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Question about Government Rate at hotels

271 552 February 14, 2011 at 10:39 AM in Travel & Vacations (2)
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I'm trying to get some clarification about "government rates" at hotels.

Do you know if most places are usually sticklers for how this is interpreted?

My husband and I both employed at a public state university, funded by tax dollars. Would that count at most places?

I did find this description on best western's site, which would make me think we qualify, but I have not found the same wording on other sites:

Who Qualifies

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

Thanks in advance for any experiences you can share!

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#2
Technically, the government rate is supposed to be used when traveling on a work related trip, as it is a rate negotiated by the federal government. When I worked at a bank (member of federal reserve) we had cards that said we were eligible.

In reality, I believe it is rarely even asked about. It is usually not a huge discount off the rack rate.
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#3
Thanks so much for the reply! I thought so too, but when I looked online at various hotels, several said it was fine for business OR leisure purposes. I'm not sure if that's a new thing or not to help with business.

At this particular hotel, it takes the rate from $109 to $69 per night. I don't know the difference is so huge bc you're right, normally there isn't a big difference.
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#4
I use the government rate alot for leisure purposes, I am a Fed Gov't Employee and they have always asked for my Gov't ID when I check in.
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#5
Ok, so I want to update in case this helps anyone. I called the hotel to find out their policy.

Now, keep in mind this is a Howard Johnson, not a super expensive hotel or anything. BUT, they lady I spoke with put me on hold to check and said that as long as the university I work for is a public state university (which it is), that I qualify for the government rate. Again, at this hotel, it's almost half off of the online non government rate.

I just hope they don't try to say anything different when I check in. The only "id" i have is my university ID ....maybe I'll bring a paystub too since faculty and student IDs look identical.
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#6
I used to frequently travel when I worked as an admissions counselor at a public university and never ran into a problem with a government rate. I've used it for both business and personal travel. Just bring your university ID and a business card with you.

You also might want to check to see if your school has any negotiated rates with a hotel chain. These can frequently be even cheaper than a government rate.
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The government rate is for government employees and military personal. Just because your university receives gov funding doesn't make you a government employee. I would say that's a huge stretch.

The hotel will ask for some sort of ID and unless your ID says United States Government your rate could be rejected. Also hotels only hold a small number of rooms for government/military employees. So I mean if you're okay with taking a room away from them.

In the end I doubt the hotel will care and will honor the rate.
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#8
Quote from Cdub100
:
The government rate is for government employees and military personal. Just because your university receives gov funding doesn't make you a government employee. I would say that's a huge stretch.

The hotel will ask for some sort of ID and unless your ID says United States Government your rate could be rejected. Also hotels only hold a small number of rooms for government/military employees. So I mean if you're okay with taking a room away from them.

In the end I doubt the hotel will care and will honor the rate.
Thanks for your opinion. However, I was totally on the up and up with this. I called the hotel's corporate number (for Wyndham since that's who owns Howard Johnson) and asked them flat out. They put me on hold, came back and asked if my university is a public state university. I said yes (it is) and they told me no problem at all, that definitely qualifies.

When I got to the hotel I was asked for ID. I presented my university ID as well as my business card (since faculty and student IDs look the same). Again, no problem at all.

The rules may not be the same at all hotel chains, but I don't think I unfairly took anyone's room at all since I complied with the rules and was informed that I definitely qualify for the government rate. If I'm eligible to take advantage of these rates, I feel no guilt at all in doing so. This saved me about $50 a night, which was a big deal for me for three nights.
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