What is life if not a never-ending series of moral dilemmas – particularly when it comes to travel.
Nicole Q faced one such dilemma head-on recently when booking a hotel for a trip to visit a client (henceforth referred to as Client B). She has a favorite hotel in the area that she wanted to book, but the rate was 25% higher than her company would allow. However … she has another corporate client (Client A) in the same area that offers a corporate rate at the hotel, which would bring the rate down sufficiently.
Now, as Nicole Q isn’t visiting Client A she didn’t consider using that rate. But then…
The hotel reservations did not want to offer me a price within my company’s policy, but suggested – kind of off-the-record – that I could use the corporate rate of Client A, if I wanted to.
This sounds attractive, but I would not want my Client A to know I’m using their rates. So, here is my question:
Do hotels usually report to their corporate clients who uses these rates and when?
So attractive is the lure of a 25% discount that is has Nicole Q wondering if she might be able to get away with this, possibly minor, moral transgression.
Fellow travelers overwhelmingly advise against it:
Personally, I would never do anything that may compromise the integrity of a client. It could result in anything from embarrassment to losing your client, even losing your job if it went far enough. ~KVE1005
Nicole, if you don’t want them to know, don’t do it. I don’t think you’ve asked the right question, to be frank, you should ask yourself what will happen if they do find out…
Persist in asking the hotel to give you a lower rate, pay the difference yourself or use another hotel. I wouldn’t take the risk. ~RojBlake
Jeopardising a client for a few bucks doesn’t make sense to me. ~Swissdiver
Not everyone sees the dilemma in such black-and-white terms however:
Mostly it depends on the elite level you have with the hotel. They can and do check affiliation at check-in commonly if you have no status. When I was coached by a reservations agent and I asked about proof of affiliation I was told “Sir. We do not ask or frequent customers.” ~GeoMedic
Corporate rates are not so magic. Nobody really cares. Often it pays to ask for a corporate rate even if your company doesn’t have one. On checking in I was once offered to take advantage of the corporate rate. The clerk told me I just had to produce any business card, not even mine. ~Jean-Pierre D
I don’t actually think the corporation would care if you use their rates. That just means more room nights under their name so more leverage in future negotiation. It’s the hotel that cares about such misuse. ~Sammyfloyd
Obviously the safest route for Nicole Q would be to refuse the hotel’s offer to use Client A’s corporate rate. But what would you suggest she do? Have you used corporate rates “inappropriately” when booking hotels? And, if so, how did it work out … and did/do you feel morally deficient?
Read the thread in its entirety: Using someone else’s corporate rate…