Resort fees have always been annoying. Unlike things like gratuities that are often now added to a cruise bill, these fees are mandatory. When travelers who don’t use the phone, internet, fitness center, parking, or whatever is included in the resort fee, understandably, feel ripped off. Hard to understand, is why resort fees are growing rather than going away.
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After Jane Hatch selected the room rate she wanted at the West Street Hotel in Bar Harbor, Maine, the hotel Web site delivered an unpleasant surprise on the next screen: The quoted price hadn’t included a $25-per-day “resort and club fee” that gave Hatch access to the hotel pool, hot tub and fitness center — whether she wanted it or not.
Consumer pressure works. The FTC sent letters to 22 hotel operators noting that, “their online reservation sites may violate the law by providing a deceptively low estimate of what consumers can expect to pay for their hotel rooms.” They are speaking about resort fees. This is the government’s first shot across the hotels’ bows. We’ll see how they react.
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Providing a clean comfortable bed is fundamental for hotels, but Ned Levi doesn’t think that’s enough in the 21st century. Ned discusses his own hotel needs and peeves, plus those of travelers he knows, and of readers who have written him.
As much as travelers hate being nickled and dimed by the airlines, for many trips, resort fees far outweigh additional airline fees. Resort fees are inescapable. With airline fees, travelers who pack light, bring their own food and don’t care about priority seating or boarding, can avoid most of the extra airline charges.
Like airline fees, resort fees are proliferating, and they’re finding their way onto hotel bills that, quite frankly, are not resort like. One of the worst cities for new offenders is Las Vegas.
Irritated about resort fees. Book only with someone who discloses them. Allegiant doesn’t. Best Western does.
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