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Congress weighs making resort fees illegal

Congress weighs making resort fees illegal

Old Sep 27, 19, 10:09 pm
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Congress weighs making resort fees illegal

Wednesday night, Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) introduced bipartisan legislation named the “Hotel Advertising Transparency Act of 2019,” aimed at making the practice of charging resort fees illegal.
Link: https://thepointsguy.com/news/congre...-fees-illegal/
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Old Sep 27, 19, 11:52 pm
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^^ for coming up with the bill, but the messaging will be important. The right way to promote it, IMO, is by playing up the transparency and mandatory disclosures, not by saying you're making something illegal.

We've already seen this battle in airfares. The Obama administration's DOT regulation got it right, mandating all-in pricing that includes mandatory airline-imposed fees. Some airlines, especially Spirit and Frontier, still have the mandatory fees, but if they're part of the quoted price then consumers don't mind nearly as much as the bait-and-switch of being given one number but the actual price being a lot higher. Spirit would like nothing more than to advertise $9 or even $0 fares in the large type but have them ACTUALLY be $50 or so, minimum, each way after loading them up with bogus money grabs like the "Passenger Usage Fee."

Las Vegas has gotten ridiculous and it's still hard to shop for hotel rooms there because while websites are doing much better than before about disclosing fees somewhere, they're still REWARDING THE BAD ACTORS by using the pre-resort fee price to rank the hotels. So a place like Circus Circus will often show up first with a weekday price of $22/night (plus $40/night RESORT FEE!) while the Four Queens will be on the fourth page of results at $45 with no resort fee. The Four Queens is actually cheaper but loses out for not joining the race to the bottom on advertising/pricing standards. It's unfair AND encourages bad behavior if left unaddressed.

Private rentals are also often undeserving beneficiaries of the extra fee bit, in that they get unfairly ranked higher on the "bait" price that doesn't have the "property fee" added yet.

Because of the "success" of this deceptive practice in Las Vegas, I'm seeing it spread slowly to more places. It needs to be stopped. Rewarding bad actors leads to a race to the bottom (the dark side of competition) and ultimately to lots of customer distrust and cynicism. The travel industry has a long and sordid history of trying to bait people with prices that aren't what they actually pay (30 years ago in Las Vegas it was "PPDO," i.e. putting only half the room rate on the billboard and an asterisk for the "Per Person Double Occupancy" in small print). So the industry hasn't earned any benefit of the doubt here.

Last edited by RustyC; Sep 27, 19 at 11:57 pm
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Old Sep 28, 19, 12:12 am
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Resort fees are like high car rental facility fees or airline fuel surcharges. In other words, big ticket items tacked at the end. No good.
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Old Sep 28, 19, 2:51 am
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Yeah, not only the resort fees, but I wish they'd figure out a way to illegalize all hidden fees in hospitality industries.
Last month I ate at a restaurant in Seattle with over-the-water deck that charged ~$5 extra and they called it the pier maintenance fee or something.
How ridiculous is that?
I've been to quite a few restaurants with above-water decks. Never have I been charged such thing before.
They must collect ~$1k a day just from this hidden fee.
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Old Sep 28, 19, 8:10 pm
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
Yeah, not only the resort fees, but I wish they'd figure out a way to illegalize all hidden fees in hospitality industries.
Last month I ate at a restaurant in Seattle with over-the-water deck that charged ~$5 extra and they called it the pier maintenance fee or something.
How ridiculous is that?
I've been to quite a few restaurants with above-water decks. Never have I been charged such thing before.
They must collect ~$1k a day just from this hidden fee.
What restaurant is this?
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Old Sep 29, 19, 12:37 am
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Originally Posted by zack14 View Post
What restaurant is this?
The one inside Edgewater Hotel (Five Six?).
It's a nice restaurant. But this type of thing sure leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 1:39 am
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Mandate all-inclusive pricing just like the airlines. If a hotel wants to have a $1 room rate and a bunch of fees that add another $86 for a total of $87 a night, fine. It's deceptive advertising to call it anything less than $87/night.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 2:04 am
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Originally Posted by Kevin AA View Post
Mandate all-inclusive pricing just like the airlines. If a hotel wants to have a $1 room rate and a bunch of fees that add another $86 for a total of $87 a night, fine. It's deceptive advertising to call it anything less than $87/night.
Kind of like hiring a worker, for $40.00:an hour, and he come in does not feel good no production and he still wants paid, because he showed up.

Two sided street,
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Old Sep 29, 19, 7:39 am
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Meh - These things generate lengthy threads on social media such as FT and that's it. It will never be enacted. Just like mandatory child-seating on aircraft and legislation limiting TSA. All there for show.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 8:11 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Meh - These things generate lengthy threads on social media such as FT and that's it. It will never be enacted. Just like mandatory child-seating on aircraft and legislation limiting TSA. All there for show.
Why so cynical? There are many cases in which anti-consumer policies have been overhauled as a result of vocal opposition...all-in pricing for airplane tickets, 24-hour fee free cancellation, EC261, etc.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 10:45 am
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Originally Posted by moondog View Post
Why so cynical? There are many cases in which anti-consumer policies have been overhauled as a result of vocal opposition...all-in pricing for airplane tickets, 24-hour fee free cancellation, EC261, etc.
Yeah, these are some of the few things nearly all Amerians are united on and with enough public pressure can easily be put into place... the only thing holding it back is the will of elected officials to take it on (whether because they're too busy fighting with each other to actually care or because they're being pressured by lobbyists from the hospitality industry).
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Old Sep 29, 19, 10:48 am
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I still don't understand why airlines get to claim the fuel surcharge. It's something they shouldn't have had to begin with, it's a vital part of the baseline product and should be part of the base ticket price, and now fuel is a lot cheaper, but we still have the same fees. It's a huge scam and everyone has accepted it without question.
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Old Sep 29, 19, 12:15 pm
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Originally Posted by mlbcard View Post
I still don't understand why airlines get to claim the fuel surcharge. It's something they shouldn't have had to begin with, it's a vital part of the baseline product and should be part of the base ticket price, and now fuel is a lot cheaper, but we still have the same fees. It's a huge scam and everyone has accepted it without question.
Well with all inclusive pricing, the only one who gets hurt by YQ is the travel agent who gets less commission. Most US carriers don't charge YQ on award tickets, unlike in other countries, so it's not as big a deal for the average traveler
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Old Sep 29, 19, 2:35 pm
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Originally Posted by pewpew View Post
Well with all inclusive pricing, the only one who gets hurt by YQ is the travel agent who gets less commission. Most US carriers don't charge YQ on award tickets, unlike in other countries, so it's not as big a deal for the average traveler
I suppose, it’s not as much of an issue with all inclusive pricing. Is it a scheme to get out of paying taxes?
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Old Sep 29, 19, 2:50 pm
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Originally Posted by evergrn View Post
The one inside Edgewater Hotel (Five Six?).
It's a nice restaurant. But this type of thing sure leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
"THE EDGEWATER DINING FACILITY IS AN OVER THE WATER EXPERIENCE THAT IS UNIQUE TO THE SEATTLE WATERFRONT AND IS INCREDIBLY COSTLY TO MAINTAIN. THE MINIMAL FEE ASSESSMENT IS INTENDED TO ASSIST OWNERSHIP IN THE EXTREMELY HIGH COST OF MAINTAINING THE CHARACTER AND INTEGRITY OF THE FACILITY, SO THAT WE ARE ABLE TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE OUR DINING GUESTS WITH AN UNPARALLELED EXPERIENCE."

Just state, "it was not an unparalleled experience."
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