The Business Trip I took last week had a sour end as the claims process was initiated over the weekend and I wound up absorbing $50 worth of "tips" (read briibe money) that cannot be claimed and a pending lunch expense of $108 where the receipt is not clearly printed. I think the moral of the story is not to go to an inland city where the airport staff know the touts and even a 5 star hotel throws away yesterday's invoices and issues new ones at 4x the original upon check-out. From raising disputes in the hotel to raising disputes with my claims dept, I am done with this company and that city.
I am sure everyone has that experience at a developing nation airport where paying airport tax involves a separate charge for the issuer to actually do her job. Or that the airport security let locals without air tickets in who grab your bags/passport on pretext of helping you check-in, for a fee of course. Not that you can refuse them given the sheer number of menacing "friends" they have around or that the "porter" can run away with your luggage/passport.
From the moment you land, everyone takes a stab at the newbie to make a quick buck. Restaurants slip in extra items, hotels add dubious charges to your tab and then street vendors don't give you change. $20 here, $30 there may seem like small change at first. But, as I found out today, it snowballs to a whopping $350 that I cannot get reimbursed on.
Add in $300 of personal expenses, this 3D2N work trip cost me $650. I am better off on a SIA vacation to Manado. At least I don't have to work or deal with work people.