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?
Feb 29th, 2008 04:57 PM #1
- Join Date
- Feb 16th, 2008
Booking using Government rates?
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Feb 29th, 2008 05:07 PM #2
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. I am officially going on a cruise
Last edited by tataynik; Feb 29th, 2008 at 05:09 PM._______________
Feb 29th, 2008 05:11 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jan 3rd, 2005
You can get the government rate as long as you show or give the front desk your business card.
Feb 29th, 2008 05:22 PM #4
- Join Date
- Jun 20th, 2006
"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.
Mar 1st, 2008 08:27 AM #5
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.
Mar 1st, 2008 01:01 PM #6
* 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.
* 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
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.
Last edited by tataynik; Mar 1st, 2008 at 01:07 PM._______________
Mar 2nd, 2008 07:58 AM #7
"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.
Mar 2nd, 2008 09:51 AM #8
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.
Last edited by tataynik; Mar 2nd, 2008 at 09:55 AM._______________
Mar 2nd, 2008 02:19 PM #9
Mar 2nd, 2008 02:37 PM #10
Mar 2nd, 2008 03:14 PM #11
- Join Date
- Apr 17th, 2006
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.
Mar 3rd, 2008 10:42 AM #12
- Join Date
- Feb 16th, 2006
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.
Mar 3rd, 2008 09:14 PM #13
- Join Date
- Oct 10th, 2006
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.
Mar 5th, 2008 11:29 AM #14
- Join Date
- Jul 24th, 2003
What's this?? An RFDer needing government rates??Sounds like an oxymoron to me.._______________
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Mar 5th, 2008 07:57 PM #15
- Join Date
- Jun 29th, 2003
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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