Resort fees are annoying, but are they illegal? Until now, the hotel reservation process has been relatively unchanged and unchallenged. You make a reservation for a hotel room–online, through a travel agent or on the phone–and once you agree on a rate, you give credit card information to guarantee the room. At check out, a small parade of fees are added to the bill. It’s not just resort fees, but energy surcharges, mandatory bellman tips, hospitality fees, you name it.
In the hotel industry, this process is knows as drip pricing. These hidden hotel fees that are never disclosed at either the time of reservation or check in, then added to the bill prior to check out. Now the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is paying attention. It has now sent letters to 22 unnamed hotel operators suggesting that their websites violate the law by misleading consumers about the real cost of their stay.
Watch Peter’s CBS This Morning report to learn more about the FTC statement, what changes need to happen in hotel pricing and your rights as a traveler to dispute these hidden fees.
For more information on hotel fees, check out these reports:
- Peter travel tip, increased 2012 hotel fees
- Our Holiday Travel How-To series video on 5 Steps to Affordable Accommodations
- Peter’s Travel Detective Blog with his Vote for Travel Change & Thoughts on Resort Fees
- Don’t worry about fees at, 5 of the Best and Most Affordable New York Hotels