As an employee of a state university in Ohio, and a loyal Marriott customer (Gold level MR), I most often book a room at the state government rate. Lately, when booking online at Marriott's website, I've noticed that many properties only offer a federal government rate, not a state rate. Is this a trend at Marriott properties?
An excellent question and one that I think has not been asked before on Insiders. Here's the government rate homepage on Marriott.com, which details (somewhat) the intricacies of getting the government rate discount (when you qualify).
Here's some of the quirks in that rate:
- At times there is a small script on a reservation details page that requires you be traveling on official business, and in some cases that you present official orders to prove it.
- Most government stays require the use of the CAC card or other government ID when checking in. Use of a government issued credit card seems to be a suitable substitute for stays.
- Marriott at times discounts the rack rate up to 50% for government travelers, so the rate is capacity controlled: it disappears as the hotel fills up, and rather quickly.
- In a few instances at various locations state government rates are lower that the federal rates, for some reason (perhaps per diem differences are the reason?)
- State government rates seem to be few and far between.
All this being the case I'd call a property directly and inquire about government rates with them. Can't hurt. Good luck finding the rate in any case.
I agree with steppingstones. The best solution is to call the property directly. I have done that at times when the only rate showing was the federal as opposed to the state rate. I have always been told that they will honor either state or federal ID at check-in. It is, however, up to individual property, I suspect.
Thanks Steppingstone and NH...
Years ago, I called Marriott's 800 number, asking about the government rate. I was told it didn't matter whether state or federal employee, it would be honored. It's only recently that properties have begun to regulate this. As with you, I usually call the property directly, and have never been denied the government rate, even if only the federal rate is posted on the online reservation webpage. Just seems a hassle to have to call to get rate, and think that NOT posting a state government rate on the reservation page is a new strategy for Marriott.
I have been denied the Federal Government Rate. I am a county employee and travel about 200 nights a year for business. I am a Marriott Platinum Premier for about last 5 years. I am also a lifetime platinum. For about the last year I have been denied the Federal rate at more and more properties. Since the beginning of the year it is happening with more frequency. More and more they are not offering state rates at many properties. I was told more than once they have decided not to offer the state rate at their hotel. They can no longer accept county/state employees at the federal rate because, according to several different properties, Marriott Corporate is auditing their use of the government rate. It is really a shame because what this means for me is staying at Hyatt. This has changed where I stay. It makes me very sad because I have been staying at the Marriott's for so long. I am not sure why they can't just put forth a few state rate rooms even if they have to raise the rate. I have complete control of when and where I stay. I will make reservations based on when they have rooms available at my rate. You would think this would be helpful to the hotel, since I would be filling rooms that would normally go empty. I really miss Marriott, but I have to travel and I have to use the Government rate. I am averaging 14 nights a month at Hyatt since I have been denied at Marriott. I have been denied Fed rate at 10 different Marriott properties (9 in California and 1 in Colorado) since the first of the year.
This is sad!
Why do the government rates exceed any other rates?
Why not give a break to real gov't workers and help the taxpayer's. Why do gov't rates soar above non-gov't rates? These people may be Veterans or current Service people, they deserve a financial break!
Would you agree?
I have not done this for a while so can not comment on availability but the rate was always based on the per diem rate, you paid exactly what your received for travel. This was a great help to travel very comfortably and not pay out of pocket. Additionally there are occasions when rooms are resevered of conferences and may be available at government rate for the conference but not show up individually, all reservered, so you request the government rate for the conference.
This gets to be a pain but then when you look at some of the places available at the government rate it is worth all the trouble.
Many times the travel folks require a person to book at this rate, effectively not allowing them to use a more reasonable one! In the case of the federal rate it is often audited by the USG to ensure that folks are using it, And in the complex world of government regs this makes perfect sense (to them, not to me). I used to book rooms for people who preferred not to be known as government employees (use your imagination as to who) but were and then complained that the rates I got them were higher than government rates!