Government Rate and Teachers

Reply

Old Aug 27, 06, 11:48 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 7
Government Rate and Teachers

Hello all,

I know that this topic has been discussed before (I've already done a couple searches), but I cant seem to find a definite answer. Do I qualify for the Marriott government rate as a public school teacher in California? Most of the answers I've found lead me to believe I do, but I wanted to double check with all you experts out there before making a reservation.

Thanks much!
SJSman is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 27, 06, 11:59 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: BOS
Programs: United No Status Anymore, Marriott Lifetime Platinum, Hilton Silver, SPG Blue
Posts: 218
I was nervous about this too, but it has worked for me. I have only tried it when the government rate is for a state employee (as opposed to a federal gov't employee), and since as public school teachers we technically are employed/licensed by the state, it doesn't seem to be an issue. What's great about doing this is sometimes gov't rates are significantly cheaper!

I haven't been asked for an ID yet, but I keep my school ID w/ me anyway, so I am sure that will work if asked.
GoCubs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 27, 06, 12:34 pm
  #3  
Marriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Programs: (MR & SPG) Lifetime Platinum Premere Elite
Posts: 430
In those searches you probably saw my experiences. Actually had a property (JW Orlando) tell me that Teachers did NOT qualify for the state goverment rate, and would not honor it. Took it all the way to the GM, and they now specify that in the rate rules. Rather than accept rack, I ended up paying a M11 deal that had been offered for like $10 more.

Did not get clear answers for Marriott Corporate as to a chain policy.

Also (I think it may have been Socrates???) I remember someone on the board saying that some of the hotels reserve that rate for goverment employees traveling on business only.

I have used it on occasion since that incident, but it is rare to see it as an extremely good deal.

YMMV.
jonathansullivan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 27, 06, 12:52 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Programs: Marriott Lifetime Platinum, Hilton Honors Diamond,
Posts: 439
The hotel I stay at most frequently is near a state capital. The CSRs have recently been requested to photocopy the government ID and if you are staying on a weekend, show proof you are conducting official business on the weekend (i.e. document from supervisor.) NO picture ID and/or no document indicating official business = no room. The CSR's have been apolgetic about the new policy but, I appreciate it. This hotel is extremely close to where I conduct some of my work and it is frustrating when I have to stay on the outskirts of the city because all of the government rate available rooms have been absconded by those who have no business using the government rate. While others might be able to expense their room rate, no matter the charge, my employer mandates a cap on room and tax. If my regular hotel can't match the rate, I must find one that can or personally eat the extra expense (which I've done on a few occasions when no gov't rate was offered, I really needed the room and there were no other reasonable options.) And for what it is worth, when I travel on personal business, I don't reserve a room in advance using the government rate. It is just a personal ethics issue with me.
Copilot23 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Aug 27, 06, 7:06 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Silicon Valley
Programs: Starwood Platinum, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Silver
Posts: 960
My father is a high school principal and he has used gov't rates for years and NO ONE has ever suggested to him that educators do not qualify.

If a property balked I would ask them to honor the rate as a one time exception as the error was reasonable and in good faith.

Last edited by clarkef; Sep 5, 06 at 11:25 pm
clarkef is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 2, 06, 8:30 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: UA1K, HH Diamond, SPG Plat
Posts: 550
Govt rates are meant to be for official business travel only, and anything else is fraud in my opinion.
mazzer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 06, 11:25 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: A Browns fan (still?) working in PIT
Programs: US dirt (from CP), Marriott Rewards Gold, Hilton HHonors Diamond??, Avis First, Hertz #1 Club Gold
Posts: 346
My father was a principal as well, but he does have his principles -- like if it's not something to which you're entitled, you don't take it. IMO, it's neither a reasonable error nor an action taken in good faith if you have to go out of your way to check the "government rate" box.
bankingconsultant is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 06, 12:03 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: ORD/MDW
Programs: MR Gold, DCL Silver, RSSC Silver
Posts: 775
The GOV rate generally is NOT restricted to official travel. When a property wishes to restrict the rate to official travel (or to certain types of government employees), it makes a notation in the rate rules. If the rate rules indicate that it is restricted to "federal and state employees only," a teacher who works for a local government entity is excluded.
Big Mo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 06, 12:40 pm
  #9  
Marriott Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: St. Petersburg, FL
Programs: (MR & SPG) Lifetime Platinum Premere Elite
Posts: 430
Originally Posted by Big Mo
The GOV rate generally is NOT restricted to official travel. When a property wishes to restrict the rate to official travel (or to certain types of government employees), it makes a notation in the rate rules. If the rate rules indicate that it is restricted to "federal and state employees only," a teacher who works for a local government entity is excluded.
Where the line is blured is that Teachers are actually state employees, paid by the state. (Or at least are in our county).

I think its safe for all of us to agree that this is a gray area that Marriott has not chosen to make black or white. (except in cases where it excludes specific folks in the rate rules box)
jonathansullivan is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 06, 12:57 pm
  #10  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LTPP, HH Diamond
Posts: 45,927
Originally Posted by mazzer
Govt rates are meant to be for official business travel only, and anything else is fraud in my opinion.
Actually, this varies widely by hotel and by government entity, regardless of your opinion.

Part of the challenge is that there isn't one Marriott corporate answer. A hotel adjacent to a state capitol building might have a specific contract with one government entity for a set rate and number of rooms that requires it to strictly enforce a provision requiring an ID and a form-letter authorizing use of the rate.

A different hotel miles away from any major government installation might choose to load a generic rate under the "government" bucket and offer it as a small courtesy discount to anyone attached to any form of public service.
pinniped is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 06, 2:41 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Detroit, Michigan USA
Programs: Marriott lifetime plat prem, Delta FO, Hilton gold
Posts: 5,289
Some properties have one specific federal gov't rate and one for state gov't; sometime higher, sometimes lower, depending on the federal and state per diems in the locale. At one time you could count on any available government rate at any Marriott to be no higher than the federal per diem in the particular locale. This is, unfortunately, no longer true. Instead, at some properties the government rate has become just another discount, not pegged to the local per diem. If the goverment traveler books this rate, without double-checking the local per diem, he/she could end up shelling out for government business travel out of his/her own pocket. Even worse, few federal government travelers will book at this over per-diem government rate, leaving the rate to be used by folks seeking discounts who don't mind impersonating government employees at checkin.

There is a contracted government rate available at many properties called the "Fedrooms" rate. By contract, this rate must be no higher than local per diem, and must have same day cancellation no earlier than 4 p.m. While I've seen this rate available at Hiltons, I've yet to see a Marriott family property offer this rate. www.fedrooms.com
ohmark is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 06, 4:15 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Some place in this wonderful world (usually at 39,000 ft in seat 1C)
Programs: CO Gold Elite / NW Gold Elite
Posts: 13,748
Originally Posted by Big Mo
The GOV rate generally is NOT restricted to official travel.
I'm sorry but this is simple not correct
socrates is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 06, 4:37 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: ORD/MDW
Programs: MR Gold, DCL Silver, RSSC Silver
Posts: 775
Post #10 is spot on, despite "opinions" to the contrary. It's true that certain properties choose to restrict the GOV rate to certain entities and/or to official business. That is their right, but it's not the general rule. These properties state the limitations in their rate rules, and an alert front desk worker will refuse to check you in without proper papers. Unfortunately, many front desk workers are not particularly alert.

In my experience, most properties that offer a government rate do not provide any restrictions. I always check with Marriott to see whether I qualify before booking the GOV rate. I qualify most of the time, even when I'm traveling on non-state business. If the restrictions are unclear, I check with the specific property. The statements in my posts are based on this actual experience at scores of properties across the country.
Big Mo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 06, 5:53 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: UA1K, HH Diamond, SPG Plat
Posts: 550
Originally Posted by Big Mo
It's true that certain properties choose to restrict the GOV rate to certain entities and/or to official business. That is their right, but it's not the general rule.
This is plain wrong. The entire point of the Govt rate program is for official travel. Marriott, Hilton, Starwood and other chains have this as their policy. That front desk or hotel staff do always enforce it is the problem. Why should a GS15 who makes $140,000 or more get a discounted room for leisure travel when some who makes only $40,000 does not?

When someone who is not on official travel steals a Govt rate room, it sometimes means that someone who is on official travel cannot get a room at the per-diem rate. In many agencies that means that the traveller on official business must pay the difference.
mazzer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 5, 06, 7:15 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: ORD/MDW
Programs: MR Gold, DCL Silver, RSSC Silver
Posts: 775
Unsupported statements about Marriott's policies are not persuasive, particularly when they fly in the face of actual evidence that many Marriott properties regularly encourage government employees who are not traveling on official business to book the GOV rate. Marriott has every right to deny the GOV rate to unofficial travel across the board but instead has decided to leave it up to individual properties. If this were not true, Marriott's general policy statements would be different, and the various "rate rules" described in this thread would not exist.

By simply saying "no" without offering any evidence, posters in this thread are not disagreeing with this argument; they're just being disagreeable.

What Hilton, Starwood, etc. choose to do is not relevant to this discussion but, FWIW, my co-workers regularly receive offers from various hotel chains offering them special rates on leisure travel as a courtesy to anyone attached to any form of public service.
Big Mo is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread