A hotel room with exactly the right 'chi' - 5 crazy travel expense claims done in SA


The beauty of business trips is that you can expense most things to that super handy company credit card - even if sometimes you have to come up with creative reasons for why that spa massage was 'essential' for sealing that deal.

In the US, there have been some pretty wacky items expensed on business trips - llamas, a human skull and a helicopter ride - but don't think it's just the Americans that are crazy.

SEE: This is what it takes to be a woman in the competitive MICE industry

South African business travellers have their own little array of interesting items and requests, and entertainment and production specialists at Flight Centre Business Travel, Elizabeth Estment and Simon Clayton, have dealt with their fair share of weird and wacky requests over the years.

“The entertainment industry is not a 9-to-5 industry. It’s late hours, last-minute needs, group arrangements and VIP service within a restricted budget,” explains Estment.

“Expense reports are notoriously boring, both for the traveller and the travel manager. However, once in a while an expense will be claimed – like the ones below - that will have the travel manager sit up and take note, especially when working in the entertainment sector.”

ALSO SEE: 8 Sure ways to screw up a business trip

Here are five of the weirdest requests they've ever received.

A custom-built airport lounge

We all want a little extra special attention after a long flight, but this one client wanted the whole shebang - complete with a 45-metre red carpet and her own private lounge.

Even the immigration officials came to process her passport at her specially built lounge.

A chauffeur who can also act as a travel guide

One client was adamant about interacting with as few people as possible - including having only one person act as both her driver and tour guide through South Africa in a black SUV.

READ: Green conferencing given the nod, as Cape Town cleans up

A hotel room with exactly the right 'chi'

“Don’t mess with my chi,” was the warning of one client, who believed strongly in staying in a room with exactly the right energy channels which would fuel his creative processes.

He changed room seven times before finding the right fit, wanted seven more lamps for more light and moved the bed to the right side of the room for more 'flow'.

An animatronic baby elephant

You read that right. A client needed to travel with a robot baby elephant for a movie shoot, and it looked so real that people at the airport and in the hotel were a little freaked out.

Only green fruit

There’s nothing lovelier than arriving at your hotel room and finding a colourful fruit basket. Not for this client however - she insisted that there would only be green fruit in her welcome basket.

Maybe she was a little 'green' about our beautiful country.

READ: Boeing's new business jet can fly more than half way around the world without stopping

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