You need to speak with your employer's immigration attorney about your specific case, plans, and options. He/she would have access to your complete file and would therefore be best able to advise you. If your employer does not currently have an immigration attorney, I highly recommend that they get one.
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I would suggest you talk to your company attorney I would also pay thje premium processing fee to obtain a decision before traveling. If your case is denied, you may not be allowed back in the US if you leave
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It is always tricky when planning travel during extension or change of status requests. If you file and then travel, the extension request will be processed normally. If you travel and then the case is filed perhaps by the company, then the extension will be denied.
If you file and travel and return before a decision is made on the extension there is no problem and you will receive the full extension. However, if you travel and the case is approved during your travels, then you will receive the I-94 only valid through the expiration of your current H1b (December 2012). You would then need to immediately file another H1b extension.
The best solution is to premium process the extension before you travel.