The Travel Professor
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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hidden hotel fees and surcharges add to your stay

The list of hidden fees and surcharges added to travelers hotel & motel bills continue to rapidly escalate.

A recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers states that hotels charged nearly $2 billion in hidden fees and surcharges in 2007, up from $1.6 billion in 2006 and $550 million just five years ago.

The list is almost endless:
  • The in room safe runs $3.00-$5.00 a day regardless if you use it
  • Free wire Internet but you pay an access fee
  • That bottled water left in your room comes with a hefty price tag
  • Daily parking fee
  • Don't touch the min-bar unless you want to pay $10.00 for a few ounces of peanuts
  • Resort fees even if you don't hit the links or spa
  • Housekeeping service fee
  • Energy recovery tax
  • And on & on & on

That's enough for now as I believe you have the idea.

What can you do?

Allow yourself plenty of time at check in & check out to go over the bill. Identify what extra fees may apply and opt out in advance.

Ask plenty of questions before you use a service-don't assume that it is free.

Book or at least price your room at a 3rd party site. They seem to do a better job of itemizing the miscellaneous fees that the corporate hotel reservation sites.

Question everything!

Complain loudly and ask to see the general manager.