A thread on Flyertalk caught my eye the other day and I thought you may be interested.  It seems that Marriotts are now enforcing the actual rules when it comes to allowing customers to use the Federal Government rate.  It’s not that people with no association to the military are trying to use that discounted rate.  These are military contractors who are typically are required to bill the Government no more than Per Diem for their travel.  However, hotel chains usually have a separate rate for Federal Government contractors which is sometimes higher than Per Diem.  You would think that the hotels would know those rules and match the Per Diem rate, but maybe they think they could get a few more bucks from contractors.  So they contractors try to slip one by and often do.

I have to admit that I am very rarely asked to show ID to provide that I am military when staying at a hotel booked under the Government Rate which clearly specifies that you need to show a valid ID.  Laziness on the part of the check-in staff?  Maybe, but maybe they just look at me and think “this guy’s got to be military with an excellent haircut like that”.  Sounds like I’ll be showing my ID from now on, at least at Marriotts.  It will be interesting to see if other hotel chains follow.

Why does this affect you?  Well just like each flight only has  a certain number of seats available for 25,000 miles, hotels only set aside a certain number of rooms per night at the Government Rate.  If someone books all those rooms you are out of luck.  I know that I have sometimes had to get a room far away from where I wanted due to no Federal Government rooms being available.

Read the whole thread here and let us know what you think.

Posted by glenn | 9 Comments

9 responses to “Marriott Cracks Down on Government Rate Users”

  1. Matt says:

    As an employee of BAH and working with about 9 diff agencies I can say that there is no way to tell the diff between contractor/FTE from just an ID. They use to list contractor on them but all of mine have not stated that so it is the same badge as an FTE. HR for most agencies also do not print out travel authorization forms you just submit receipts so that is likely out.

  2. L says:

    I get asked most of the time for my creds when checking in. I want to know what is the crap about having a “gov’t rate” that is $100+ over the GSA per diem. I am struggling to find a decent hotel near my meeting in LA within the GSA per diem. We may have to stay near LAX to find a room.

  3. Joe says:

    Marriott…not for retired military. After six years as a platinum rewards member, made a reservation at the Marriott Marquis in NYC at the military rate. Upon check in, showed my retired military ID and sorry active duty only. What?? So you are telling me that a newly enlisted troop, who definitely deserves a discount, gets one but ,e with 27 years service does not. Called the platinum desk and they said sorry, blame the USG for that. Don’t buy that the USG doesn’t tell Marriott how to price their rooms.

  4. jack says:

    Im not in the government. But i always get the discount. Nobody ever Checks.

  5. James says:

    Maybe consider enrolling in an ethics class, Jack. Taking advantage of a benefit you’re not entitled to is pretty low.

  6. Joe says:

    I just stayed at the Marriott Marquis in NYC, I had the same exact problem as another military retiree. The lady at the counter asked me for my ID, I showed her and she said it’s only for active duty! I replied I could understand if I didn’t retire, but after serving on active duty for 24 years you would think that you earned the right to a discount as if I was still on active duty. I was very upset, and I told the lady I was stuck like chuck. She squared me away, and I thanked her. I will not be using the Marriott in the future unless they add military retirees to the policy. I felt completely embarrassed when I was checking in.

  7. John says:

    I call BS to your comment James.
    Every other chain extends military benefits to retirees.
    There is no such thing as retired anyway. When Uncle wants you
    your butt is recalled right off that so called retiree list. Say it tight in
    Your separation orders.

    • Rob says:

      Wrong, John. Every other chain does not. Hilton, for example. I am retired as well, but as much as I would love to have a discount or other bennie extended as a thank you for the service, I don’t take the entitlement attitude that so many seem to have, including those here.

  8. Susan says:

    Hilton hotels absolutely do extend their military discount to retired service members and their families. I too prefer to patronize them rather than Marriott and will continue to do so unless they change their policy. It’s not the “Bennie” or discount that matters and I don’t see it as an entitlement. It’s simply nice that the sacrifices of the service member and families are appreciated in some small way.

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