Expensing a flight in your own plane.

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Salty, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Line Up and Wait

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    Getting in an accident on your way from your home to your actual place of employment vs. driving from San Diego to Santa Barbara to visit clients/satalite office, etc.... are two different things... As for the Christmas Party DUI.... yea I agree and I guess this is why many companies have stopped this practice... As for me, my father told me to avoid office Christmas Parties like the plague.. and from of the stories I have heard... I understand why...
     
  2. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    My employer does have a very specific prohibition against it. If I ever decide to fly somewhere that I need to be for work, I suppose I might fly out a day before and fly back the day after, and just happen to be there for the meeting. And not get reimbursed, but if I get an excuse to go fly somewhere -- who cares?
     
  3. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    I actually don't think they will look at where its from, just that the CC and receipts exactly match and aren't way too high.
     
  4. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yep. However, in my case, my company knew I was flying, and they billed mileage to the clients, who never complained AFAIK. We always figured they'd complain louder if they actually got billed for a private flight. :D

    Yes. I'm perfectly fine with an average accident rate being equivalent to motorcycling, even though I won't get on a motorcycle any more. On the motorcycle, it's probably gonna be the other guy's fault he killed you. In the airplane, it's probably gonna be my fault, so I do everything I can to ensure that both my aircraft and I are as well-prepared as possible.

    But when else are you going to get a chance to try to hook up with Jessica in Accounting?

    Depends on whether Jessica in Accounting is a gossipy goody two-shoes who knows the rule, and how successful your overtures at the Christmas party were.
     
  5. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    OP - just don’t. Your boss told you not to and you seem to be ignoring the flashing neon sign over his head that says “I can fire you”. If violating his instructions aren’t enough, falsifying your expense report will get you rightfully canned.

    Just fly commercial.
     
  6. TommyG

    TommyG Cleared for Takeoff

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    The only senseable comment in this thread. Boss says no, I would try to talk more about it. But to blatantly disregard what he says. And then as some are saying to falsify travel receipts, not a good look.
     
  7. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    The boss said no only to cover himself with the company. He could care less personally.
     
  8. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Pattern Altitude

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    He is also covering the company, which is why he could care less, as opposed to couldn't care less.
     
  9. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    Of corse in case of an accident or lawsuit this very thread could be brought into it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Line Up and Wait

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    I didn't need a Christmas Party to hook up Yolanda in billing, Kim in customer service, Barbara in purchasing, or Sandi the receptionist... what I did need to do was keep them away from each other before they started comparing notes... :cool: :D
     
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  11. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    That scenario probably wouldn’t stand in court.
     
  12. DaleB

    DaleB En-Route

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    He couldn't care less personally because he's not the one who's going to get fired if someone figures out you've violated a company policy. He'll say he told yo not to do it, and you did it anyway. I don't see a likely scenario where that works out well for you. And if there is no formal policy for you to violate, and someone higher up (including corporate legal department, HR, etc) takes exception and calls him on the carpet, you're going to be the one facing action -- not him. And you'll have no defense, because he's already told you not to do it.

    I'm on the opposite side of the same boat. Corporate policy is clear and unambiguous -- "Thou shalt not fly or fly in a private airplane for business travel, period, ever." My boss thinks flying is cool, that particular corporate policy is dumb, he's fine with me flying. I know better...
     
  13. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    What court would it need to stand up in?

    If you happened to be in a town anyway and then attended a company meeting, you wouldn't be expensing your personal travel, so travel however you want. But if you're traveling for your company, follow your company's rules on travel.
     
  14. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    How easy would it be to prove?

    “I flew my airplane to XYZ to see my family and I just so happened to have a business meeting at the same time, but I flew my airplane for the intent to see my family.”

    On the way home from attending the business meeting and after you visited with your family you have an accident. Would the business incur any liabilities, since they’ve clearly stated “NO YOU CANNOT FLY YOURSELF” or would they be off the hook, since you ‘just so happened to visit family’ and that was the reason for the trip?

    Hmm..
     
  15. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    Court?!

    Like bflynn said it I think whether or not you expense it is a big deciding factor. If you expense the trip it's pretty obvious that you used the plane for company travel (which, depending on their policy, if you crash it could be problematic). But if you're not expensing it who's to say that you didn't just want to fly somewhere to try out a restaurant, and two birds and one stone it and also go to work?

    In a real life scenario, honestly, I wouldn't even think to ask my company if they allowed it. I don't ask them if I'm allowed to try skydiving while at the conference in Vegas, so why go kick the bee's nest? This is like sending the IRS a letter asking them if the taxes you did 5 years ago were in fact correct "hey, are you sure that deduction I took was legit? Let me know" - wtf?!

    We all know the default opinion of the non flying public is that small planes are scary death traps just waiting to fall out of the sky. So you're almost inviting a "no, don't do that" from your boss when asked the question

    Where I work there's a soft handshake understanding that if I were to fly (since they know I fly) it would be fair to expense the gas as long as it was reasonably similar to a commercial ticket. They wouldn't ask for proof, but seeing $250 expensed vs $900 would be enough to see if something passed the sniff test or not
     
  16. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  17. k9medic

    k9medic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This exacly. I have direct reports. If they backed me into a corner like this, it leaves me with very few options.

    Boss said no. End of discussion.
     
  18. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    Cheers, see below

    I'm not advocating that people violate known company policy. And I think a big factor, at least in the eyes of a court, would be whether or not the trip was expensed. If you expensed it then it is hard to argue that your trip was to see your family, since the company paid. But if didn't expense it, and you actually did see and hang out with your family.. then it might just come down to who has a better lawyer, etc.

    I don't think one entity though has a more intrinsic "right" value than the other, with family vs company. Theoretically many factors would weigh on the court.. maybe Aunt Susie is dying and this is her last Christmas and the company denied your PTO because you're the only one who can speak to non nutritive cereal varnish at the trade show.. so you go, show up, but spend the rest of the trip in the hospital..

    OR

    You didn't even see your family and expensed the trip and made the whole thing up so you could log some "free" PIC time, and your friend came who was your safety so he logged it too.. and you crashed into a building causing over $5M in damages

    Many variables exist.
     
  19. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Flying on company business when the boss says you cannot fly yourself is insubordination and a reason for termination.
     
  20. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    Right. But what if they didn't ask? I don't get why everyone is rushing to make a big stink about it at work

    I can't help but think some people do this just as a weird ego-troll maneuver. They know Mr Boss will say no because he's not a pilot and thinks planes are small death traps, so why take the risk.. then get all bent out of shape that Mr Boss said no. Why even bring it up?
     
  21. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    ...What if you do an angel flight to and from your company trip??
     
  22. k9medic

    k9medic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    In this case, he did ask and he was told no.

    Members of my team own airplanes as well and they, along withmyself have asked our executive group. The answer was nope.

    I have a saying - when you push the weather and get into trouble, remember who put you there. This is a similar situation.

    If he had not asked he might be able to get away with it once.
     
  23. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Sigh. No. I did not ask. This is the third time I’ve said that.
     
  24. k9medic

    k9medic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Correct but it was inferred. The Boss knows and said no. If he could at least have had some plausble deniabiltiy maybe...

     
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  25. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    In all reality, and I don’t promote this idea, but you could always just use the don’t ask don’t tell method. How you get to and from a business obligation shouldn’t matter to anyone, but in today’s society, it does.
     
  26. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    so don't turn in an expense report if you crash.
     
  27. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route PoA Supporter

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    And there are separate issues here:
    Can I do it? (Probably until someone finds out)
    Can I expense it? (Nope. Boss said don't do it-unofficially. You turn in expenses for flying, they're denied, then you sue? I don't think its worth it nor does it end well.)

    The best case is you submit mileage charges or the equivalent airfare (if no receipt required) and get some money back. But if you submit mileage charges, don't submit a rental car expense.
     
  28. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    upload_2019-2-8_13-55-57.png
     
  29. ScottinIowa

    ScottinIowa Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well you can't expense a trip to see a buddy.
     
  30. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Line Up and Wait

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    I was given a very stern NO on this and having the opportunity to speak with our corporate lawyer over breakfast one day it all became clear as to why... risk management/insurance/liability... or insurance companies are always auditing your risk management policies to see what steps you are talking mitigate liabilities... I would be hard pressed to see any insurance company underwriting a commercial policy with not putting some "nope can't do that.." clauses in the policy...

    The company may not care and if it adds the bottom line they may be all for it... but their insurance carrier may not be as they see this as high risk... case point... go look at your company sponsored life insurance policy... hells bells... go look at you own life insurance policy and unless you have told them you fly... you will see this detailed as High Risk Activity.

    I wouldn't be getting bent out shape over this... even thought I am on the countdown.. my job is not worth it...
     
  31. ScottinIowa

    ScottinIowa Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Agree with this. If you have to pull off that many tricks to do it, don't do it.
     
  32. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Thanks for the feedback guys. I still have no problem traveling on my own time and dime and not expensing it and not telling them about it. I will be a "remote" employee so I have no home base. If I chose to fly to a location and stay there for awhile it's not really any of their business as long as I don't expense it.

    But, I think a lot of good points were brought up in this thread. I don't think I'll be trying to expense anything unless I get a yes from corporate.
     
  33. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    This is true.

    Still crazy to me that company's make such a big deal about this. I read somewhere that during the filming season of Star Trek NG it was in one of the dude's contracts (Data? Worf?) that he couldn't fly his personal plane. Obviously Harrison Ford's contract did not include such verbiage for Star Wars.. or he simply did not care
     
  34. Flyhound

    Flyhound Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have a small consulting business and have often used my Maule for mid-distance trips. Some of the customers I consult for will pay the GSA aircraft mileage rate ($1.26/mile in 2019) for trips when I fly myself. Some will allow the GSA rate (see https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-boo...owned-vehicle-pov-mileage-reimbursement-rates) but only if the total cost is less than flying commercially or driving. It is seldom cheaper to fly myself. What I've done on some occasions is book a flight through one of the travel sites, get my receipt and then promptly cancel the trip. The travel sites are required to offer free cancellation within 24 hours of the booking. I then use the receipt in my expense report. That receipt is usually less than what it cost to fly myself, but it reduces the out of pocket expense and lets me have the schedule flexibility of using my own plane.
     
  35. GaryV

    GaryV Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I went through this with my current employer. We’re a multi-billion dollar multi-national company. For the first eight years I worked for the company they happily reimbursed me for expenses when I flew myself in my plane. Then someone from our global headquarters found out and the directive came down that I could no longer use my plane for anything company related.

    They were very clear that not only would they not reimburse me for expenses, I would be terminated if they found out that I violated the directive. The reason given was third party liability. I was very unhappy about the decision but it was what it was.

    They provide a company vehicle and pay all expenses related to me driving to and from Houston the DFW area so when I protested that their decision made no sense since I was much more likely to have an accident involving a third party in the company ehicle than in my plane they said ‘You’re right, you are’.

    They said the difference is that American Jury’s are used to car wrecks so the companies maximum liability isn’t likely to exceed $1,000,000. They said that there was a recent award for over $150,000,000 for a third party liability suit involving a case where someone using his personal plane to commute for business killed someone on the ground. They said that while they valued me as an employee my happiness just wasn’t worth $150,000,000 to the company.

    I still would rather fly my plane than travel any other way but that makes sense so I comply with the company policy.

    Gary
     
  36. ExtraP

    ExtraP Filing Flight Plan

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    The other element here is that your own aircraft insurance may not cover use related to employment activities, which would leave you financially exposed if there was an accident. Something to double check on your policy.
     
  37. Sundancer

    Sundancer En-Route

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    It's been a while, but I've taken a day of leave, or flown out on a Sunday - did my business all week, flew home on Saturday. My time, my dime, my insurance. Just got the rental car the morning of, had it back Friday afternoon. Ate the taxi costs (pre Uber/Lyft days).