Market Overview

House Bill Would Halt Undisclosed Resort Fees

House Bill Would Halt Undisclosed Resort Fees

Here's the scenario: you think you found a great deal on a hotel on Booking Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: BKNG)’s or Expedia Group Inc (NASDAQ: EXPE).

You go to check-in at the lobby, only to find you are hit with a hidden $40 resort fee. Ouch.

It’s a feeling travelers know all too well, but Congress is pushing to end hidden resort fees with a new law.

The Hotel Advertising Transparency Act of 2019 was introduced by representatives Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) on Wednesday after Consumer Reports urged Congress to do something about resort fees.

About The Legislation

The bill aims to aims to protect travelers from fees that are not clearly disclosed in a hotel's advertised price.

“Travelers shouldn’t have to read the fine print to figure out all the fees they’ll be charged for staying at a hotel,” said Anna Laitin, director of financial policy for Consumer Reports, according to eTurboNews

“Hotels should be required to disclose all fees in their advertised rate so consumers won’t get stung with a higher bill than what they’re expecting to pay when booking a room.”

In 2012 and 2013, the Federal Trade Commission sent letters to 34 hotels and 11 online travel agencies warning them that they may be violating the law by not including all fees in the advertised price for rooms, but the FTC failed to take any further action to stop the practice, according to Consumer Reports. 

An investigation by Consumer Reports found that 31 of the 34 hotels previously targeted by the FTC continue to charge resort fees that are not included in the price quoted to consumers.

The investigation also found 10 online travel agencies are still operating today that do not include resort fees in the initial quoted price.

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Posted-In: Anna Laitin Bernice Johnson Consumer Reports eTurboNews Federal Trade CommissionNews Travel General Best of Benzinga


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