The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently investigated hotel fees, and found this year is to be a record in terms of the amount of money hoteliers will collect from fees and surcharges, on track towards $2.55 billion.
These fees can mean much greater profitability for hotels, and this year there are more fee and surcharge categories, and higher amounts being charged, although lower fees and charges for WiFi access. Guests increasingly expect free WiFi, and more hotel brands are requiring hotel owners to increase access to high-speed Internet and/or upgrade their existing bandwidth as a result.
Newer types of fees relate to the guarantee of a specific room type, unattended parking, early check-in and holding checked luggage as well as some hotel groups introducing guest cancellation fees.
The FTC is also investigating hotels’ non-disclosure around “deceptive hotel fees”, and “bait and switch” practices.