Finance News & Insights

The wildest travel expenses, South Africa edition

Looks like we’re not the only country where employees try to pass off some wild expenses as legitimate business ones. Turns out CFOs in South Africa see their fair share of extreme travel spending on their side of the globe as well.

You’ve seen the lists of what U.S. CFOs have to deal with. Maybe you’d even tested yourself to see if you could guess which outrageous expense requests were approved.

Makes that llama rental  look downright reasonable

Now compare it to what your South African counterparts say they’re seeing, according to real requests that have come in to entertainment and production specialists at Flight Centre Business Travel:

What, no Uber in South Africa? One woman requested an SUV to drive her around with a chauffeur who could do double duty as a tour guide. The reason for the outrageous request: a mild case of agoraphobia.

Takes “eating your greens” to new heights. A fruit basket upon arrival at a hotel is always a welcoming touch. But this road warrior insisted on only green fruit in her basket.

Good “chi” only. You know when a place just doesn’t “feel right.” That happened to this business traveler – seven times in the same hotel! Apparently the chi was all wrong. And when the “winner” was found the room required seven additional lamps and the bed moved to the right side of the room for more free flowing energy.

No autographs, please. Somebody’s taking the “red carpet treatment” a bit too literally. This business traveler insisted on a 15-foot red carpet rolled out at the airport, along with a custom built lounge, where her passport could be processed privately.

They’ll never forget this one! If you thought arriving to a red carpet would make an unforgettable impression, how about this traveler who wanted to arrive holding a baby elephant? In the interests of safety (and probably some animal control laws) this person went with an animatronic baby elephant instead, which no doubt cost a pretty penny to make.

It’s not all outrageous asks

That’s not to say everyone is trying to take advantage. In fact, recently road warriors have been making more economical choices where you can when traveling for business.

A recent survey by cashback app Dosh shows a promising new trend in more cost-conscious road warriors:

  • 47% ate at less expensive restaurants
  • 43% skipped room service
  • 42% searched for cheaper itineraries
  • 28% changed their travel dates to secure better rates, and
  • 16% entertained clients at less expensive places.

Take a look at what you and your A/P team are seeing and compare it against these trends. It may be time for a policy reminder or a little encouragement to spend smarter on the road.




Print Friendly

Subscribe Today

Get the latest and greatest finance news and insights delivered to your inbox.