Posted by William Charles on July 9, 2019
Hotel Booking

Published on July 9th, 2019 | by William Charles

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Washington, D.C. Attorney General Sues Marriott Over Resort Fees

Washington, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine has filed a lawsuit against Marriott International for charging deceptive resort fees. The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) makes a number of allegations that Marriott has violated as violated the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act and harmed District consumers by:

  • Hiding the true price of hotel rooms
  • Failing to clearly disclose all booking fees
  • Misrepresenting that resort fees are imposed by the government
  • Misleading consumers about what resort fees actually pay for

The full complaint can be found here. I’d also recommend reading the full OAG statement found here. Hotels typically charge resort fees for two main reasons:

  • They pay no commission to online travel agencies on these fees as they are collected at the hotel and are not included in the list price (basically considered an auxiliary fee such as dining)
  • The list price looks more attractive to consumers (e.g in Vegas sometimes the list price will be $50, but you’ll then need to pay a $35 resort fee)

Online travel agency booking.com has recently tried to start charging commission on resort fees. I think the smart stance is if a fee is mandatory and cannot be avoided, it should be included in the list price. Hotels have long said that they are capable of self regulating and then in the same breathe claim they have to charge resort fees to remain competitive as other chains charge them. This is despite the fact that often the ones saying they “have to” charge these fees will often be the first chain in a new market to charge resort fees (sometimes called a destination fee or some other ridiculous name). I’m glad a government body has finally started to take action on this matter.



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Alen
Alen

YAY!! This is fantastic news!

Peter
Peter

Voting up this comment because I can’t directly vote up this article.

Mj
Mj

+1

Jacob
Jacob

It’s about time. I’m surprised New York of California AG hasn’t taken this up already

Jason
Jason

Likely because local tax authorities get their share of tax on the resort fees as well, so don’t have much interest in being sure tourists/visitors are treated fairly.

Jamie
Jamie

Hallelujah! Finally!

G
G

It’s a very short complaint compared to others involving large companies.

Wait, why Marriott when most largest chains are doing the same

Snorlax
Snorlax

Its possible that they just went after the most egregious case, this lawsuit is about *deceptive* resort fees, not resort fees in general. There’s specific issues laid out, including misrepresenting resort fees as government imposed. Sure, all resort fees are deceptive, but I”m sure some are more deceptive than others.

J
J

How can i support this lawsuit???

SamL
SamL

Boycott hotels that charge resort fees.

tennismenace3
tennismenace3

Not always an option

PoorChurner
PoorChurner

Marriott can take their resort/destination fees and shove it up their bonvoy.

C.J.
C.J.

Joy to the World! I’m so pleased to see that someone is finally taking on the ridiculous resort fee debacle.

Samm
Samm

Do airline seat fees next. Pretty please?

Jenta
Jenta

No. Airline seat fees are not mandatory, so they are fine.

Snorlax
Snorlax

The hotel equivalent would be optional add-ons like full breakfast and parking.

Scott
Scott

But at least those are optional

Thomas
Thomas

The percentage resort fees, the $75+ resort fees riddled throughout the Caribbean and other locations are annoying, to include the hidden per person fees in the Bahamas and elsewhere. Very deceptive practice, since everything you “get” should be provided anyway. Instead it’s a revenue generator. Oh resort fee plus charge for parking, hotel on beach let’s use our “outfitter” to charge $30 for chairs and an umbrella.

escot
escot

the other thing about “resort” fees is that they’re usually tacked on AFTER any use of reward nights…. (though I vaguely recall with some chains, a certain status gets you waived resort fees — sometimes. Maybe even)

AlexL
AlexL

no resort fees on hyatt and hilton award stays. Hyatt Globalist gets the resort fee waived on paid stay too.

iahphx
iahphx

You don’t pay the resort fee on a Hilton Honors award stay either.

Overall, though, these fees are evil and deceptive. I’m not a big fan of government regulation, but if a fee is mandatory, it should be included in the selling price. Imagine going into a supermarket and then having the price of your cream cheese be adjusted by a “dairy delivery fee.” It would be a nutty and inefficient world. Which is why the practice of charging mandatory resort fees needs to stop.

Brian C
Brian C

This article might be of use to some people, i have been planning to follow the instructions to get all my US based resort fees back but haven’t have a chance yet.

https://thegate.boardingarea.com/one-simple-way-to-reclaim-that-resort-fee-which-you-paid/?fbclid=IwAR1BSE4ikZq-jElRzjD9s8Gj_9NsrCGqaoYviAC3Vqjbe3-fW6uZ81xRUMs

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