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Negotiating Flight payment/reimbursement

 
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bridgetelf



Joined: 19 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 12:37 am    Post subject: Negotiating Flight payment/reimbursement Reply with quote

Hello,

My apologies if this has been posted before; I did a search but couldn't find anything.

I was wondering if anyone here has tips on negotiating flight payment and reimbursement. The offer I have on the table as it is now, I am supposed to buy a one-way ticket and get reimbursed on arrival. Then when I leave they give me the money for another one-way ticket.

The way I see it and hear it, that leaves me dependent on them for the return ticket. Moreover, if for some reason I have to leave the country (like because the reality of my life was nowhere near the stated contract, or the Embassy tells Americans to leave the country), I don't have a secured flight.

Is there a way to negotiate for a prepaid open-ended round-trip ticket?

Any thoughts or comments on this are appreciated.

Bridget
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The Bobster



Joined: 15 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 4:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The offer you have is not uncommon, pretty standard in fact. A better offer sometimes happens when they buy the ticket electronically and have it waiting for you atthe check-in gate when you show id. That has happened to me twice out of 5 separate contracts.

It almost never happens that you get your return ticket reimbursed our kept in your possession untilt the contract is over. Why? Some people decide not to stay.

Your boss will tell you many dire things about the legal ramifications for people who break their contract - some people here will do the same, or at least tell you that you are a no good so and so, and hey, one of those people might even be me - but in fact you can leave at any time. However, the school has only agreed to pay for your return flight if you finish 12 months, and that's why you won't see the money until then unless you are very lucky or a very shrewd negotiator.

Yes, you are dependent on them but only if you choose to see it that way. The other way to look at is that by buying your own ticket you are dependent only on yourself, and a situation under your control is usually better than any other kind.

What I did last time was to buy a roundtrip ticket before I came over and my new boss reimbursed half of it the day before I started teaching. The political situation was just a tad dicey at that time and I wanted to know I could get out under my own steam should the need arise - truth is, life is always uncertain, so you should never let yourself be boxed into a place where you really are dependent on other people.

If you can't afford a rt fare before you leave, have credit cards or some other escape route - but, like the severance bonus, the return airfare is part of the reward for completing an entire year, and you probably should not be feeling screwed if you don't get it until your last month.
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Seatangle



Joined: 23 Jan 2003
Location: Left of Center

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was going through the same thing I told my school I couldn't pay for my ticket due to financial reasons. It was a slight stretch of the truth, but not much. The way I saw it, getting too demanding right from the start wouldn't look good for me, but there was also no way I was going to pay for that ticket. So I told a little white lie, everyone saved face, and we're all one big happy family now. Well, not really but you know what I mean.

So, I'd suggest approaching them in a similar way. Something like, "I really want to come work for you, but I can't buy the ticket up front. I hope we can work this out, but if not I understand and I'll just go with one of the other schools I've been talking too." It isn't too aggressive, but also lets them know you're willing to walk over the issue.

Cheers, and good luck.
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waterbaby



Joined: 01 Feb 2003
Location: Baking Gord a Cheescake pie

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Bobster wrote:
Yes, you are dependent on them but only if you choose to see it that way. The other way to look at is that by buying your own ticket you are dependent only on yourself, and a situation under your control is usually better than any other kind.


I'm with the Bobster on this one.

In my last job, I paid for my return ticket upfront and was reimbursed in full shortly after I arrived, however, my director insisted on keeping the return copy. (Not like I couldn't call the airline anyway and tell them that I'd lost the ticket???)

There seems to be a feeling at the moment (and a lot of posts here) that if they're not paying for your flight upfront then you're being scammed... Not true. I don't actually think that a pre-paid, round-way ticket is a legal obligation for employers in Korea. (I'm sure CO2 will correct me if I'm wrong Wink Like the Bobster says, it's a bonus a) for coming and b) for staying.

However, if money is the issue and if you can't affored to buy your ticket then hopefully you'll be able to borrow some money off friends and family to cover the costs of your ticket and your first month here (you may be able to get an advance from your boss, but don't count on it). If you're careful with your money, then you'll be able to pay them back quite quickly.

If you want to a return ticket for your own peace of mind, then I suggest that you tell the potential employer that other offers you've received and are considering include a pre-paid air ticket... You'd really like to work for them, can they match the deal? I'd be hesitant to tell them that you lack the funds as this may put you on the back foot when it comes to things like them offering you overtime ("but I thought you needed the money!") and their initial perception of you (sorry to say) may be less.

Good luck.
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kylehawkins2000



Joined: 08 Apr 2003

PostPosted: Tue Apr 22, 2003 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds pretty standard to me too. Not many places will pay for a round-trip ticket up front.

On the bright side, you can pay for a ticket home yourself with any pay cheque. You probably get paid around 2 million and you can likely pick up a ticket for about half that if you are flexible. Worst case scenario you go to work for a month, the place is horrible so you decide to go home after just four weeks, you get your first pay and jump on the next flight with a grand in your hand!

I wouldn't worry about it. That's my take on it at least...
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sunlit



Joined: 14 Apr 2003
Location: Ilsan

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2003 1:06 am    Post subject: Pre paid flight Tix Reply with quote

My contract stated that I would buy a 1 way and be reimbursed, but the director asked me to find a fare and is wiring $ into my bank account to cover the cost. It may be something that you could suggest to the school that you're dealing with. It seems that purchasing plane tickets from Korea can be more expensive than in the states.
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deshell32



Joined: 07 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 7:34 am    Post subject: Don't do it. Reply with quote

There are too many available jobs out here in Korea for you to even take a risk. Simply tell them you can't afford it. I don't think you want to tell them that you will not work for them if they don't pay for it. And you don't want to tell them that you will simply work for someone else. Those two methods I think are unprofessional. But you also brought up another good point: what if you find yourself at a Hakwon that you are not comfortable with? Then you will not only lose what you paid for the ticket, but you will have to pay your own airfare back. When I came here about 11 months ago round trip, open-ended tickets were too expensive (time of World Cup) so I was told to pay for a one-way upfront and they would reimburse me when I arrived. Not that they are are lying but how can you honestly put that much money upfront for a job you know nothing about? You don't know what it will be like much less who you will be working with and for whom you will be working. I simply told them I could not afford it. So what happen? They paid for the ticket. Like I said, Korea is filled with too many english jobs to not find someone who will pay upfront. DON'T DO IT.
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itchy



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Location: Busan

PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2003 4:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Negotiating Flight payment/reimbursement Reply with quote

bridgetelf wrote:
Hello,

My apologies if this has been posted before; I did a search but couldn't find anything.

I was wondering if anyone here has tips on negotiating flight payment and reimbursement. The offer I have on the table as it is now, I am supposed to buy a one-way ticket and get reimbursed on arrival. Then when I leave they give me the money for another one-way ticket.

The way I see it and hear it, that leaves me dependent on them for the return ticket. Moreover, if for some reason I have to leave the country (like because the reality of my life was nowhere near the stated contract, or the Embassy tells Americans to leave the country), I don't have a secured flight.

Is there a way to negotiate for a prepaid open-ended round-trip ticket?

Any thoughts or comments on this are appreciated.

Bridget
- you usually get a roundtrip ticket upfront, prepaid. This is the bare minimum for Korea. If the school is not offering you that, move on.
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