Would You Pay $20/Night To Guarantee A Non-Smoking Room?

You can almost imagine the moment when some executive at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas was walking by the check-in counter and heard an employee ask a guest, “Will that be smoking or non-smoking?” And in that moment, yet another idea for a tack-on fee was born.

According to travel journalist Chris Elliott, the MGM Grand is now offering a $20 — per night! — option for guests who want to “guarantee” they have a non-smoking room at the hotel.

As Elliott points out, this is another example of a business looking to make money by charging people for something that should be the default option:

Hotels should offer their guests non-smoking rooms by default, and they should reward them for not puffing away in their rooms, if not punish them for lighting up. That’s how the rest of the world does it.

But since there are fewer smokers than there are non-smokers, that would mean the hotel has fewer chances to make the extra $20/night.

What really burns us up is the “per night” part of the fee. Unless you’re moving rooms within the hotel every day, why would you need to pay the fee more than once? If you only pay it for the first night of a 3-night stay, does the MGM Grand send in some smoking staffers to light up while housekeeping does its thing?

Ridiculous or not? A $20-a-night fee to “guarantee” a non-smoking room [Elliott.org]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.