Fodor’s posted another helpful list of hidden hotel fees to beware of the next time you travel. In most cases, these fees fall under the practice of “negative option billing,” meaning that there’s an assumption you’ve used the related service and therefore agree to the charge. If that’s not the case—or, in the case of gratuities, if you’ve already tipped—you should definitely ask the hotel to remove such fees from your bill.
- Towels (other than room—e.g., pool or fitness center)
- Business center, fitness room
- Housekeeping, bellman gratuity fees
- Water and newspapers
- Energy surcharge
- Early check in or out/extended cancellation
- Shuttle service
- Room block fees
- Random incorrect charges
Fodor’s point out that federal law requires such “hidden” fees to be disclosed “clearly and conspicuously.”
If extra fees aren’t clearly stated in the reservation conditions when you book online or over the phone, you should inform the hotel they are violating the law and politely but firmly ask for the charges to be removed. Obviously you now need to read the fine print conditions when you book online, and should ask if any extra fees are billed when you book over the phone.
“14 Hidden Hotel Fees to Avoid “ [Fodor’s]