Acceptance into DoD Preferred is for the calendar year only. Hotels must re-apply each year and acceptance for the next year is not guaranteed. Additionally, participating hotels are monitored throughout the year for quality, safety, and security. Hotels may be removed from DoD Preferred based on failure to meet these requirements.
Once you have been accepted as a DoD Preferred property, you will receive instructions for rate loading. Instructions are specific to selected properties. Properties that are not accepted into the program for the year, and have rates loaded, will be considered “squatters."
When squatters are detected, the property and brand are directed to remove their rates immediately. In the event of an on-going issue, the brand has the potential of being removed from the DoD Preferred Program all together.
To be accepted as DoD Preferred, a commercial property must:
- Have a valid Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) code
- Have hotel name on the FEMA National List that matches the exterior signage at the property
- Have a minimum 2 Crown Northstar Travel Media rating or equivalent AAA Diamond rating
- Have 24-hour security monitoring via video monitoring of the property or 24/7 on-site personnel who have been trained in emergency security protocols
- Have a cancellation policy of 4:00 pm (or later) on day of arrival
- Not charge early check-out fees
- Not have minimum stay requirements, day of week restrictions, or deposits
- Not charge service or resort fees, unless the traveler requests and uses these services
- Comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Virginia Graeme-Baker Act (pool suction entrapment avoidance)
- Ensure primary room access is through an interior corridor or, if exterior, through controlled-access entry, like a courtyard
- Offer non-smoking rooms
- Ensure hallways, parking lots, and public spaces are well-lit
- Provide deadbolts, safety chains, and door viewers
- Provide a fire evacuation plan
- Comply with walk policy
- Secure comparable room at a DoD Preferred property, provide transportation, pay for one phone call, and pay one-night difference between original and new room cost
- Agree to secure a comparable room, if another DoD Preferred property is not available, at a non-participating FEMA-approved property, provide transportation, pay for one phone call, and pay for one night (room & tax)
- Accept Smart Pay® 3 Travel Card (VISA)
- Accept the DoD Preferred rate of 10% or greater below per diem in each season
- Load accepted DoD Preferred rates in the Global Distribution System (GDS); must be at or below published BAR, published government, and other public rates available for federal government travelers on official business
- Load rates in both Sabre and Worldspan GDS
- Communicate tax exemption status, provide exemption forms, and refund applicable taxes paid on tax exempt stays, if applicable
- Report feedback received from DoD Preferred travelers; report walked travelers
- Report and pay the 1.50% participation fee on every consumed room night
- Submit monthly data reports due by the 20th of each month (Check-In Date, Check-Out Date, Total Amount, Rate Paid, Parking Fee Paid, Internet Access Fee Paid, Confirmation Number, Method of Payment, Method of Reservation, Sabre GDS Code)
- Provide complimentary internet and cable or satellite TV in each guestroom, clock radio, and individual temperature control
- Offer last room availability on standard rooms
Travelers use the Defense Travel System (DTS) to book hotels for official travel and are automatically routed to the appropriate type of lodging based on the travel destination entered and DoD policy. If the travel location is an ILP site, DoD Preferred Commercial properties are clearly marked and displayed according to rate from lowest to highest.
Travelers can see amenities as part of the “Additional Lodging Info” link on the DTS lodging page, which pulls from the rate description entered into the Global Distribution System (GDS). Any additional information you would like travelers to know should be included in the rate description you enter in the GDS.
DTS displays hotels in rate order, lowest to highest. If your rates are higher than others in your DoD Preferred site, a traveler will need to scroll down to find your listing. If a traveler is having difficulty locating your listing, suggest they verify that they are in the “DoD Preferred Commercial Lodging” section. If you are an approved property with available DoD Preferred Commercial Lodging rooms on those dates, and still not available in the “DoD Preferred Commercial Lodging” section, visit DTMO's YouTube channel [youtube.com] for further troubleshooting help.
Reasons DoD Preferred Commercial properties may not display include: temporary suspension due to a rate or traveler issue; your hotel was sold out for the requested travel dates; or the traveler entered some search criteria that excluded your hotel.
At this time, group bookings for DoD Preferred properties are not made through the DoD booking tool. The travel organizer should follow their normal procedures for booking groups and send a request to the Travel Management Company, who will contact the hotel to make arrangements.