Travel

Booking using Government rates?

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  • Feb 27th, 2013 9:05 pm
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Newbie
Feb 15, 2008
16 posts
Edmonton

Booking using Government rates?

I've always been iffy about this and not sure if anyone else has tried:

when booking a rental car, hotel or whatever there's always the option that a government rate is available. some sites specify that it is for gov employees travelling on business while some just say that you need to show a gov ID card..

has anyone booked using the government rate for leisure and non-business related trips?? what have been your experiences?
18 replies
Sr. Member
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Dec 16, 2006
636 posts
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I did it before and I just booked another one today. 3 years ago with Choice Hotels. Last year was with Marriott in Fort Lauderdale. Marriott did ask for my ID at check-in ( I do have one ). I booked one today for the summer at the Miami Crowne Plaza Hotel. When I was booking today, she mentioned something about official business, then I said I am going on a cruise. She said to make sure I bring my identification. :D I am officially going on a cruise :cheesygri
STERCUS ACCIDIT :cheesygri
Deal Addict
Jan 2, 2005
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You can get the government rate as long as you show or give the front desk your business card.
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Jun 19, 2006
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"government" rates are often higher than the 'discounted' rates that are available if you shop around for many travel products, ie: hotels, rental cars, airfares.
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May 10, 2005
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Ottawa
At any time you can be asked for your travel orders and if you do not have them, you will be charged the "rack" rate. The chance that the hotel will do this is dependent on what the season or situation is. If the place is booked, you may be asked for travel directives. I have seen this and watched a "public servant" try to explain why he was booking a Government buisness rate while on vacation.
I am not being self righteous about this but I don't think that you have the right to take advantage of the arrangement the Government made plus, it is against the rules and regulations under the terms and conditions which you are employed. The optics of a guy in Florida in shorts and a Hawaiian shirt with two ankle biters and a Wife in tow claiming to be on Government business just don't look good.
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Dec 16, 2006
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Who Qualifies?

* All government employees (federal, state, county, provincial and local governments).
* Military personnel/civilian military personnel.
* Foreign government and military personnel.
* Tax funded hospital and university personnel.
* Cost reimbursable contractors.

Program Benefits

* Best Western hotels offer low hotel discount rates based on U.S. government per diem for government employees, military personnel or traveling on official business or leisure.
* Best Western Government/Military discount hotel rates vary by date and location.

----------------------

Marriott Government & Military Per Diem Rate Qualification Guidelines
March 2007

Who is Eligible for Marriott's Government Rates?

Canadian Federal Government Rates Eligible

Note: At most Marriott hotels the government rate is available to eligible guests regardless of whether they are traveling on business or pleasure. However, some hotels may only make the government per diem rate available to guests traveling on official business. Please check the hotel’s rate description for details. If the rate description states that the rate is only for guests traveling on official government business, please be prepared to present travel orders when checking in.

To qualify for government per diem rates, guests must present a valid form of identification at check-in
----------------------

This is a cut and paste from Best Western and Marriott. It states that discount applies to leisure travel as well. I think same applies to Choice Hotels. Most sites are "silent" on official/leisure, InterContinental is official business specific.
STERCUS ACCIDIT :cheesygri
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May 10, 2005
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tataynik wrote:
Mar 1st, 2008 6:01 pm
Who Qualifies?

* All government employees (federal, state, county, provincial and local governments).
* Military personnel/civilian military personnel.
* Foreign government and military personnel.
* Tax funded hospital and university personnel.
* Cost reimbursable contractors.

Program Benefits

* Best Western hotels offer low hotel discount rates based on U.S. government per diem for government employees, military personnel or traveling on official business or leisure.
* Best Western Government/Military discount hotel rates vary by date and location.

----------------------

Marriott Government & Military Per Diem Rate Qualification Guidelines
March 2007

Who is Eligible for Marriott's Government Rates?

Canadian Federal Government Rates Eligible

Note: At most Marriott hotels the government rate is available to eligible guests regardless of whether they are traveling on business or pleasure. However, some hotels may only make the government per diem rate available to guests traveling on official business. Please check the hotel
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Dec 16, 2006
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Mar 2nd, 2008 12:58 pm
Not to prolong the obvious but my point was that as a Government employee you are obliged to perform under the rules of the Canadian Government which states
"The negotiated rates are to be used only by the Identified Users while on official Government business travel authorized by Federal, Provincial or Territorial Governments and paid or reimbursed from public funds in accordance with Government Travel Policy."
If Marriott choose to give you the equivalent rate to get your business, fine, but if you book requesting Government rates, you are working against the rules the Treasury Board has set out and you can be held responsible.
Not to prolong the obvious, get off your high horse and maybe you will be able to read "pleasure". When I go on "official" trips, I have to book my hotel through the agency's intranet site. Nobody should have any problems when a hotel chain decides to give discounts to govt. employees, CAA members, senior citizens, etc. That is their call. If I am eligible, why would that be wrong?

To OP, if you are a government employee, go ahead and ask for the discount. Just be truthful and tell them you are on vacation, like I told them I will be going on a cruise on my first response to your original post.
STERCUS ACCIDIT :cheesygri
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tataynik wrote:
Mar 2nd, 2008 2:51 pm
Not to prolong the obvious, get off your high horse and maybe you will be able to read "pleasure". When I go on "official" trips, I have to book my hotel through the agency's intranet site. Nobody should have any problems when a hotel chain decides to give discounts to govt. employees, CAA members, senior citizens, etc. That is their call. If I am eligible, why would that be wrong?

To OP, if you are a government employee, go ahead and ask for the discount. Just be truthful and tell them you are on vacation, like I told them I will be going on a cruise on my first response to your original post.
As I said in the beginning, "not being self righteous about this", I just wanted to let you know that under the "rules" it is not endorsed. Then again, thanks for perpetuating the "civil servant living off the trough" myth. ;)
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Dec 16, 2006
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Pete_Coach wrote:
Mar 2nd, 2008 7:19 pm
As I said in the beginning, "not being self righteous about this", I just wanted to let you know that under the "rules" it is not endorsed. Then again, thanks for perpetuating the "civil servant living off the trough" myth. ;)
You are welcome ;) , I did not know that the food on your table is coming off the profits of hotel chains and is greatly affected by my taking advantage of a discount that is being openly offered to me.
STERCUS ACCIDIT :cheesygri
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Apr 16, 2006
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162 wrote:
Feb 29th, 2008 10:11 pm
You can get the government rate as long as you show or give the front desk your business card.
+1

I actually don't have any business cards, but I show them my Government Photo ID Access Card and I bring a copy of my paycheck just in case.

I've used the government discount rate twice so far, each time during peak summer season. I was asked for proof of employment with the Federal Government both times. I simply said that I was here to check in, showed them my government ID and they gave me the government rate. They did not ask if I was there for business or pleasure in either case.

I went to a Holiday Inn and a Marriot - the Marriot was much nicer and I was given absolutely no problems at the front desk. The Holiday Inn was not as nice in comparison and the front desk gave me a bit of a hassle - but in the end it all worked out.

I think that so long as you don't go abusing this privilege, you'll be OK.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 15, 2006
5948 posts
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Toronto
The hotels are making money whether you use government rate or other rates. They want your business.

On the other hand, very often the government rate is not cheaper than AAA or AARP, or other rates. In the DC area, government rate is almost always higher than other discount rates. For Holiday Inn (and their affiliates), sometimes the Entertainment rate is the best.

The travel agencies that negotiated rates for government or corporations, almost always offer the same rates whether you travel on business or leisure. In fact, they want you to use their rates even if you are not travelling on business. To them, it helps to increase the count of rooms booked thru their negotiated rates. That shows more buying power for them, and helps them when they negotiate for future business.

Note many hotels in the US include those people who work on contracts for the government, to qualify for government rates.

Bottom line, they want your business.
Newbie
Oct 9, 2006
8 posts
I've booked the government rate 6 or 7 times while booking online, only once have I been asked to provide ID when I am checking in (I do have ID). Everytime I've checked in with a wife and several times with two little kids in tow.

I've booked Holiday Inn Express, Hilton Garden Inn, Day's Inn, Quality Inn and Farfield Inn saving anywhere between $20.00 and a $100 a night ($100 at the Hilton Garden Inn in California). None of these hotels stated in the small print that your booking had to be for government business, just that you had to be an goverment employee.
Sr. Member
Jul 23, 2003
829 posts
4 upvotes
Lindsay
What's this?? An RFDer needing government rates??Sounds like an oxymoron to me..
RFD importer of 2007 Nissan Maxima..savings of 14k
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Jun 28, 2003
9389 posts
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Ottawa
Is government rate cheaper than Priceline ? I am going on a cruise in December and most possibly will stay in Miami for at least 1 night, if not more. I would prefer not using my government badge because this is not a business trip but obviously nothing is written in stone
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