Consumer Watch: Helpful tips while traveling Labor Day weekend

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by Andy Treinen

WHAS11.com

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 4:31 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) - - Heading out of town for the long Labor Day weekend? If a hotel is in your plans, read your bill carefully at checkout.

Those extra little fees on a hotel tab can really add up.  According to an annual survey from New York University's Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management, US hotels will collect almost $2 billion in fees and surcharges this year. 

Guests will notice the most common fees and can usually avoid them, things like wireless internet, phone calls, cancellation and early departure fees. However other, less obvious fees include:

  • Mini-bar restocking fees
  • Charges for in-room safes
  • Extra charges related to a hotel's business center, like fees for receiving packages or express mail.
  • Automatic room service gratuities.
  • Fees for holding baggage after checkout.

The good news for travelers is that the tide is turning. The NYU study forecasts fewer hotels introducing new fees and surcharges in 2013. It’s perhaps hoping to avoid the backlash the airline industry has received since it started charging extra for checked baggage, in-flight food and beverages, preferred seating and more. US Airlines picked up more than $3 billion in baggage fees alone in 2011 and now travelers are flocking to the few airlines that don’t charge for baggage.
 

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