Have you been burned by charges for destination fees, cleaning fees, facility fees or resort fees that suddenly showed up on your bill after you booked a hotel room or short-term rental? The government wants to help. Congress is currently tackling the problem of hidden resort fees. The Hotel Advertising Transparency Act of 2019 could change the way we all view rates that are advertised by hotels and short-term rentals. The bill would potentially ban any company or person from advertising rates that don't include fees. However, government taxes and fees would be exempt under the bill.
The Hotel Advertising Transparency Act would require hotels and rental operators to completely change the way they display hotel rates. You probably already know that most hotel websites and online booking agencies tend to show shoppers base room rates that don't include fees. The thought is that shoppers who are browsing for rooms based on price will jump on bargain rates. However, the problem is that inaccurate or misleading rate displays often cause shoppers to book prices that are vastly different from what will actually be charged.
It's not uncommon for a traveler to pay $100 in fees during a hotel stay. Fees at many hotels around the country add up to about $20 per day. It is estimated that American travelers will pay more than $3 billion in hidden travel fees this year.
When can consumers expect to see some change? It's hard to say what will happen with the Hotel Advertising Transparency Act. What is known is that the bill won't be getting a hearing before 2020. American hotel customers will need to stay tuned!