One of the most annoying trends in the hotel industry is holiday expenses, destination fees, fee fees … whatever you want to call them. Essentially, these compulsory costs are added to the hotels' thanks to the room rate.
Why hotels charge holiday expenses
Hotels require these costs for various reasons:
- They are a way for hotels to try and get more income without increasing "transparent" room rates
- It seems better for the hotel than an increase in the room price, since they historically do not have to pay travel agencies a commission on these fees
- In some areas it also allows hotels to skirt the typical occupancy that otherwise applies to the room price
Hotels are largely delusions about these the fees, and the Hotel Association of New York have stated that the guest "values the value offered" of these costs. 1
Well, it seems we can finally see some progress on this front.
Attorney General files litigation over holiday expenses
Attorney General Karl Racine of Columbia today filed a lawsuit against Marriott to hide the true price of consumer hotel rooms and to charge hidden holiday expenses to increase profits .
He claims that this practice has harmed consumers, and he will force the Marriott to announce the true price of their hotels up and also provide monetary relief to liquid consumers who have been harmed by this policy.
Lawyer General Racine had the following to say:
"The Marriott earned hundreds of millions of dollars in profits by deceiving consumers about the true price of the hotel rooms. Bait-and-break advertising and deceptive pricing practices are illegal. With this lawsuit we seek monetary relief for tens of thousands of district consumers who have paid hidden holiday expenses and to force Marriott to be completely transparent about their prices, so that consumers can make informed decisions when booking hotel rooms. "
The lawsuits that many people book hotels through Comparison pages, to entice customers, advertise some hotels daily rates that are lower than the real total price consumers have to pay for a room. So when consumers book, the hotel charges mandatory fees.
The lawsuit claims that consumers have been harmed in the following ways:
- Hide the true price of hotel rooms: Marriott hides the true total price of hotel rooms by announcing a rate, then charging mandatory "holiday expenses" , "facility costs" or "destination fees" on top of the advertised price. At least 189 Marriott properties worldwide charge these hidden fees, ranging from $ 9 to as much as $ 95 per room per day, and consumers just find out about these fees after they start booking a room.
- Failing to clear Please enter all booking fees: The room rates Marriott lists on your own website and on third-party hotel booking sites do not include mandatory holiday costs, and these fees are not quoted in front. Consumers do not learn the total price of the hotel rooms before they begin the booking process, and relaxation of resort fees is often hidden in obscure areas, confusingly formulated or presented in less print than the advertised prices. This leads consumers to believe that they will pay less for a hotel room than the true total cost. It also makes it extremely difficult for consumers to gather all the information they need to compare prices and make informed choices.
- Misunderstand that resort fees are imposed by the state: In many cases, Marriott includes resort fees near the end of a hotel booking transaction under the heading "Taxes and Fees." By combining the amounts that consumers were asked to pay for holiday expenses with their tax payments under a generic heading, Marriott leads consumers to believe that the resort's fees were the government Misleading Consumers About Which Holiday Costs Actually Pay For: In Some Cases makes Marriott confusing or conflicting representations as to why they are paying holiday expenses and what services or facilities consumers are actually paying for.
This is a tough day for Marriott, between the fine they get for their data breach and reach this lawsuit. I'm not sure why exactly Marriott is targeting other hotel groups because this is something many large hotel groups are guilty of.
However, I am excited to see the government finally taking on holiday expenses. As I said, it's not about forcing hotels not to charge these fees, but forcing hotels to accurately advertise prices from the beginning of the booking process.
Here is hoping that other parts of the country outside the DC file similar parties …
(hints to @ JamesScott2, stay jangles and many more)