Hotel Fees That Are More Than You Bargained For
When you book a hotel room online, you expect that the rate you see is the rate you’ll pay, right?
To help make sure that’s the case, the FTC is sending warning letters to 22 online hotel reservation sites that may be violating the law by not including mandatory fees, which can add as much as $30 a night to your stay, in some of the prices they quote online.
These extra costs, often called “resort fees,” might be for fitness facilities or internet access. But what matters is that you must pay them whether you use the services or not. Many people who complained to the FTC said they didn’t learn about the additional fees until they arrived at the hotel, after they made an online reservation for what they thought was the full price.
Knowing about extra fees lets you compare rates for different hotels fairly. If you’re not sure whether a website is showing you the whole price, call the hotel and ask if they’ll add a resort fee or any other mandatory fee. Ask them to tell you the total price.
Listing the resort fee near the quoted price or in the fine print — or referring to other fees “that may apply” — doesn’t cut it. If you find out a hotel hasn’t told you the whole story about mandatory fees, in addition to complaining to the company, file a complaint with the FTC.