How very European

Looks like the Foreign Office really is very European.

Foreign Office staff abroad are entitled to flights home every year as well as at the beginning and end of their posting.

They can fly business class if their embassy is more than three hours from London by plane.

Such tickets can cost more than £2,000 but diplomats are urged to book cheaper tickets and save the remaining cash for personal travel.

That is, of course, close to the now discredited and banned* system that Euro MPs were using for their travel.

No wonder the FCO is seen as a bastion of federast thought then.

* Well, from 17th July it is.

5 thoughts on “How very European”

  1. Tim,

    As you might expect, the truth is somewhat more prosaic. See my take as an ex-diplomat on this one:

    http://charlescrawford.biz/blog.php?single=1043

    It is in fact an interesting example of the complexity of setting up any fair and flexible expenses regime. How would you do it for staff travel in an organisation with its people scattered all round the world, some with families, others not, againsta background of constantly changing air-fares?

    Not so simple?

  2. “Have a travel office that arranges and pays for travel for staff”: my ex-employer used to do that but gave it up more than a decade ago. Far too costly, apparently.

  3. I’m not too bothered about this: mob & demob flights and an annual trip home is standard for most expat packages, and a cash option for the annual trip not unusual. Business class isn’t so common outside the oil companies, but is not unheard of, even if the cut-off is closer to 8-10 hours than 3 hours.

    Of course, this would be different for regular business trips, but for mob, demob, and annual leave the FCO have it good but not obscenely so. As a point of reference, the lunatics running the asylum in which I was working for the last year thought £26k was a fair cash price for 4 business class tickets from Sakhalin to the UK and back. Unsurprisingly so did I, and took the cash optio.

  4. Pingback: FCO Dolly Jolly Luxury Travel (Not) - Charles Crawford

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