Fed up With Hidden Hotel Fees? They Might Soon Be Illegal

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Daniel is a copywriter who has well and truly been bitten alive by the 'travel bug'. After ticking off several North American National Parks and exploring Europe by train, his sights are now set on South East Asia. Usually with at least one camera locked and loaded, you'll find Daniel wherever there are mountains, lakes or beaches.

How often have you made a hotel reservation online and before clicking checkout, spotted an extra $100 added to your purchase? Well, a new piece of legislation is aiming to bring that to an end.

Computer hotel booking
Image Credit: Canva.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether you’re booking a luxury hotel or a cheap motel; many vacationers are sick of hidden ‘resort’ costs adding to their final bill.

The bill, known as the Hotel Fees Transparency Act, would put rules in place for pricing transparency that has been voluntary. So, if a hotel is advertising a room, it must clearly state the final price upfront and not after you’ve added the room to your basket. If the prices aren’t transparent, civil actions can be put forward.

The legislation has been introduced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen Jerry Moran, R-Kan. The latter put out a statement saying, “Too often, Americans making reservations online are being met with hidden fees that make it difficult to compare prices and understand the true cost of an overnight stay.”

This comes after President Biden claimed his administration would target ‘junk fees’ across several industries, including hotels. “We’ll ban surprise ‘resort fees’ that hotels tack on to your bill,” Biden said at his 2023 State of the Union. “These fees can cost you up to $90 a night at hotels that aren’t even resorts.”

These hidden fees started to appear over a decade ago, and they have been a huge money-maker for hotels. Consumer Reports estimates the hotel industry made $2.9 billion in resort fees in 2018 alone.

The bill would extend beyond hotels, too. Any travel agencies, search websites, or short-term rentals will have to clearly and fairly outline their final prices from the get-go.

It is unknown if the legislation will pass through Congress, but it won’t likely be put forward until later this year, so you’ll still have to fork out for resort fees this summer and fall!

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