There’s nothing more frustrating than finding a great hotel deal, only to be nickel-and-dimed once you arrive!
U.S. hotels collect about $2.5 billion a year in fees and surcharges, according to NYU School of Professional Studies, including controversial resort fees.
Read more: 7 things to avoid touching in a hotel room
Avoid paying these 5 hotel fees
Some properties disclose mandatory resort fees separately from posted room rates, without first disclosing the total price, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
In a January 2017 report, the FTC said the hotel industry’s practice likely harms travelers:
For consumers who are trying to comparison shop, either through hotel websites or through online travel agent sites, mandatory resort fees force them to click through additional web pages or calculate and remember total hotel prices. This leaves them with a choice “either to incur higher total search and cognitive costs or to make an incomplete, less informed decision that may result in a more costly room, or both.”
Hotels claim the fees allow them to reduce the commissions paid to online travel agents, the FTC said.
The report found that hotels could include the resort fee in the advertised price or list the components of the total price separately and prominently disclose the total price first.
4 surprise fees becoming more common
In the meantime, a study from NYU School of Professional Studies lists four additional fees that more and more hotels are charging for:
- Guaranteed room type
- Early check-in
- Unattended surface parking in suburban locations
- Holding checked luggage
How to avoid paying these hotel fees
So what’s a traveler to do? Before booking a hotel room, check the message boards that Clark recommends to see what other people are saying about the property.
And remember, not all hotels charge these annoying fees on top of the room rate. You have a choice.
In fact, there’s a handy website called ResortFeeChecker.com that will let you search by hotel name or city to learn about all of the extra fees they add on to your bill.
And if hotel fees are a deal breaker for you, call the property directly to negotiate a waiver.
Read more: 14 things a hotel will give you for free