Hidden Hotel Fees: The Horror
So you're feeling pretty good about snagging that great deal on your hotel room. Then you check out, and your jaw drops when you see the final tally on those "bargain" accommodations. What's this "resort fee" of $30 a day, when you didn't even set foot in the hotel's gym or pool? And are they really charging you $20 extra for housekeeping service? $2.50 for a local phone call? $10 for minibar restocking? $4 for the bottle of water that was so thoughtfully left on the nightstand? $2.50 for the in-room safe that you didn't even use?!?
In the annals of travel annoyances, hidden hotel fees rank right up there with delayed flights, missed connections and being stuck in the dreaded middle seat with a 300-pounder on each side. According to global services company PricewaterhouseCoopers, the hotel industry made $1.6 billion in hidden fee revenue in 2006 -- a 7% increase from 2005. Some of these fees are optional -- it's easy to skip the gym if you know there's a "facilities usage fee" of $25 attached -- but others are mandatory, and not disclosed at booking or check-in.
Got an especially egregious examples of a hidden hotel fee? If you were recently gouged at check-out time, share the details here, including the amounts of the surcharges, and whether you were successful at getting the charges waived.
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