» Posted by on Jan 17, 2015 in Hotels | 0 comments

FedRooms is the only official government-wide, government sponsored lodging program initiated and managed by GSA (General Services Administration) to outsource the government hotel program to a contractor.  This is in support of the President’s Management Agenda (to simplify end-to-end travel for the Federal employee).  FedRooms is a streamlined and efficient lodging program designed to bring significant government-wide savings.  FedRooms gives the government an opportunity to save $365 million dollars annually, saving the Treasury a possible $46,000,000.00. FedRooms is available to government travelers, and at no cost to the agency.  FedRooms is available to all federal and military employees as well.

FedRooms is a lodging program that travelers are encouraged to use, primarily because rates are at or below the per diem rate.  It is currently not mandatory to select a FedRooms lodging property, but the Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) requires that the traveler must give first consideration to using a FedRooms property because of the value of the FedRooms rates and many associated benefits.  FedRooms is able to negotiate the best hotel rates on behalf of the government.

There are many benefits to using FedRooms:  FedRooms rates are always at or below the per diem rate.  There are no hidden costs or penalties attached to the FedRooms rate.  There is no charge for early check-out.  There are over 10,000 hotels located in high demand travel locations that are close to the places Federal travelers visit most frequently.  Most of the major hotel chains are included.  Travelers may collect hotel award points on every room night.  Travelers may cancel reservations by 4p.m. (or later) on the day of arrival without penalty.  There are no deposits needed to reserve the rooms.  FedRooms rates may also be used for leisure travel at selected properties*.  FedRooms hotels may have last room availability and some amenities.  FedRooms rate can also be used by federal travelers for small groups and meetings of up to 25 people at selected properties*.  (* These rates are available at select FedRooms  properties-see the advanced search at fedrooms.com).

FedRooms provides FTR compliant hotel rooms for federal government travelers while on official business.  Hotels in the FedRooms program are FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency ) and ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990) compliant, they have at least a two star Mobil Travel Guide or American Automobile Association (AAA) rating, they accept government credit cards and other forms of payment.  (To become AAA Approved, the hotel must meet 27 basic requirements, covering comfort, cleanliness and safety).  They offer more than 5,000 hotels in more than 1,600 cities around the world, a significant increase from 636 hotels in 2004.  Also they offer the flexibility to add hotels in cities that meet traveler’s needs.  They have a well recognized help desk to answer program-related questions.  An example of some of the 90 hotel chains represented in the program is Wyndham, Double Tree, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, and Radisson Worldwide.  FedRooms offers an increasing number of international properties at or below per diem.

FedRooms accommodations are available through E-Gov Travel electronic systems (ETS).  FedRooms properties display first in the on-line booking engine.    You may search directly by telephone for a FedRoom property by asking the agent for a FedRooms property and the FedRooms rate.  Lastly, confirm that you have received a FedRooms rate.  You may also search the FedRooms website atwww.fedrooms.com.   Ninety percent of the partner hotels have a direct link to the booking site.   (Booking hotel accommodations either through the ETS or Travel Management Center (TMC) or Commercial Ticket Office (CTO) provides the government with booking data, that is lost if reservations are made directly with the hotel).  FedRooms cancellation of hotel accommodations is automatic if the reservations are made through the TMC/CTO or through ETS or Defense Travel System (DTS) when a trip is cancelled.

There are significant differences between the FedRooms rate and the often referred to as “government rate” or “federal government rate” or “military rate”, these rates often include hidden fees and costly penalties.  These government rates are unmanaged.  The FedRooms rate is guaranteed to be at or below per diem, the government rate is not.  The FedRooms rate ensures the travelers can cancel a reservation until 4p.m. on the day of arrival without penalty.  The government rate does not.  The FedRooms rate promises the travelers will not be charged for checking out before their check-out date.  The government rate does not.

GSA has partnered with CW Government Travel, Inc.  of Minneapolis, MN to manage the government wide lodging program.  CW offers its expertise by providing program management, marketing and communications, and continued expansion of the government wide lodging program.

By: Kathy Runion

The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.

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