Tags: Hotels | airlines | Fee | Free

Hotels Follow Airlines: To Fee From ‘Free’

By Michelle Smith   |   Monday, 31 Oct 2011 01:56 PM

Following in the footsteps of the airlines, hotels are piling on a slew of hidden fees for services that used to be free, reports CNN Money.

Your hotel bill may include some unpleasant surprises, warns the Miami Herald, which also reported on the trend.

Some hotels are now charging extra for on-site parking, access to the gym or swimming pool, Wi-Fi and having luggage held after checkout.

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If you eat or drink from the room's snack selection, not only will you have to pay for the items, you may be slapped with a sizable restocking fee.

And before you pull out your wallet to
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provide a tip to the bellhop for bringing up your bags or to housekeeping for making your bed, most spots have already charged you a generous gratuity for their service, just like they have done for years with room service, reveals CNN Money.

The Miami Herald says that lodging facilities are changing the ways that they serve guests, revealing that while more fees are appearing, certain items travelers are used to seeing are beginning to disappear. Miniature shower products are being replaced with stationary dispensers, front desk staff with electronic check in services and bathtubs with showers.

So, if you’re traveling with a small child who’s going to need a bath before bedtime, call ahead to make sure your room has a tub, the Herald reports.

Internet comparison sites are receiving some of the blame for this new trend.

"You always want to have the lowest rate available online, so you won't include certain things like parking, Wi-Fi or breakfast, Chris McGinnis, Best Western's business travel editor, told CNN Money.

Total fees and surcharges collected by hotels in the U.S. are projected to hit a record $1.8 billion this year, up 80 percent from a decade ago, according to a recent study by Bjorn Hanson, dean of New York University's Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management, reported the Miami Herald.

For hotels, all those charges add up to nearly pure profit, Hanson told CNN Money.

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