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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.

By MSN Money Partner Aug 27, 2014 1:26PM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News. 


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyCha-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.

Hotel maid © Simon Jarratt/CorbisAccording to The Associated Press:

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

Aug 27, 2014 3:14PM
The more expensive the hotel the more they charge for "extras." I never stay at a Hilton or a Marriott unless business requires it. Even then the company will often negotiate such things as free wi fi in the contract for the business. As far as the mini bar, I've been known to walk two blocks to either a C-store or a McDonald's for a soda than pay the mini-bar prices.
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.
Aug 27, 2014 4:56PM
My annoyance is the dishonesty and taking away lack of choice. I pay well to stay at a nice place and then they tack on hidden fees. In Las Vegas, hard to find a nice hotel without a resort fee, which is mandatory, even if not using spa or pool. Oh wait, the Spa is extra anyway! Parking, extra, Wi-Fi extra. Refrigerator, extra.  I've found if shopping carefully I can usually find a larger room with free wifi and a fridge.  Failure to give me choice by hiding fees however will not bring me back. I'm not cheap but don't like being taken advantage of.
Aug 27, 2014 5:32PM
A hotel close to Midway Airport in Chicago, charges you $15.00 a day to park your car in their lot while you are paying $200+ a night for a room. Now that is extreme!
Aug 27, 2014 3:50PM
How much time do you actually spend in your hotel room or suite anyway? If you're like me, you just use the place for a crap and a nap. Stay at a less expensive motel that has free wi-fi, complimentary breakfast, and in-room microwaves and mini-fridges. You will save a ton! A company I contracted for once put me up in a high dollar hotel, and yes, they charged for everything! $19.95 a day for Internet! I just used the hotspot function on my smartphone. At check-out they tried to charge me $4.50 for a bottle of water which I did not use, and got them to take it off the bill. I have a sneaking suspicion that the housekeeper got thirsty while making up my room and drank the $4.50 bottle of water and tried to stick me with the cost.
Aug 30, 2014 9:10AM
Aug 30, 2014 10:52AM
My hotel is a truck camper. I can park it in some of the most amazing places and I don't charge myself any extra fees. I wake up to the best views money CAN'T buy and nobody is keeping me awake at night. I don't need a little safe in the wall, or air conditioning and I don't need room service. Corporate America's got nothing on my sunsets. Enjoy your days.
Aug 27, 2014 3:42PM

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.

Aug 27, 2014 5:00PM
Going to Vegas? Don't. Resort fees? $20.00 a day plus tax for a Pool, telephone for local calls and a gym. These were charges for services we do not use. If they want to charge for these extras, charge the folks who use them. Vegas gets dirtier and dirtier and the charges keep escalating. Folks are right about staying home. Good grief in AZ we have over 20 casinos that will gladly take your money.
Aug 28, 2014 3:57PM
All of you travelers should demand, as I do, a complete list of charges from these thieves including taxes. I then compare and cull out the wholesale thievery esp the ripoff cities and states that steal from you by way of local taxes. 

Fight back at the scummy crooks folks!
Aug 30, 2014 8:15AM
Twenty five bucks a night to put my own water in the room refrigerator? Try collecting that one.
Aug 27, 2014 2:46PM
How does the Hotel know if you removed a drink from the minibar and not drink it, then put it back or use the fridge to put other drink or food in? Do they have camera in the room watching, because if they do then people can sue them for invasion of privacy.
Aug 30, 2014 3:56PM
Just returned from a vacation in DC. The Radisson charged me $20/night to park in their open/unsecured garage. On check-in they added an up front charge of $50 per night for "incidental" charges I MIGHT accrue; a total of $500 added to my credit card before I even checked in. After I told them I wasn't going to pay it, and cancel my reservation, they removed it from my card. Total incidental charges actually accrued = $85; 4 days parking and 1 movie. Worst, yet, all the additional charges were not disclosed when I reserved to room back in May, but upon check-in, in August. This is the last time I will ever stay w/Radisson.
Aug 27, 2014 6:43PM
I'd refuse to pay some of these fees as they are nothing more than theft. Of course I'd never stay there again. Thanks for the heads up on some questions to ask before making a reservation.
Aug 27, 2014 4:25PM
Take own GPS, Buy drinks at WalMart, use your own hot spot.
Aug 30, 2014 8:43AM
I question the legallity of the charging for nothing BS;
Aug 27, 2014 3:49PM
If you kick back hard enough, they will sometimes take unreasonable charges off the bill. Especially things like touching a mini bar item. Services like baggage holding would be more difficult.
Aug 27, 2014 4:01PM

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.

Aug 30, 2014 7:38AM

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.

Aug 30, 2014 12:27PM
Any time I get hit with, what I consider an unfair fee, I go on Trip Advisor, and warn folks about it.  And of course, having a bad taste, from feeling ripped off, will certainly be reflected in my review.  It doesn't take too many bad to middling reviews to have an effect on their business.  If we all did this, they would have to pay attention.
Aug 27, 2014 6:23PM
Housekeeping is extra and bath towels are rentals
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