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Hilton Honors Government and Military Rates: The Definitive Thread

Hilton Honors Government and Military Rates: The Definitive Thread

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Old Oct 11, 19, 6:40 am   -   Wikipost
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Do government rates qualify for points?
-Yes, government rate stays receive full points.
Apparent acceptable forms of government identification:
DD-214
Credit card issued by a government entity
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Will Hilton check my government ID when I check in?
-It depends:
Starting on June 14, 2019, FlyerTalk members are reporting increased scrutiny in checking for proof that guests are eligible to pay government rates to stay:
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FlyerTalk members report successfully bypassing the front desk when staying at a property with Digital Key enabled, thus avoiding being checked for government identification.
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Old Mar 30, 05, 7:54 pm
  #46  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Originally Posted by Junkie
just a GOVT employee
does it have to be Federal government or can it be state?
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Old Mar 30, 05, 8:32 pm
  #47  
 
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Originally Posted by NW-A332
does it have to be Federal government or can it be state?
Either, and i was asked for it (proof)one out of two times this past weekend
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Old Mar 30, 05, 8:51 pm
  #48  
 
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I'm a government employee and have used that rate for all my hotel stays for the last 7 or 8 years when that rate is the cheapest, and it is the cheapest probably about 80% of the time. As a rough estimate I'd say that I've been asked to show ID about once out of every 50 stays.
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Old Mar 31, 05, 8:32 am
  #49  
 
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Same here...about twice in 50 stays. The badge always works, and in my experience they never twitch. In fact, at one stay in Bakersfield, CA., I saw a drunk lady fall outside the back door trying to get in and crack her head on the building....plop likedead weight. She couldn't stand up. I sat her up, took her room keys, and then went to the lobby. I interrupted the front desk helping guests and ID'd myself (badge in hand), and WOW....the pomptness! We got her in safely, medical attention, and the HGI comp'd my night!!
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Old Mar 31, 05, 8:36 am
  #50  
AGS
 
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To qualify for a government rate, at a minimum you have to be a government employee. However, it is rare that the hotel requires that you be on official orders. There are a few occassions when I have seen the rate rules require that the guest be on official orders, but these are rare and are always spelled out when making the reservation.

I stay in hotels at the governnment rate frequently both on official orders and just on leisure travel, and it is rare that the desk clerk even asks for an ID. In fact, I can't remember the last time that's happened.

Some hotels have different rates for federal and state employees, but for the most part there is a single government rate, usually based on the rate allowed on official travel for federal employees.

Also, it is worth noting that the government rate is not always the lowest. Some hotels set the government rate at the rate allowed on official travel but have lower rates available.

AGS


Originally Posted by boyddr
What are the rules for qualifying for the government rate? Is it simply being a government employee, or does one have to be traveling on official orders? It's not really clear when trying to reserve a room online.
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Old Mar 31, 05, 9:20 am
  #51  
 
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I frequently -- but far from always -- find the AAA rate to be lower than the Government rate. (Sure wish the Hilton web folks would provide a means for putting my AAA number in my profile. What pain to have to keyboard it in every time. Have suggested it twice; no response.)

For me, it has been very rare to be asked for my Govt ID, but it has happened (maybe 1 in 50 times).

The most recent (and most outrageous) asking was back in February, at the Best Western Concordville (PA) near Philly. They not only wanted to see my ID, they wanted to make of photocopy of it at checkin! I said NO WAY. (I had forgotten my regular ID, and only had an old one which had my SSN on it. Even without the SSN, I don't think I would have let them copy it.) The clerk said OK.

When I got back to the hotel at the end of the first day, there was a message on my phone: Please come to the desk so we can make a copy of your Govt ID. Went back to the desk, re-showed them the ID, and re-told them I was not going to give it to them to copy. The clerk said OK.

And it wasn't like the Govt rate was that spectacular ($75 vs $89 rack). I've had Govt rates that been 50% or less of rack rate (i.e., matching the maximum allowable lodging reimbursement under Federal Per Diem allowances).

Last edited by jmd001; Mar 31, 05 at 9:22 am
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Old Mar 31, 05, 9:38 am
  #52  
 
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I have ALWAYS been asked for ID at the Hawaii properties (Understandable for the $112 rate at the Waikiki!)
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Old Mar 31, 05, 9:46 am
  #53  
 
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A different opinion....

Originally Posted by boyddr
What are the rules for qualifying for the government rate? Is it simply being a government employee, or does one have to be traveling on official orders? It's not really clear when trying to reserve a room online.
I travel on State business all the time. I am asked for my gov't ID nearly every time BECAUSE we are required to use a tax exempt form (California needs to save every single dime we can, trust me) to exempt us from having to pay taxes. Nearly 80% of the hotels I stay in accept my tax exempt form.

Many, many times, the federal rate is lower! This urks us big time because the hotels know what our per diem is and price the rate accordingly. For example, I can't get a State rate in SF Hilton for under $140! Argh....because they know the State per diem in that county is $140. Meanwhile, the Federal per diem is lower in that county so they can get in much cheaper.

We NEVER book a rate that says Federal because it will state State Rate if that rate includes State! Trust me...we've called on this many times and have been burned too.

If a hotel asks for "working orders," they are definitely refering to Federal employees. State employees do not have "working orders."

They make a copy of my ID every time I'm at a hotel. That is fine with me, I am not supposed to hide the fact that I am a State government worker (have no idea why the other poster would object to them making a copy of his state/federal ID, if he was in fact a state/federal worker--that is the price of being a public servant...ESPECIALLY if he/she is benefiting from that particular rate. That would be like booking a AAA rate and refusing to give them the AAA number! What is THAT all about?).

Anyway...that is my experience. Now, if I am not traveling on state business, I will definitely NOT use the tax exempt form and then I am rarely asked for my ID, but I always have it and am more than HAPPY to provide it...I am using that rate so of course they can take a copy of my state ID! But like the poster said, there are usually so many better rates than state anyway so that is rarely an issue when I am not on state business.


Dawn
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Old Mar 31, 05, 10:23 am
  #54  
 
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I work for the federal government. I've always assumed that it was inappropriate and unethical to book a government rate when traveling on leisure...but from what I'm reading others do this all the time...am I wrong? Don't get me wrong, I'd love to do it, I just am very sensititive about this because I work for a political entity, not 'civil service.'
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Old Mar 31, 05, 10:43 am
  #55  
 
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Very good question....

Originally Posted by MFLetou
I work for the federal government. I've always assumed that it was inappropriate and unethical to book a government rate when traveling on leisure...but from what I'm reading others do this all the time...am I wrong? Don't get me wrong, I'd love to do it, I just am very sensititive about this because I work for a political entity, not 'civil service.'
Dear MFLetou:

Very, very good question. I worked for the State for years and I would always hear of people doing this and thought it was, pehaps unethical, odd anyway. Here is what I have found.

I started to call hotels and ask them..."I'm a state employee....but I am not on state business, can I get the state rate"? I always get a "yes" if that rate is available.

I've also had it explained to me by Hilton reps that it is just a rate like any other, Entertainment Rate, AAA Rate, Corp Rate, State Rate, Fed Rate, etc. They either have those rates available or not. And you qualify because you are employed by the government. Not necessary on state business.

I don't think it is unethical in the least...it is not taking any money away from the government. And as many posters have stated, it is surely not the lowest rate in many cases. But I no longer feel that it is in any way unethical.

When I make reservations for out of state, I always ask them if I may book the governmental rate since I am out of state. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Arizona and Nevada have always required you to be a resident, so I can't use it there. But I always tell them I'm NOT on state business to make sure they are aware so I don't have any surprises when I check in. And again, no taxpayers are feeling the pain of this because it is not costing the government any money.

Interestingly enough, within the last year of so, Federal Laws now actually have on the books that federal employees CAN MAINTAIN their own travel perks, so long as there is no additional fee to the government. I wish the State would put this in statutes somewhere because our accounting office still wants all of our Southwest Rapid Reward tickets that we earn. They haven't figured out a politically correct way to request our points earned through the hotels...yet! Argh....

Dawn
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Old Mar 31, 05, 11:43 am
  #56  
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Originally Posted by jmd001
(Sure wish the Hilton web folks would provide a means for putting my AAA number in my profile. What pain to have to keyboard it in every time. Have suggested it twice; no response.)
Heading slightly off topic, no argument this is something that the web folks should fix. However until they do fix it, simply type your AAA number into your favorite word processor be it MS Word, Wordperfect, or other. Save the file with a simple name like "AAA".

Then assuming that you've got a Windows operating system, open and close the file a few times until it shows up on your "Recent Documents" list. From that point on when looking for prices on Hilton, just quickly open that AAA document from the Recent list, hit "CTRL-A" to highlight the number, then hit "CTRL-C" to copy the number. Now flip back to the resevation page, click once in the AAA box and hit "CTRL-V" to paste the number.

It does require a few extra steps, but at least IMHO it's easier than finding my bloody card and then typing the number in by hand everytime. Hopefully one day Hilton will fix this bug, but until then I'll keep doing it this way.

Ps. I can't give you the steps, but I know that something similar can be done if you're using a MAC.
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Old Mar 31, 05, 4:47 pm
  #57  
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You don't necessarily have to be a government employee to qualify for govt rates. In most cases, government contractors also qualify. Some properties will specifically exclude contractors from govt rate elegibility. My company does a lot of govt contract work, so I have a special ID card that states that I am elegible for govt rates. I use this often when the govt rates are the lowest available.

I have been "carded" more often than what others have posted, though. I think it makes a difference where you are staying. For example, when I stay in NYC, I probably get carded 75% of the time. I think this is because the govt rates are usually way below the standard rates there, and so there is more incentive for people to try to abuse it.

I have also used govt rates at properties that specifically exclude contractors, but have never had a problem, even when they card me.
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Old Mar 31, 05, 6:23 pm
  #58  
 
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I am rarely asked for ID when traveling for business, but when you are handing them a credit card that says United States of America for Offical Govenment Travel Only, it is pretty obvious that I am an employee. I had person at a DT start to ask and then looked at the credit card and then said "nevermind."

We are required to use the Gov't credit card when on official business. On the other hand, when I have booked for personal travel and had them an AMEX card, once in a while I am asked for ID. Most hotel chains only require a person to be an employee, but once in a while the terms require both to be an employee and to be on official business.

For airfares it is not a matter of ethics, we are prohibited from using government contract airfares for personal travel. For hotels, our ethics trainers always tell us that we may use Government rates at hotels, if the hotel allows it.

YMMV
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Old Apr 1, 05, 9:30 am
  #59  
 
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I find it varies depending on the property. I have a state university badge, which I sometimes have to explain makes me a state gov't employee, even though it seems pretty obvious.

Some properties only give gov't rates to federal or military employees. Some have special discounts for state gov't employees of *only that state.* Most, however, are pretty general.
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Old Apr 1, 05, 9:46 am
  #60  
 
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State rates for flights....

Originally Posted by SkiMerlin
I am rarely asked for ID when traveling for business, but when you are handing them a credit card that says United States of America for Offical Govenment Travel Only, it is pretty obvious that I am an employee. I had person at a DT start to ask and then looked at the credit card and then said "nevermind."

We are required to use the Gov't credit card when on official business. On the other hand, when I have booked for personal travel and had them an AMEX card, once in a while I am asked for ID. Most hotel chains only require a person to be an employee, but once in a while the terms require both to be an employee and to be on official business.

For airfares it is not a matter of ethics, we are prohibited from using government contract airfares for personal travel. For hotels, our ethics trainers always tell us that we may use Government rates at hotels, if the hotel allows it.

YMMV
Correct....we could never use gov't rate for airlines. It would be impossible for us anyway...we must book this part of our travel through our approved travel company and it is a direct bill...so this would nearly be impossible.

But they still want our SWRR tickets that we earn....argh....!

Dawn
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