Met Police wastes money for business class on short-haul flights

Good sleuthing by Liberal Democrat Assembly Member Dee Doocey has brought to light the large sums the Met Police is spending on sending its officers on  business class flights:

Figures show that Met officers took 1,497 business class flights in the last financial year at a cost to the taxpayer of £2,675,768.

A total of £44,000 was spent flying Met staff first class – mostly accompanying VIPs requiring constant police protection.

Officers flew first or business class to 77 destinations last year, including short-haul trips to Ireland, France and Austria.

Liberal Democrat Assembly member Dee Doocey today said the purchase of business class tickets for short-haul European flights was “indefensible”…

Baroness Doocey said: “Business class travel at a time when the Met is being forced to cut its budget by 25 per cent is outrageous.

“This is a grotesque waste of money and totally indefensible for short-haul flights to European destinations. It is also difficult to understand why so many Met officers need to travel business class on long-haul flights.”

She added: “The Met should ban these perks immediately and concentrate its resources instead on maintaining police officer numbers.” [Evening Standard]


2 responses to “Met Police wastes money for business class on short-haul flights”

  1. Have to say, I'm not convinced by this article. I travel for business quite a lot and can see the advantages of business class – although I rarely use it myself.

    Often, BC flights are the only ones available – especially when booked last minute. For how many of the above flights is that the case?

    Some BC flights are the same price – or cheaper – than economy. Again, is that reflected in the above figures?

    BC flights often include access to a lounge – so you're not wasting 2 hours shuffling through crap shops but are able to get on the complimentary Wifi and work. Is 2 hours of an officer's wage more expensive than the price differential?

    Finally, depending on the airline, BC flights often have laptop chargers so that people can continue to work on the flight.

    I'm not saying that there are no unjustified flights on that list – but claiming that none of them represent value for money is problematic.

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