EXTRA FEES, THE source of highly vocal complaints by many airline travelers, are expected to bring in record amounts of revenue for U.S. hotels this year, according to one expert. And, so far, guests have not registered much complaint.
The extra charges, many for items guests had previously assumed would be free like bottles of water, are expected to bring in $2.93 billion this year, New York University School of Professional Studies adjunct professor and hospitality expert Bjorn Hanson told the Los Angeles Times. That’s 8.5 percent higher than the amount collected in 2017, and Hanson, who has filed annual reports on hotel fees for years, told The Times he expects the charges will reach higher levels in 2019 as hotels struggle to cover increasing labor and other costs.
“Fees and surcharges are highly profitable,” Hanson said.
Hotels prefer the charges over increasing rates because most travelers consider only the rate. The fees became popular in 1997 as hotels faced rising energy costs. Lately resort hotels have been charging fees for services like early check-in, but those resort fees of between $20 to $40 also are charged by urban hotels not otherwise considered resorts, The Times article said.
While about 2.5 percent of the increase in the amount of fees comes from an increase in occupancy, 6 percent comes from higher fees being charged. And Hanson said hotel guests seem to be accepting the trend.
“Anecdotal reports are that these charges at urban hotels are receiving limited guest resistance,” he said.