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Seattle Times Article About "Worst Travel Fees" & Resort Fees

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by Sonya, Jul 10, 2017.

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  1. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Saw a short article in Seattle Times over the weekend about "The worst travel fees, and how to avoid them".
    http://www.seattletimes.com/life/travel/the-worst-travel-fees-and-how-to-avoid-them/

    Interesting part for VMBers:

    The bold is mine on this line: Interestingly, the federal government has been eyeing resort fees and might soon act to make them illegal.

    *fingers crossed*
     
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  2. ShelbyCharger

    ShelbyCharger MIA

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    Thank you for all of your heads up advice!
     
  3. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    the bean counters will just raise the rack rate accordingly
     
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  4. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    True, but I still think that's a better way to go. I'd rather compare full rate to full rate and not have to do the math myself. Plus, it ends anyone being surprised at the extra fee per night on checkout. I know it's a shocker, but not everyone reads the fine print. ;)
     
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  5. ken2v

    ken2v Wear a mask

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    Ding ding ding ding!! And then the gripes here won't be $50 + a "hidden" $20, but that it is now $70.
     
  6. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    Which would be an improvement regardless.
     
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  7. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    I wouldn't get my hopes up. This seems to be a reference to murmurs since summer 2016 that the FTC would require hotels to display the total cost in the initial quote. Note that this isn't exactly the same thing as banning the fee, and whatever the FTC is considering, they don't seem to be in a hurry.
     
  8. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    They're not. :) We've been hearing that they might pass some legislature for at least a year now, but still nothing. But I sure do like seeing the possibility in print.
     
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  9. Mitkraft

    Mitkraft VIP Whale

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    I say "Of course!" to those who's response is that they'll raise the rack rate accordingly but there are two advantages to that as opposed to "resort fees". Comparing rooms is more straight forward and more importantly: a comp room is a comp room! (not a comp room + resort fees)
     
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  10. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    It will be difficult but not impossible (but close to it). The feds changed the rules for air fares, remember? On the web sites they didn't include such fees as landing fees, airport fees, etc. and you found out the total price after you finished your booking, right before you pay. Nowadays you get the total cost of your fare upfront and other than the baggage fees or nickel and dime airlines most of your cost is listed when you are doing your searches. I found this on the Department of Transportation website for airlines:


    "Disclosure of Full Fares and Ancillary Fees

    For both domestic and international markets, carriers must provide disclosure of the full price to be paid, including government taxes/fees as well as carrier surcharges, in their advertising, on their websites and on the passenger’s e-ticket confirmation. In addition, carriers must disclose all fees for optional services through a prominent link on their homepage, and must include information on e-ticket confirmations about the free baggage allowance and applicable fees for the first and second checked bag and carry-on".




    Unfortunately hotels do not fall under the DOT so if anything, the legislators in DC will have to pass some kind of law requiring the above rules for hotels. This will be difficult since we won't only be talking about Las Vegas, it is something that has to be done nationwide. Of course the Nevada legislators could try it for their state but I'm sure many of them get a lot of their political contributions from the hotel industry so wouldn't want to lose contributors which will make this a near impossibility.

    We all would rather they disclose all their rates and fees when you are searching for rooms but the hotels rather hide their fees to make their nightly rates look lower.
     
  11. Mitkraft

    Mitkraft VIP Whale

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    While we are dreaming lets get rid of the utterly crap "handling fees" for buying event tickets (not just Vegas but everywhere)!
     
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  12. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    I get your point. And it's certainly a valid one. But the corollary to the rack rate increase is a tightening of comps. For those who continue to get the upfront comps, it would be a great development. But those who miss the cut will long for the "Free + RF" rooms of yore.

    TANSTAAFL!
     
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  13. Mitkraft

    Mitkraft VIP Whale

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    My comped room offers didn't go up when they added resort fees and I doubt they would go down if the resort fee got removed or if they forced them to include it in the room price. I think it was just an easy way to nickel & dime people and some bean counter decided they wouldn't comp RF on corp offers. And even if they reduced the number of comp room days they offer in a row, I'd still rather that. Then I would be able to actually stay for free even if it was for fewer nights. Then I can decide to pay additional nights or maybe move on to another casino where I also have comp nights. Where as I used to be able to string together a long trip with free or mostly free comp nights, now every hotel night in Vegas cost some minimum amount which adds up on longer trips and cuts into the entertainment/gambling budget.
     
  14. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    If I can predict the "workaround" for the charge... if the FTC's motion succeeds, they'll get rid of it as a mandatory thing (that is, you can check into the hotel without paying the resort fee). But that doesn't mean they can't keep the resort fee as an "optional" charge, to receive benefits that we would otherwise consider to be "normal", or take for granted to be included. To the best of my knowledge, there's no law that says they need to offer such things as wireless internet, phone service, fitness centre access, etc. - and thus, they can be charged for as "extras". One simple way to get "everything included"? Pay this completely optional resort fee!

    For example, say you came to check into the Bellagio. You've paid your room rate and taxes on Expedia, so all they need is a credit card and ID to get you into your room, and off you go. No resort fee required, FTC requirements met.

    But you try to get onto the wifi, and it tells you they want $24.95 per day, plus tax. Then you try to use the phone, it's disconnected. You try to go to the fitness centre, you're told you don't have access to it.

    Here's how they describe what the resort fee includes:

    "A daily resort fee is applied to all hotel reservations. The resort fee includes: Property-wide high speed internet access (public spaces and in-room), unlimited local and toll free calls, airline boarding pass printing, notary service and fitness center access for guests 18+."

    So, realistically, the only thing that would be outlawed is forcing people to pay for it. But given what they would legally be able to exclude, they would have no difficulty forcing people to pay it, given all of the things they'd expect a resort to provide.

    This could even go several steps further, to say that such things as daily housekeeping is excluded, and the resort fee must be paid to get it. Or that only two towels are supplied per room, but you get as many as you need if you pay the resort fee.

    The limits of nickel and diming simply do not exist, except by the market forces that stand to cost the business its customers. But planes full of people keep on coming into Vegas every single day, so there's no real incentive for the resorts to stop trying to squeeze every last dollar out of us - whether a legal incentive, or a goodwill incentive.
     
  15. Patman

    Patman VIP Whale

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    Tightening of comps will just mean there won't be any. Instead of a comp and resort fee, its just going to be exclusive rate, and that rate will equal what was previously the resort fee. Only those that get a resort fees waived now will get a true comped room. Call it whatever you want but same sh!t. At the end of the day the hotel will still get what it can get. And everyone will stay pay the same, if not more, than what they pay today.
     
  16. Mitkraft

    Mitkraft VIP Whale

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    You have no way to know that is true. And on the contrary, I was getting comp rooms all the time before resort fees got added. My comps didn't go up when they got added and you have no real evidence to say they would disappear.

    I don't need any of the things listed in the current list of what the resort fee covers and would gladly do without them in order to save the fee. I have a cell phone with my own wifi hotspot and I don't go on vacation to exercise. I think the other items in your example (housekeeping, towels) are just absurd and unrealistic speculation at least in the near term.
     
  17. Patman

    Patman VIP Whale

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    You still got comped rooms when they added resort fees because nothing changed (except getting more money in a resort fee) for the hotel. Now you are talking about taking something away from them and you don't think they are going to make up for it in another way. Maybe not what I have suggested or others in here but the market dictates they can get that amount for that room so they will do something to get that amount. It may just be that they reduce the days you get and that may be ok with you, but then they will get full rack rate from someone else for the day(s) they didn't give you and they will end up the same. The consumer isn't coming out ahead here because the market (current demand) has set the price and will always set the price even when things go the other way. Whatever you get for a comp has and will still be based on your ADT x house edge x whatever % they will give you back. They will still just give you that value in your comps. If there are no longer resort fees they will just build that into the equation
     
  18. leo21

    leo21 VIP Whale

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    Not quite. They will try to raise rates by the amount of the fee but room rates are sensitive to supply and demand because most of these hotels use dynamic pricing. They may set their rate at $70 but when no one books, the rate comes down to start selling rooms. It's never really mattered for the better hotels but for the bottom tier hotels, the market won't support the rates they are currently collecting because of the mandatory fees. For mid tier hotels, there a few who have depressed rates because of the resort fees so I don't see a backlash there either.

    It's just better for us if the mandatory parts of the fees go away. They've just become a way for the hotels to escape the laws of supply and demand and to ignore the demands of the consumer. There are some hotels would have had to step it up in property maintenance and customer service to get the rates they want but they are getting them anyway through the fees.
     
  19. ken2v

    ken2v Wear a mask

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    They don't use dynamic pricing now? That $50 becomes $30 in slack times but the $20 is the $20 is the $20.

    What's next? TOT and parking fees included in the first-up price?
     
  20. birdman925

    birdman925 Low-Roller

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    Bean counters is very derogatory to us Accountants. lol
     
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