You won't believe what hotels are charging for now
They are expected to take in a record $2.25 billion in fees and surcharges this year.
This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.
Cha-ching. That's the sound of each surcharge on your next hotel bill. Better get used to that sound, because hotel customers are paying for a growing list of chargeable services, from storing luggage to Internet use.
Guaranteeing two queen beds or one king bed will cost you, as will checking in early or checking out late. Don't need the in-room safe? You're likely still paying. And the overpriced can of soda may be the least of your issues with the hotel minibar.
Hotel charges vary, even within the same chain, which can make it difficult to figure out the cost of a hotel stay.
But small surcharges add up to big revenue for hotels, which will rake in a record $2.25 billion from extra fees in 2014, according to study by Bjorn Hanson, a professor at New York University's Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism. That's a 6 percent increase since last year and nearly double the revenue hotels took in from surcharges a decade ago.
"The study estimates that hotels can make a profit of roughly 80 percent to 90 percent on fees and surcharges, and that the amount collected has steadily climbed since charging fees became a widely embraced industry practice in the late 1990s," Time said.
Hotels seem to simply be following the lead of the rest of the fee-happy travel industry, the AP said. Car rental companies are charging additional fees for extras like a navigation system. And the airline industry is notorious for its add-on fees.
"The airlines have done a really nice job of making hotel fees and surcharges seem reasonable," Hanson told AP.
Hanson recommends paying special attention to the fine print because many once-free hotel services now have a fee associated with them.
Here are a few surcharges hotel customers may face, according to the AP:
- Luggage. More hotels now charge $1 or $2 a bag if you ask them to keep your bag for a few hours after checkout.
- In-room safe. Some hotels charge $1.50 per night.
- Internet use. Charges can range from $10 to $25 per night for Internet.
- Minibar. A number of fees are associated with the hotel room minibar, regardless of whether you actually consume anything. For instance, the Aria Resort in Las Vegas bills for items that have been removed from the minibar for more than 60 seconds, and charges $25 per night if you put your own drinks or food in the minibar fridge.
I don't think I'd be very happy if I removed a beverage from a minibar fridge for 75 seconds before I decided I didn't want it, and was still charged for the item. It also seems ridiculous to have to pay an extra fee to reserve a room with two queens.
Have you noticed that you're footing the bill for extra hotel fees?
More from Money Talks News
You can call me cheap, or you can call me frugal, I don't care. I work too hard for my money to pay top dollar for convenience.
This is how companies pad their bottom lines when a market's demand is flat. Gotta show an increase in profit every year or analysts destroy your company.
I travel a lot with family. I enjoy a nice hotel, and I usually book through an agency like Agoda, so I know exactly what I’m getting, and what fees are involved.
Do your homework. Think. Plan. Think again, and you won’t have any of these “extra” fees.
Pretty simple really.
I can't believe the prices they charge for just the room. I won't pay it. I mean a tiny smelly room with a lousy bed, a TV, and a shower that most people are only in for 10 hours max. I always take my RV... no more hotels. Think about it. With interest rates at all time lows, they finance these hotels for less than half of the cost of a few years back. Do you think they'd pass on any of the savings to the traveler. NO way! Instead, they crank up the rates and fees even more. Most of these places must sit more than half empty.
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