlines to use when you are traveling for fun. Plus it makes work travel a little easier.
But elite status can also save your company some money!
1. Baggage Fee Waiver
Okay, okay, you get a free checked bag or two. How does that save your company serious money?
I get three checked bags free, plus my coworkers traveling with me get three checked bags free. Rather than ship all of our materials to the hotel, we check them as our baggage.
Events usually charge a fee for receiving packages in addition to shipping fees. This can end up savings hundreds of dollars per event.
2. Free Breakfast and Free Hors D’oeuvres
When I stay at Hyatts, I usually have free breakfast and free appetizers in the evening (when there’s a Regency club). Usually, whatever events I go to have lunch included. All this added together is more than enough food for me, so my food bill when traveling for work tends to be close to $0.
3. Ability to Move-Up for Work Emergencies
A couple of times, I’ve booked later flights to save a lot of money. But something has come up at work where it would be better for me to go into the office. I’ve been able to successfully move up my flight to an earlier time many times to get back to home base.
4. Priority Rebooking
When my plane was hit by a truck, I was on a work trip. It was the last flight to Las Vegas of the night, and a ton of people needed to be reaccomodated.
A bunch of people going to the same conference were on that plane too.
I made it to Las Vegas first out of the crew. I immediately had a new flight and was on my way back home from the airport, where I could rest up and await my early morning flight out to the Sin City.
Granted, I had to argue for the earlier flight. They were trying to book me back into first (which would have been nice for me personally) but I had to do the right thing by work.
Have you found any other benefits to elite travel that have made your company happy you have it?