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Government rate [General Discussion Thread]

Government rate [General Discussion Thread]

Old Feb 9, 07, 8:52 am
  #1  
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Government rate [General Discussion Thread]

I am a currently a federal employee. Can I legally book a hotel room at the government rate when on personal travel?
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Old Feb 9, 07, 9:17 am
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Yes, unless the room rate details say otherwise.
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Old Feb 9, 07, 9:29 am
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Originally Posted by mark31863 View Post
I am a currently a federal employee. Can I legally book a hotel room at the government rate when on personal travel?
How would anyone know? I'm assuming that you don't have travel orders when you are on official business
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Old Feb 9, 07, 9:40 am
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We normally have orders for travel, but in this case this is a family vacation that is not associated with official government business.
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Old Feb 9, 07, 10:41 am
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I've been ask to show govt ID, but I don't recall ever being ask to show travel orders. The only thing I do differently when on official travel is use the tax exempt form. I don't use it for personal travel, of course.

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Old Feb 9, 07, 11:15 am
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Usually, the only thing required is government ID. If the rate is restricted in any way or requires any specific forms, it will state this in the rate rules.
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Old Feb 9, 07, 11:40 am
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Yes, however, check the rate rules carefully and print them out. My mother is a US Goverment employee and she stayed at Helena, MT Fairfield for a night on a trip and had an experience. She booked the room noted that the rules did not limit travel to business or on orders. She checked in with no problems. She then went to check out and noticed that her bill had jumped by $20 and they also charged her an additional $11 for her sister as an extra person charge. She was advised that goverment rate is for business travel only and it is not leisure travel. Furthermore the manager advised her that she would need to pay with a government issued credit card.

My mother advised her that she had checked the rate rules and they did not state as such. The manager then offered to change her rate to the AAA rate which was $14 more but insisted on keeping the $11 extra person charge and also stated that those rules are not the rules of her property.
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Old Feb 9, 07, 12:01 pm
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Originally Posted by AvalancheZ71 View Post
Yes, however, check the rate rules carefully and print them out. My mother is a US Goverment employee and she stayed at Helena, MT Fairfield for a night on a trip and had an experience. She booked the room noted that the rules did not limit travel to business or on orders. She checked in with no problems. She then went to check out and noticed that her bill had jumped by $20 and they also charged her an additional $11 for her sister as an extra person charge. She was advised that goverment rate is for business travel only and it is not leisure travel. Furthermore the manager advised her that she would need to pay with a government issued credit card.

My mother advised her that she had checked the rate rules and they did not state as such. The manager then offered to change her rate to the AAA rate which was $14 more but insisted on keeping the $11 extra person charge and also stated that those rules are not the rules of her property.
That sounded pretty unrealistic that the hotel could get away with changing rules on someone after checkin, however out of curiosity I checked the hotels website and did a room check and sure enough ... the details for gov't rate at this property are as follows:

Rate Rules
Additional Information
Federal Employee/Military Business Rate
- This rate is for official business only, *no* leisure travel!
.
- Guest must pay with their government credit card.
.
- Current Federal Employee/Military ID required at checkin.
.
- If these requirements are not met, the reservation
will be changed to the Regular Rate. Thanks.



Given this clearly stated in the rules of the rate -- they were justified to charge a higher amount. In regards to the extra $11... not sure where they got that, as all the rates I checked were pretty much the same whether 1 or 4 people were in the room.
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Old Feb 9, 07, 12:05 pm
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I've never been issued a govt credit card...and frankly I prefer gettting my 5 points per dollar so have not asked for one.
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Old Feb 9, 07, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by mark31863 View Post
I am a currently a federal employee. Can I legally book a hotel room at the government rate when on personal travel?
No, the rate is available to federal/canadian government (and Military of both) traveling on official business
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Old Feb 9, 07, 3:08 pm
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Originally Posted by socrates View Post
No, the rate is available to federal/canadian government (and Military of both) traveling on official business
Socrates, I hesitate to question anything you say as to anything Marriott, but I don't believe this is true, except at properties which specifically so indicate. The Marriott government webpage says nothing about such rate being limited to government business. It begins with this: "Military Hotel Discounts and Government Hotel Discounts: We're honored to welcome government and military personnel as our special guests. Whether you're traveling across the country or around the world, most of our 2,700 Marriott hotels offer military hotel discounts and government hotel discounts - which are in most cases at or below your US Government per diem." Again, there is nothing on the webpage which limits such rates to official business.
http://marriott.com/specials/govtmil/default.mi

Here is a prior posting from an old thread with a response from Marriott customer service:

"Thank you for contacting Marriott. We appreciate the opportunity to provide you with information.

In order to be eligible for government discount rates, guests must be an active duty member of the military or current employee, of any level of local, county, state, or federal government within the United States. Supporting credentials will be required at the time that the guest checks in to the hotel. The rate is for use for business travel or pleasure (personal) travel.

While Government rates are available for hotels both in the U.S. as well as internationally, the availability of rooms offered at these rates will vary from location to location.

You may check the availability of the rooms offered at government discount rates using the Marriott.com website. For your convenience, the steps to guide you through the online reservation process are listed at the end of this email.

Please make sure to note the following terms and conditions:
- Government employees are limited to one (1) room per stay
- A limited number of rooms are available at the government rate
- Advance reservations are required
- Identification will be required at check-in
- The government rate cannot be used in conjunction with group travel or any other promotional offer

If we can be of further assistance, we invite you to reply to this email.

Thank you for choosing Marriott.

Regards,
Desiree Rutten
Marriott Internet Customer Care"
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=138547

Last edited by ohmark; Feb 9, 07 at 3:17 pm
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Old Feb 9, 07, 3:13 pm
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From my understanding, if you tell the hotel that you are on leisure and you request for the government fare, it's up to the hotel to grant it to you. 99% of hotels will grant it.
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Old Feb 9, 07, 5:58 pm
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Originally Posted by Tiojelly View Post
That sounded pretty unrealistic that the hotel could get away with changing rules on someone after checkin, however out of curiosity I checked the hotels website and did a room check and sure enough ... the details for gov't rate at this property are as follows:

Rate Rules
Additional Information
Federal Employee/Military Business Rate
- This rate is for official business only, *no* leisure travel!
.
- Guest must pay with their government credit card.
.
- Current Federal Employee/Military ID required at checkin.
.
- If these requirements are not met, the reservation
will be changed to the Regular Rate. Thanks.



Given this clearly stated in the rules of the rate -- they were justified to charge a higher amount. In regards to the extra $11... not sure where they got that, as all the rates I checked were pretty much the same whether 1 or 4 people were in the room.
That rate rule was placed in their after this incident. That is why the rule is so specific. However, since we are only talking about a few dollars, she did not put up that much of a fight. The rule was much more generic prior to that incident. I book most of her travel for her so I did read the rules before I booked that rate for her.
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Old Feb 9, 07, 6:58 pm
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I'm too lazy to look up the Federal Travel Regulation right now, but I believe you'll find that it states that you can book a government rate on leisure travel as long as the lodging provider allows it. Or at least that's what the lawyers tell us in our annual ethics review.

The only Marriott property I have ever stayed at that restricted their government rate to official business only was at the Southern Hills Marriott in Tulsa. It was clearly stated in the rules at booking, so I booked the lowest available non-government rate.
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Old Feb 9, 07, 8:52 pm
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Originally Posted by AvalancheZ71 View Post
That rate rule was placed in their after this incident. That is why the rule is so specific.
Some other hotels are very specific in their rules. Most aren't and, unless specified otherwise, I think they're available for business and leisure. My favorite rule is from the Fayetteville, NC Courtyard (near Fort Bragg/Pope AFB) which states:

**NOT PER DIEM**DISCOUNT OFF REGULAR RATE**
**VALID GOVERNMENT ID AND TRAVEL ORDERS REQUIRED!!**
* FRONT DESK WILL REQUEST A COPY OF TRAVEL ORDERS *

That's pretty clear but who reads those rules except those on this board!
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