“Americans are tired of being played for suckers.”
Those are the words of President Joe Biden in his 2023 State of the Union speech, in which he vowed to “ban surprise ‘resort fees’ that hotels tack on to your bill.”
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has said U.S. consumers pay $29 billion in “excessive charges” annually, according to CBS News. And rancor over misleading price advertising — or added “junk fees,” as they’re often called — has grown in recent months. And while junk fees stem from a variety of industries, hotels are some of the worst offenders.
Though there’s disagreement in the hotelier community over whether resort fees are “excessive charges.” On its website, the American Hotel and Lodging Association says resort fees were created “to provide consumers with the best value by grouping amenity fees into one cost. If consumers were charged individual fees for all amenities, the cost would likely be prohibitive.”
But a consensus is growing around the idea that, no matter the fee, customers should be made aware of it upfront. “It is critical that guests have the same expectation of fee transparency and disclosure wherever they shop for and book hotel rooms,” AHLA says.
Below is a roundup of Hotel Dive’s coverage of America’s increasing anti-junk fee legislation, and its impact on hotels.