Extra fees seems to be getting routine. Travelers are getting hit with all kinds of extra fees that they were not expecting.
United Airlines announced recently that they are raising the cost to check on suitcase to $25 each way and to check a second suitcase to $35 each way. So when you are comparing a United flight to say a Southwest flight you have to keep in mind that depending on what you do with luggage those fares might be an extra $120 for United above the cost of the ticket.
Cruises have always had the advertised price and then the real price after port charges and taxes. In my experience with a recent cruise that I was booking the cheapest cabin was $420 for a 5 day cruise, but the port charges add another $198.77. Oh and you should not forget that tips would add another $50. And lets not forget to budget shore excursions, spa treatments, drinks, a soft drink card, etc. Those fees, at least, are discretionary expenses.
What about hotels? My friend Gary Arndt was given a free night at a nice upscale hotel in Los Angeles. But… after he paid for parking and internet he actually ended up paying more for that free room than he typically pays for a hotel room at a moderately priced hotel.
In addition, resort fees have become so common that Harrah’s in Las Vegas recently put out a press release with these words:
“Many Strip resorts outside of the Harrah’s Entertainment Las Vegas portfolio of resorts have implemented such fees. These resorts offer competitive promotional rates; however, in many instances, an additional resort fee is assessed when booking the reservation online. In some cases, the fee may be in excess of 40 percent of the base room rate.”
Vegas.com has a great list of what is included in the Las Vegas resort fees. Would you be surprised to get hit by an extra $9.95 per night at the Excalibar, for instance, for a resort fee that includes:
• Access to the fitness center
• A voucher for two beverages in a casino bar
• Free incoming faxes
• Free guest welcome reception at casino floor lounge
• A pass for two midway games
• Free wired internet access in guest room
• Unlimited local telephone calls and long distance domestic calls for 10 cents per minute
Before you book check to see what is included. “Breakfast” does not mean “free breakfast”. “Internet” does not mean “free internet”. “Parking” does not mean “free parking”.
If you get hit with fees that you did not agree to, then challenge them. The only way these fees will go away is when customers complain. Do yourself a favor and read Hotel fees that must die — and how to kill them by Chris Elliott.
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Tags: budget travel