The Attorney General of the District of Columbia (D.C.), filed a lawsuit against Marriott International on July 9, 2019 over deceptive business practices amongst other things. The lawsuit was filed in the D.C. Superior Court .
In this lawsuit, the General alleges that Marriott affiliated properties that charge “resort, destination” fees, and the like, are being deceptive because it masks the true price of the room, and is not proper or honest business practices! I think everyone knows how I feel about these fees, I think they are RIDICULOUS! I am not alone, but I have paid them, and everyone does. There is actually a website called Kill Resort Fees! about this.
What is a “Resort Fee”?
A resort fee was started many years ago for BIG “actual” resort properties, with beach clubs, tennis clubs, etc, and even if you didn’t use these things , one could understand the upkeep on them, and if you didn’t like it , you could go elsewhere. That is not so much the case anymore, as these “fees” are everywhere! The average resort fee is Apx. $24.93 a night, bringing in 2.5 billion dollars for the hotel industry in 2015.
“Hotel executives like resort fees because they allow them to keep their room rates low,” explains Henry Harteveldt, a travel industry analyst with the New York–based consultancy Hudson Crossing.
Now, hotels claim that these fees pay for a group of services , like, Internet, pool, gym, towel service, etc. The problem with this is most hotels offer their guests that are members of their loyalty program free wifi. Furthermore, all hotels have gyms, but what if you don’t use it?, why should you have to pay for it? What about the pool or towel service… if you don’t use it why pay for it?
Sometimes these fees are MORE THAN THE ACTUAL ROOM RATE!
Hotels and their organizations (Lobbyists) say that consumers prefer this over nickel and diming them to death. Well, when’s the last time one was charged to use the pool or gym in a standard hotel? This EXCUSE does not fly with me!
Honest or Dishonest ?
In my humble opinion, I find these fees DIS-HONEST! I feel like its a way to keep their prices low, on paper, until you’re locked in. I feel its a way to pad their pockets, kind of like how the airlines charge a fuel surcharge.
I hope that more Attorneys General sign onto this and / or file their own suits again ALL major hotel companies. Let me be clear, Marriott is not the only hotel company doing this, but they are the largest!
Just be honest, and make the price the price. WHY pretend it’s a government fee or something they HAVE TO DO, by calling it a “mandatory ” fee. It’s only mandatory because hotels make it that way.
We can only hope that this is the start of a more clear cut, transparent time in hotel pricing.
What are you thoughts on these fees?
Thanks for reading, and PLEASE, TRAVEL MORE!