Travel Trouble

Wed, 3 Apr, 2019Courtney Allan

Don’t get caught out: Why you should be aware of this sneaky travel fee

Don’t get caught out: Why you should be aware of this sneaky travel fee

Many people travel to America to see the sights and sounds of another country. However, it’s important to keep in mind that although it might look a bit like the country you’ve just come from, this isn’t always the case.

For example, if you pay in full for your hotel room, it’s expected that’s all you have to pay for.

One traveller discovered that this wasn’t the case.

Kate Schneider told about a resort fee that had been tacked onto the end of her bill after she had paid for an all inclusive room.

“I hadn’t used the mini bar, made any calls or ordered room service. So what extras could they possibly be charging me for?” she explained.

“Then, as I dug deeper towards the end of the T&Cs in the hotel’s email, under the nitty gritty of their cancellation policy and far away from where the total price of the stay was highlighted, I spotted two words: Resort fee.”

This is a tactic that’s illegal in Australia, as all mandatory fees must be included in a single total price.

However, when you’re travelling overseas to America, Mexico or even Canada, they have no such practices in place.

If you’re not careful and don’t read the fine print, this fee that is charged daily to cover hotel amenities can end up costing more than you originally paid for the room.

The worst part is, that it goes by different names as well, depending on where you’re going. Some resorts call it a “facility fee” whereas others prefer using the term “destination fee”.

Bjorn Hanson, an adjunct professor at the New York University School of Professional Studies Jonathan M. Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism has explained why such fees are in place.

“The hotel industry is looking at the airline model and trying to increase revenue opportunities,” he said.

When it comes to getting your money back, that’s a trickier debacle. You can take up any issues with the hotel directly or the booking agent. However, if you haven’t booked through an Australian company or site, there’s not much that can be done.

You can also contact your bank and request a chargeback if you believe money has been incorrectly taken from your account if you don’t have any luck negotiating with the hotel.

Has this happened to you before? Let us know in the comments.