Sneaky hotel surcharges surprise consumers, help hotels compete

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  • rlsintx Plano, TX
    Nov. 26, 2012 12:35 p.m.

    I stay at the same hotel in VA several times a year for a couple of weeks at a time on business. I was in the habit of just eating at one of their 2 very nice restaurants. Been doing this for years. They know me by name. One bill, I got a $25 charge for room service when I called to have food brought up because I was sick. That was in addition to the meal and tip. I asked the counter clerk to remove it on checkout and she couldn't... so, I walked over to the restaurant and told the manager to come back with me. In my head I calculated how much $ I've spent in their restaurants, as we walked back. At the counter I looked at him and said, get this removed or I will never again eat in your restaurant and over the past 3 years it was something like $7700.00. It came off, and I got vouchers for 5 free meals in the next year. It's about money. Keep your own whenever you can. Everything is negotiable, threat of loss of business is a great lever.

  • RichDaddy Lewis Center, OH
    Nov. 26, 2012 7:59 a.m.

    My general (and ironic) rule of thumb is: the more expensive the hotel, the more likely you will get hit with extra and hidden fees. The Holiday Inns and the like provide free internet, exercise areas, pools, sometimes even breakfast. I can pay $289 for a room at a business hotel and have to pay as much for these extras as I will for the room at the family hote.

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Nov. 23, 2012 10:44 a.m.

    Mark from Montana

    I haven't been to Florida for years but that hasn't affected prices a bit, just like when I traded a full-sized pick-up truck for a small car that got better mileage---gas prices didn't go down, even a penny. Good luck getting prices to drop in Florida.


    Every time I book a hotel I go on-line and see their rates, then before I click to accept that rate I actually call the hotel and ask them what rate they can quote. Often I get the on-line rate over the phone and then I ask about parking charges (valet or self-park) and any other fees. I then have a basis to make a decision regarding the location, cost, amenities, etc.


    To avoid lots of airline fees, consider getting a credit card that doesn't charge for bags, or fly a carrier that doesn't charge those fees. To avoid the security mess either become a frequent flyer, buy the TSA $100 pre-check, or get in line early at the airport.

    Traveling is like anything else: Do your homework and you'll save time and money.

  • Why would I? Farmington, UT
    Nov. 23, 2012 10:31 a.m.

    Why would I pay top dollar for any room that has something wrong with it? I carefully check everything and if the plumbing has a problem, the curtains fon't completely close, the toilet doesn't look totally clean, there are areas of the carpeting not vacuumed, the lock doesn't work properly, etc I ask for an adjustment on the bill. That does two things: 1) It saves me money on a substandard room that is not presented as advertized, and 2) It helps get the problem fixed for the next guest.

    Too many guests just ignore these items and pay up when getting the bill. I refuse to pay a premium for lousy accomodations. And if you use a credit card, you can always contest the charge if necessary.

    On the other hand, I compliment the staff when I check out if everything was good and thank them for a pleasant stay in their facility.

    Using these two ctiteria it's pretty easy to see who cares about their customers and who doesn't. I drop those who don't care.

  • Mark from Montana Aurora, CO
    Nov. 23, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    It is very simple. Stop traveling anywhere that requires an airplane ride, a rental car, or even an hotel.

    Stay local, tour local and most importantly, spend local. If the volume of travel to Florida dropped by 25% due to people staying and playing in their own backyard, what would the hotel rates and airfares do?

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Nov. 23, 2012 6:43 a.m.

    This dishonest "gotcha" mentality, particularly in a time of economic uncertainty, is destroying, not just the hospitality industry, but many others competing for discretionary dollars, as well.

    It's sad that the suits in these industries have such a hard time figuring out that real people hate to pay someone to make them feel like chumps.

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    Nov. 22, 2012 10:51 a.m.

    Do we all remember the days when flying was actually fun and exciting. Now we have fees to check in luggage, wait in long lines, have to pull out driver licenses three or four times, sometimes within just a few feet, get cramped in like sardines, have to pay for peanuts if they are offered at all. This is progress. And then there was the day when the advertised Hotel rate was the real Hotel rate. Then go to some place like Sea World where they will charge you around $10 to park your car. You would think the near $75 to enter the part would be good enough but oh well...

  • NeilT Clearfield, UT
    Nov. 22, 2012 9:28 a.m.

    Just returned from a trip to Florida. First it was checked baggage fees. The airline lied said the charge would cover the return trip. Not. The rental car company charged extra for a GPS and added a bunch of other fees and taxes. The motel in Daytona Beach added $10.00 in fees. And then there were all the annoying toll roads. Ten dollars to park at the Kenndy Space Center. It is becoming more stressful to travel, especially with all the airline security. I understand why peoople are so frustrated. Tourism and travel are so vital to our economy.