GRP Company Air Travel Policy & Tips
Updated: Sep 5
In this post, I'll be going over the air travel policy at GRP.
It's important to have accurate information on the initial form to Adam regarding your bags. In some cases, pricing goes up for bags immediately after booking. If you didn't input the right information in the form, you're responsible to cover any difference in cost of pocket if the fees are higher when you pay with your company card. If you don't have authorization for baggage charges in advance, you may be held liable for the full expense in some cases.
Changes to Itinerary
If you want to make any changes, the sooner that you can notify me, the better, since sometimes changes can take a while to process on bookings, I am often not immediately available to make those changes, & since the best options to make changes are within 24 hrs. After that time, penalty fees will often apply.
Your Frequent Flyer # Is Needed For Upgrade Eligibility on Delta (24 Hr Deadline)
Per Delta, Skymiles members with status may both enjoy complimentary upgrades on paid or award travel, but only "as long as that companion is a General SkyMiles Member, Medallion Member, or partner airline elite member*". Because you'll likely be holding back the status member from 1st class upgrades if you are booked on the same reservation without a Skymiles # (which is free), it's the company policy to not book you on the same reservation as status members. If you're not a Skymiles member and will be on the same reservation as a status member (i.e. Greg Garrett or Adam Triplett), you have 24 hrs to become a status member following initial receipt of a link to this article before a booking may occur separately from you.
$ Travel Expenses
Your $ travel expenses have certain restrictions and rules at GRP. Go here for the full details.
1. Don't use your personal credit card for company expenses for trips.
2. In some cases, your business card shouldn't be used either since some expenses (i.e. airfare, rental cars, hotels) should go on neither your personal credit card nor your business credit card.
Go here for more details.
Free Global Entry or TSA Pre Check for Expedited Security
If you'd like a free global entry or TSA Pre Check (Global Entry essentially includes TSA Pre), we have credit cards that we can at times provide to employees at no cost to you that will provide that. It's beneficial for company & personal travel. You may already have a card that provides it if you have a company American Express card.
Per Amex, "Stay focused on getting where you need to go. Receive either a statement credit every 4 years after you apply for Global Entry ($100) or a statement credit every 4.5 years after you apply for a five-year membership through any Authorized Enrollment Provider for TSA PreCheck® (up to $85) when the application fee is charged to an eligible Card. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck. Each Additional Card on eligible Card accounts is also eligible for one statement credit for an application fee for a five-year membership every 4 years for Global Entry or every 4.5 years for TSA PreCheck. To receive the statement credit, the application fee must be charged on the eligible Additional Card.‡
To read the full terms and conditions, visit www.americanexpress.com/expeditedtravel."
There are certain carriers that provide a carry on bag but that don’t provide seat selection for basic economy travel, with Delta & AA being some of the primary ones. The company policy in that scenario is to book basic economy typically unless there’s authorization from Adam Triplett, my dad, or Lindsay Pennington for an exception. If you’d like to select a seat, that’s possible as a personal expense, not to be reimbursed by the company, unless you have authorization from one of those 3.
Upgrades Out of Pocket
While the company policy is to typically grant for needed bags, it doesn't grant for the following typically:
Higher than basic economy/standard economy (which of the 2 depending on the scenario)
Extra legroom, unless you are 6'3" or taller
If you'd like these or any other upgrades, you are welcome to pay those out of pocket. As stated in the "Company Policy on Reimbursed Travel Expenses" article, "If you have added personal expenses (i.e. a preferred seat upgrade or booking to a more costly preferred carrier) that are above what was authorized by the company, be sure to get with Iris within 7 days from the date of booking to reimburse the company for those expenses."
Flight Times & Extra Hotel Nights
If departing prior to 7 AM or arriving after 10 PM due to lower cost of 1 itinerary over another, sometimes a hotel night in a destination >1 hr from your home (i.e. Richmond airport or DC) may be granted at no cost to you, such as at the Hyatt Place Richmond Airport, if availability is present. The property has options for 1 king bed with a sofa bed or 2 queen beds with a sofa bed as long as there is availability. There is also a viable Hyatt Regency near Dulles if space is available.
If seat changes are allowed or bags are allowed to be added to an itinerary in advance, it can typically, be done online using the name of the passenger and some form of reference # that is provided to the passenger at time of booking.
For any bags, size and weight limits often apply, and for checked bags, that's typically 50 lbs max. It's important to fill out the booking request form so that Adam can be aware of the bags you'll need. It's typically best to not check bags on company travel, but if you do, keep in mind that it may mean worse seat selection in some cases (i.e. Jetblue Blue Basic Fares) in order to compensate for the additional costs involved.
American Airlines all cabins & all cases: 1 carry-on bag & 1 personal item
A. American Airlines standard economy OR basic economy: $30 for domestic flights for 1 checked bag
B. American Airlines standard economy when you have or you are with someone with status or in some cases an eligible AA credit card on their same itinerary (i.e. Greg Garrett or sometimes others): 1st checked bag complimentary
Avelo: Not Operating Out of SE VA at the moment (available from BWI, RDU)
1 Free personal item
1 carry-on for a fee (varies)
1 checked bag for a fee (varies)
Fees go up over time.
1 free personal item
Some bundles include carry on & checked bag(s)
Baggage fees vary & may change from the time of booking until 4 hrs before departure.
$50 additional charge if bags are added within 4 hrs of departure time, added by an airport team member, or added by a guest empowerment team member
Delta all cabins & all cases: 1 carry-on bag & 1 personal item
A. Delta standard economy OR basic economy: $30 for domestic flights for 1 checked bag
B. Delta standard economy when you have or you are with someone with status or in some cases an eligible Delta credit card on their same itinerary (i.e. Greg Garrett, Adam Triplett or sometimes others): 1st checked bag complimentary
A personal item is included free. For carry-ons and checked bags, the cheapest pricing is at initial booking, varies depending on date & itinerary, & has escalating pricing up to the boarding gate, i.e. $55 for carry on & $50 for a checked bag during booking, or $99 for a carry-on & $99 for a checked bag at the gate.
All fares include 1 personal item that fits under the seat in front of you. This could be a purse, daypack, laptop bag or approved pet carrier. Personal items cannot exceed 17" L (43.2 cm) x 13" W (33 cm) x 8" H (20.32 cm). Jetblue checked bags, if approved, should be purchased in advance to avoid penalty at airport fees.
Jetblue basic economy (Blue Basic) doesn't receive a carry-on & it's not allowed. If a carry-on bag is brought, it will need to be checked and incur a $65 fee.
Jetblue economy (Blue) fares & above include a carry-on bag that fits in the overhead bin.
Baggage Fees One personal item that fits entirely in the smaller sizer box (like a purse, small backpack, etc.) is included with your ticket. Fees can vary, with different prices that go up from the time of booking (i.e. $59 for a carry-on & $54 for a 1st checked bag), to online before check-in, to online at check-in, to at the airport/group desk/reservation center, to at the gate (i.e. $99 for a carry-on & $99 for a 1st checked bag).
Southwest includes 2 free checked bags, 1 personal item, & 1 carry-on free.
All fares include a personal item, "like a shoulder bag, backpack, or laptop bag that fits under the seat in front of you." All fares may purchase a checked bag if approved by GRP in advance & if purchased in advance ($30, v $35 at airport for domestic travel).
United basic economy for domestic travel doesn't receive a carry-on without an additional prepaid fee.
United economy for domestic travel receives a carry-on.
United fares when the flyer has status with United that's in the itinerary, who is purchasing with a United annual fee incurring credit card, or accompanying someone in the same reservation with either: 1 free carry on & 1 free checked bag
Keep an Eye on Your Itinerary Prior to Departure for Changes
While rare, there has been 1 case where neither I nor the passenger were notified by the airline of a major flight change until after the passenger had arrived at the airport. That case was different enough for us to cancel & rebook with another airline between 11 PM & after midnight. To mitigate a possibility like that, you may want to periodically check your itinerary just in case of no notification of a change. Another option is to sign up for the free/basic version of this flight tracker. Also keep in mind that it’s never too late or too early to call/text in case I’m awake in the event of an emergency. I turn my phone to silent when sleeping so you won’t bother me by a late/early call/text. It also highlights the benefit of checking in as soon as it’s possible online or in the app (typically 24 hrs prior to departure). In some cases, checking in asap after possible can also land you better seats (i.e. SW).
Things to Do
If looking for things to do & dining in your city of travel, I recommend looking first at US News & World Report’s things “Things To Do” or “Dining” after entering a destination here. After that, I recommend looking at TripAdvisor’s options here. In some cases, areas will have a package of things to do at a reduced cost vs. purchasing each item separately. In those cases, you may want to enter the name of the city + pass in Google. For instance, entering Venice Pass in Google gets me some good options within the first 2 search results.
Frequent Flyer #
Especially if your booking was in $, & not a points booking, I highly recommend that you add your frequent flier number to your itinerary if it's not connected to your frequent flyer # already. If you don't, you could be leaving flights on the table for your personal travels over time. If you don't have a frequent flyer number already, I recommend creating one, at least for the many mileage currencies where you would be getting points yourself.
Even if your booking is a points booking, it's still a good idea to add your flight(s) to your frequent flyer number so that you can more easily track/access your flight, and in some cases, get other forms of travel credit for the flights (i.e. some flight segments toward status).
In the event that you have lounge access via credit cards, status, or membership, for lounge access I recommend loungebuddy.com & their app as long as you have all of your lounge based/status based information input into your profile (& of course put it in if it’s not yet). Be sure to check on timing and access restrictions as well as guest restrictions. Also see the review ratings, locations (i.e. on the way based on your gate(s), outside security vs inside etc.), and amenities prior to selecting. The closest available may not be the best.
While some carriers & some booking types don't allow any seat selection (i.e. SouthWest, basic economy flights on other carriers like Delta & AA typically), others allow it immediately at booking time or 24 hrs prior to departure.
For choosing which seats to pick I recommend https://www.seatguru.com/
For more details including instructions, go here.
If there isn’t a free option for seat selection now (i.e. some flights from Europe to other parts of Europe before connecting to the US on British Airways), it’s typically available at check-in 24 hrs before departure, and doing it exactly 24 hrs early is important to get the best seat selection.
If 2, 4, or 6 people are traveling, I will often put them in either a 2-seat row or on opposite ends of a 3-seat row rather than together. If 3 or 5 are traveling, in some cases I'll put 3 together as long as one of them would prefer to be together vs avoiding a middle seat. You might consider checking again periodically if wanting to make sure that no one grabs the seat from the flight getting too full, although typically if someone were to book that middle seat, they would be willing to shift to a window or aisle seat if you ask on the plane as well.
If you don't have optimal seats, you might consider checking again periodically if you don't want to upgrade your seat, if allowed & you're willing to spend out of pocket for the upgrade.
Southwest: Here is more on getting the best seats on Southwest.
TSA Pre/Global Entry
If I didn’t have your TSA Pre/Clear/Global Entry information I didn’t input it. If you have any of those I recommend that you add the information to your itinerary so that you can receive the benefits & if you would like to provide it to me for future entry you are welcome to.