Biden and the FTC take aim at ‘junk’ resort fees

The end of resort fees?


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The term “junk fees” has appeared multiple times in our newsletters over the past few months, mainly because the Biden Administration has launched something of a crusade against them. And they’re back at it again this month, and it’s hotel resort fees in their line of sight this time.

Processing fees were originally mentioned back in September, but statements from the White House this week suggest the FTC is trying to make resort fees more transparent for travelers.

While consumers are in no way required to pay for a hotel room before seeing the additional fees, the argument offered suggests that customers are misled by the often far lower sticker price, making the practice unethical. The average resort fee across the country sits at around $25 per night, with some cities like Las Vegas seeing hotels tacking on $45 a night — a significant amount on a week-long stay.

As travelers, don’t expect to see these disappear anytime soon. Hotels will fight to keep them, although some, like Marriott, have already committed otherwise. At best, they’ll just increase the ticket price. When browsing for stays, ensure you’re checking the fine print, and don’t ever assume the first price you see will be the real figure.

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