I work at a megacorp with a famously liberal travel policy: you can book any fare that's below a (high) cap, and if you save money by going under cap, you get "credits" to use on your next trip. In practice, this translates to business class most of the time. This policy is publicized outside the company, told to prospective hires, well documented on the company intranet, and followed by all other teams that I know of.
Unfortunately, the director of the division I happen to work in (~500 employees out of the company's ~50,000) has decreed her own policy: All travel is to be in cheapest economy class, accumulated fare credits may not be used, and anybody who deviates from this will have their expense report rejected and will have to foot the entire bill themselves. This was announced as a "temporary" cost-saving measure, but it's been well over a year now, the company is making record profits, and there's no sign of a change.
Most of the group travels little, but my team is scattered across four continents, meaning any travel is long (my next trip will involve 48 hours on a plane), and my colleagues, my boss and my boss's boss are all unhappy with her policy. I've contacted the company's travel policy manager, who has apologetically informed me that the "policy" is, in fact, more of a wouldn't-it-be-nice-if guideline that can be overruled by individual managers.
Short of transferring to another division, what, if anything, can I do to get the company travel policy restored?
Update: The company has a number of internal forums where I could raise the issue, garner sympathy, and quite possibly get this escalated. They're not anonymous, though, and I'm unsure if I want to put myself on the line by taking direct action this way. Also, my division is a cost center, not a profit center (and this has been a useful reminder of why you should always aim to work in a profit center, but that's another story).
Resolution: So, I got the policy changed. More specifically,
- my team increased their travel budgets to match the company policy, and
- the company travel head has promised to change the way credits are accounted in next FY's budget, so there's no longer an incentive for teams to ban usage.
Without going into too much detail, I confirmed that my manager was on board with this plan, then posted a public question for the next company all-hands meeting about why the company isn't enforcing its own travel policy. I then drummed up some support on the company's internal forums, helped by a few well-respected people who shared my concern. It turned out my grievance was wide-spread, so the question was voted up to the top and put to the CEO, who decreed the change.
Now, since I did this under my own name, this did involve publicly outing my own org, and there was a bit of a private shitstorm with various muckety-mucks in the org accusing me of spreading 'misinformation' (eat my economy-class-flying shorts) and my manager needing to step into to do damage control. This was expected and I don't expect it to cause meaningful harm to my career; but my company is unusual, and there are plenty of other places where this would have been be a firing offense. YMMV.