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Old Oct 17, 14, 11:12 pm   #1
 
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Government versus Educational special rates

SPG offers both government and educational (EDU) special rates. I have a question about the intersection of these two rates, i.e. what about employees of a state university? We are state employees - the California State Constitution has a definition:
"Public officer and employee" includes every officer and employee
of the State, including the University of California, every county,
city, city and county, district, and authority, including any
department, division, bureau, board, commission, agency, or
instrumentality of any of the foregoing.

Because of this, I know that we qualify for state airfares. So, can we use either government or educational rates?

Last edited by Wexflyer; Oct 17, 14 at 11:25 pm.
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Old Oct 17, 14, 11:43 pm   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wexflyer View Post
SPG offers both government and educational (EDU) special rates. I have a question about the intersection of these two rates, i.e. what about employees of a state university? We are state employees - the California State Constitution has a definition:
"Public officer and employee" includes every officer and employee
of the State, including the University of California, every county,
city, city and county, district, and authority, including any
department, division, bureau, board, commission, agency, or
instrumentality of any of the foregoing.

Because of this, I know that we qualify for state airfares. So, can we use either or both government and educational rates?
You would be considered a bit of both. You could select the Government rate, although it may be subject to various restrictions that are applied and enforced by each individual property. For example, they may offer the Government rate only to Federal employees on business travel. In other words, read the details of the rate to see if there are any requirements and/or exclusions.

Assuming you work for the UC System, each school in the UCS has their own corporate rate code, although most have appeared to provide the same rate (this was discussed and put to a test a few months back on another thread). However, per the UCS guidelines, this is for business travel only. Of course, that is rarely enforced and likely never audited.

Here's a good thread. Note the responses from SensFan and William/Lurker (the official response on Government rates for leisure travel).

Govt/Military rates for Official travel only or also for leisure?
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Old Oct 18, 14, 10:09 am   #3
 
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When using a govt rate, there is a difference between federal and state. As an employee of the state, you only qualify for state govt rates. These are not always available, but when present, I have found them better than the federal rates. If you were to make a reservation on a federal rate and show a state ID, there is the chance that your rate will not be honored.

In my experience, govt rates (state or federal) are better than negotiated edu rates. I would suggest making reservations under the state govt rate when available. If not available, then use your edu rate.

One thing that has never been clear to me is whether you can use a state govt rate in a different state. For example, if I were a state employee in MI, could I get the state govt rate in CA?
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Old Oct 18, 14, 11:10 am   #4
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I would look for the best rate for which you are eligible and use that. As others note, there may be restrictions and capacity controls which matter. On the other hand, you may find a AAA rate which is lower than all.
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Old Oct 18, 14, 3:08 pm   #5
 
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Originally Posted by dtwdoc View Post
When using a govt rate, there is a difference between federal and state. As an employee of the state, you only qualify for state govt rates. ..

One thing that has never been clear to me is whether you can use a state govt rate in a different state. For example, if I were a state employee in MI, could I get the state govt rate in CA?
- I am aware that there are different types of government rate. Hilton usually makes this very clear, by showing different specific rates. By contrast, SPG seems focused on the federal government alone? Is there any way to differentiate stave versus federal versus contractor rates on SPG?

- As for using state rate out of home state, may vary. On Hilton, where these can be seen, sometimes it will say State of XYZ only, but more often just "state" - in the latter case, I was told more than once that any state is OK.
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Old Oct 18, 14, 6:36 pm   #6
 
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Originally Posted by Wexflyer View Post
Is there any way to differentiate stave versus federal versus contractor rates on SPG?
If a state govt rate is available it will clearly say 'State Government Rate,' whereas for fed you'll see something like 'Government and Active Military ID'. For example, look up the Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield for 2/19/15-2/20/15. State govt rate is $80, federal starts at $95 (although for diff rooms).

Hope that helps clarify a bit
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Old Oct 19, 14, 10:14 am   #7
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Look at the conditions and requirements carefully before booking any special rate. I've seen government (presumably and government at any level since it doesn't state otherwise), federal including contractors or not, own state only, any state, state and local, requirements for government travel orders, statements about the rates only being for official travel, etc.

Senior rates can also have varied special rules, with some foreign locations requiring proof of retirement, just an age requirement which varies by the country of the hotel, AARP cards being acceptable for any age, etc.
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Old Oct 19, 14, 3:44 pm   #8
 
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Look at the conditions and requirements carefully before booking any special rate. I've seen government (presumably and government at any level since it doesn't state otherwise), federal including contractors or not, own state only, any state, state and local, requirements for government travel orders, statements about the rates only being for official travel, etc.

Senior rates can also have varied special rules, with some foreign locations requiring proof of retirement, just an age requirement which varies by the country of the hotel, AARP cards being acceptable for any age, etc.
And how is "proof of retirement" documented?
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Old Oct 19, 14, 11:09 pm   #9
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For university faculty, an ID card showing a professor emeritus title should work.

However, in this case, I suspect that the country gave some sort of national identity card that indicated retirement status. Or maybe proof of age would work for residents in countries with mandatory retirement ages.
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Old Oct 23, 14, 12:06 pm   #10
 
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I've often found emailing the hotel directly with circumstances (ie personal / business) and getting a printed reply is the best defence for rate validity on check in.

At least you have a paper saying that you qualify or don't qualify.
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