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Old Jul 13, 06, 12:06 pm   #1
 
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Using corporate code for non-business

I have access to few really good corp. discount codes for Ritz-Carlton Singapore, but I am not travelling really on any business related to those codes.

Would it be totally wrong to use them or even not possible without invitation letter etc.?
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Old Jul 13, 06, 12:18 pm   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeikka
I have access to few really good corp. discount codes for Ritz-Carlton Singapore, but I am not travelling really on any business related to those codes.

Would it be totally wrong to use them or even not possible without invitation letter etc.?
Ask. Sometimes the corporation gets a rebate or becomes elegible for larger discounts based on volume.
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Old Jul 13, 06, 9:18 pm   #3
 
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In my experience, so long as you've got the appropriate ID to show at the desk if asked there's no problems with using discounted codes related to your workplace (even if it's not specifically a work trip). The majority of staff I've encountered don't even ask for ID anyway, but it's always nice to have if just in case.

As also stated by party_boy your company could get better discounts regardless (or it will help them reach their promised targets for number of rooms booked) so they're unlikely to have any issues with using the code either.
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Old Jul 13, 06, 11:44 pm   #4
 
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You should really ask your corporate travel dept regarding this issue. Some companies are quite good at letting their staff use the corp rates for leisure, and encourage them to do so. However, I do know some companies (especially their compliance dept) which go ape$hit when their corp rates are used for non business travel.

For the hotels, they don't really care and seldom ask for IDs or verification. You are more likely to feel the wrath of your company rather than the hotels giving you a hard time...
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Old Jul 14, 06, 2:18 am   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeikka
I have access to few really good corp. discount codes for Ritz-Carlton Singapore, but I am not travelling really on any business related to those codes.

Would it be totally wrong to use them or even not possible without invitation letter etc.?
The risk is that they ask for corporate ID. One response to that is that you have been invited for a job interview at firm X and that they booked this room for you. They could then ask to see your letter etc but this is doubtful.

And, at the end of the day, if the hotel is not full then it is getting incremental business from you so they shouldn't really complain. And the corporate is being helped to hit its minimum guarantee of room bookings at that hotel.
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Old Jul 14, 06, 2:41 am   #6
 
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I use many hotels not as a company employee but as supplier to them. It is common to actually be asked to use their corporate reference when they know I will be staying in their nearby hotel so they can increase their volume of business (which is tracked by the hotel and reported periodically to the company) as it helps them reduce their room rates in negotiations.

And if any hotel asks to see any correspondence between myself and my client as some sort of "verification" I would tell them where to go. But it's never happened.
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Old Jul 15, 06, 6:08 am   #7
 
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I can tell you that the owner of that corporate rate will really apreciate that. I use to work for a bank and always booked some IC hotels with their corporate rate in a non business trip. But after a couple of years I went to work for the Revenue Management department of a Hotel Company and believe me, the RFPs of Corporate Rates are negotiated in terms of how many rooms did the company booked the previous year. So actually the company will get access to a much better rate next year if they recount the number of nights linked to that corporate rate. Lets say, your company has a 100 USD corporate rate at hotel X. Ok, that is subject to a 1000 nights a year minimum so that next year the hotel company does not increase that rate to let say 120 USD. Soy if the company manages to make 990 nights in the year and gets 30 from their employees or friends of employees then they will meet the cuota and will have 1020 nights so they will be able to keep the rate for another year. The thing is, I as a Revenue Manager prefer to keep that employee with the discounted rate of the company even if it isnīt a business trip than letting the hotel in front get the business. Remember that a hotel room is like a airline seat. If you donīt use it today, you lost the posibility of selling it for ever. So go ahead and use the rate as the hotel will prefer to sell you that room at that price instead of you booking another hotel that is cheaper. Donīt worry, the RFP usually are negotiated to last room availability although sometimes they can close that rate if they know they will be full of Rack Rate paying customers. Always a win win situation in this industry. Enjoy.
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Old Jul 18, 06, 12:36 pm   #8
 
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speaking from experience:

No Ritz-Carlton has EVER asked me for ID.

I booked my corporate rate once at the FS. The told me over the phone that they would need to see ID at checkin, but never asked when I showed up (I didn't have any extra business cards with me, so it's a good think nobody asked to see ID, but I doubt they would have made an issue over it in front of everyone else at check in).

Does anyone have any experiences when they were asked for ID?
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Old Jul 19, 06, 9:53 am   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfung
You should really ask your corporate travel dept regarding this issue. Some companies are quite good at letting their staff use the corp rates for leisure, and encourage them to do so. However, I do know some companies (especially their compliance dept) which go ape$hit when their corp rates are used for non business travel.

For the hotels, they don't really care and seldom ask for IDs or verification. You are more likely to feel the wrath of your company rather than the hotels giving you a hard time...
i second tfung's statement: from my experience, the hotels do not care, it is good for the company's negotiation power BUT compliance and your income tax (depending on where sbd lives) could be a problem.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 10:59 am   #10
 
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This is a great thread. It has given me much to ponder. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject. I'm looking forward to reading your responses.
Using a code which we did not contract for increases the bargaining power of the company whose code we are using and reduces the bargaining power of the hotel, resulting in a quantifiable loss of revenue for the hotel. Loss of revenue for hotels adversely affects the pay of those who work there, the level of service other guests receive at the property, and maintenance levels/the rate of property renovation.
Hotel management companies have carefully calculated the cost of having an empty room. If the hotel is not willing to give us the room at the price we want we should not lie to them to get what we want. Neither should we take advantage of their failure to ask us for the appropriate ID. Our taking a hotel towel which no one asks for at check out is still stealing.
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Old Jul 19, 06, 11:33 am   #11
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Originally Posted by Goodmorning2U
This is a great thread. It has given me much to ponder. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject. I'm looking forward to reading your responses.
Using a code which we did not contract for increases the bargaining power of the company whose code we are using and reduces the bargaining power of the hotel, resulting in a quantifiable loss of revenue for the hotel. Loss of revenue for hotels adversely affects the pay of those who work there, the level of service other guests receive at the property, and maintenance levels/the rate of property renovation.
Hotel management companies have carefully calculated the cost of having an empty room. If the hotel is not willing to give us the room at the price we want we should not lie to them to get what we want. Neither should we take advantage of their failure to ask us for the appropriate ID. Our taking a hotel towel which no one asks for at check out is still stealing.
i can not support your point of view... the last thing in your argumentation will be a reduced GNP for the hotels country. When I am able to book a hotel with a corporate rate then they have vacancy for that rate type. Every other month it happens that there is no room available for our corp rate. Then I have to pay the unrestricted rate or switch to another hotel. So the hotel will be in most cases fine to fill another room (with me ).

When I book a room for a leisure trip at a corp rate, the same will happen. And my travel department supports the booking at our corp rate because employees are always prepaying and their is no loss on money, taxes etc.

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Old Jul 19, 06, 12:48 pm   #12
 
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"Loss of revenue for hotels adversely affects the pay of those who work there, the level of service other guests receive at the property, and maintenance levels/the rate of property renovation."

Paying a room on Corp rate GIVES revenue, NOT the other way around. Loss of revenue is when rooms are not sold. Can't agree with you there.
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Old Jul 20, 06, 7:37 am   #13
 
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"Paying a room on Corp rate GIVES revenue, NOT the other way around. Loss of revenue is when rooms are not sold. Can't agree with you there.[/quote]

I read your comment and agree with you that revenue is not reduced. I should have said profits. Using a code that we are not entitled to use reduces the hotels profits which results in the aforementioned harm to the corporation, the shareholders, and its people. For example if I pretend to be an employee of the RC and use the employee code, booking a room at the RC SFO for $50 per night, the hotel looses money on my stay even though they are recieving revenue. It costs the hotel more than $50 per night to maintain the room and provide its attendant expected level of service. Another indicator that this is hurting the hotel, corporation, and its employees is that if the hotel management was aware of people using a code to which they are not entitled, they wouldn't accept their money for the use of the room. If we tell the hotel we are aware of space available using a specific code and without that special rate the hotel is going to lose our revenue for the night then the hotel might let us stay there. But we should not misrepresent ourselves to get the price we want.

In response to an earlier post. If your company encourages you to use their negotiated corp rate while on leisure travel you are likely entitled to use it. Unless the company has not negotiated with the hotel for the use of this code for its employees while on leisure travel.
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Old Jul 23, 06, 10:05 am   #14
 
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I would say that it hinges if the room would be sold at a higher rate, or remain empty.
Obviously, if the room remains empty, the hotel would benefit.

The cost to the hotel for a room can be broken into 2 parts: Fixed Cost and Variable cost. Fixed costs will be incurred regardless if the room is occupied. Variable costs will only be incurred if the room is sold. I would class hotel employees, sunk costs, etc as fixed costs. Variable costs would be the expense incurred in stuff like washing the bedsheets, extra electricity/water and perhaps toilet paper used. I doubt that the variable costs of most hotels would even approach $50 or $100.

In summary:

if Price of Room > AFC + AVC - Hotel makes a profit
if Price of Room = AVC - Hotel does not incur additional expense
if Price of room > AVC - Hotel covers all costs incurred for having the guest, plus covers part of the AFC.
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Old Jul 27, 06, 9:14 am   #15
 
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I have frequently used corporate rates on personal travel, especially in high cost locations, for Hiltons, Westins, Intercontinentals, etc. Never really gave it much thought until now.

Also must state that not once can I recall being asked for any form of identification, or even being questioned about the rate. Not that it would be too much trouble as the rates are always those which I would be entitled to use on company travel (never asked about personal travel).

Something to ponder, although it probabaly won't change my habits.
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