Resort fees back in the news

Resort fees are a mandatory nightly surcharge imposed by some hotels to cover the cost of certain amenities such as a daily newspaper, Internet access, and use of pool or fitness facility. These fees, much maligned by many guests and heavily defended by most hoteliers, accounted for $2.25 billion in revenue for U.S. hotels in 2014. While these fees are a major boon to hotels, it’s not surprising that they aggravate hotel guests who want more transparent, all-inclusive pricing when they book a room. So news that the FTC has ruled that hotels do not have to advertise resort fees in their room rates was met with mixed reactions. The LA Times reported that Charlie Leocha, president of Travelers United, an advocacy group, said “It’s a very simple thing. If the fee is mandatory it must be included in the room rate.” 

But attorneys for the FTC disagree. FTC attorney Annette Soberats said the agency isn’t insisting that hotels include the resort fees in the advertised room rate. “At this time, we don’t have evidence to prove that not including the resort fee in the room rate is deceptive if a hotel prominently discloses the resort fee upfront and includes it in the total price.”

To read the LA Times article. click here