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Hotels Strike Back in the Battle Against ‘Hidden Charges

In a pushback against the recent government crackdown on so-called “junk fees,” hotels are coming up with innovative ways to continue imposing extra charges on their guests. While these charges were expected to fade after the government’s move to curtail them, hotels are instead introducing new, often confusing fees under various labels. These unexpected surcharges are leaving travelers frustrated and prompting a surge in disputes, both legal and at the front desk.

Main Conclusions:

  • Despite governmental efforts to clamp down on junk fees, hotels are now renaming and repackaging these charges, leading to confusion among guests.
  • The average mandatory daily resort fee charged by hotels is $26, which has seen a 3% increase from the previous year.
  • Hotels are using an array of terms for these fees, including “destination fee,” “administrative fee,” and even specific charges like “towel fees” or “bedsheet fees.”
  • Rather than doing away with these fees in response to regulatory pressure, many hotels have increased their reliance on them, with some even promoting them as offering special benefits or experiences.
  • Guests, increasingly frustrated by these unexpected charges, are turning to legal action as a recourse.
  • A notable lawsuit has been filed against several Marriott hotels in Los Angeles, alleging misleading charges related to a local ordinance intended to protect hotel workers.

Read the full article at seattletimes.com

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