I hate junk fees. I steams me to no end that Delta charges, not only a huge amount of SkyMiles for a one-way booking from Europe (vs. a round trip), what are called YQ or YR surcharges that can run up to $650 per ticket – EACH WAY – just because they can get away with it!
Hotels & “Resorts” have become infested / infected / consumed this year with joining the junk fee revolution. They are charging extra for everything but air. They are bundling junk and calling them a resort or destination fee and expect you to simply pay them – or else. Well, there are some clever ways around these fees and I have a number of suggestions you should try.
I am going to visit Hawaii for a few days this coming winter (flying Delta One) and will be staying mostly “free” on. But the hotel / resort has a nasty resort fee (they don’t even tell you what you get upfront for the fee btw). I did not want to pay this. So the simple solution was to write to the hotel and ask to “opt-out”. I now have proof I can show, should they try to tack it on when I go to check-out, that I do not need to pay this. I will always write to every hotel / resort I ever book and ask to opt-out before I go. What else can you try?
Clearly the better way is to reach out to the hotel before you go. I would not recommend vlogging your check-in when you are then asking to opt-out of the fee because they may threaten to call the police on you! But if you were not aware of any fee, and they spring one on you, I would ask to not use any of the “features” listed and opt-out of the daily fee. What if they refuse? You still have some options.
“You only need to spend as few as 60 seconds worth of your time and effort to likely reclaim the mandatory resort fees which you paid when you stayed at a hotel or resort property which had the audacity to charge them.” – The Gate at BoardingArea
The above is from my fellow BoardingArea blogger Brian from The Gate. He suggests, after the fact, you take the matter to the Attorney General of the state you visited and push to get a check back for the fee paid. I like the idea. Plus, you should get points for the charge (often 5-10x with the right card) and you get a check back! #Winning! What else can you do?
Request, since they will not back down on the charge, that they break out the junk fees on a separate receipt and pay for that separately. Then, you have some options. One blog reader suggested that we simply call and challenge the charge of the junk fee (if you did not use any of the items listed). By having the junk fees on a separate bill will make that attempt simpler. I have one more option post-stay.
Hotels and resorts REALLY care about Trip Advisor (TA). Now here is the deal, you need to get regular about giving all kinds of reviews on TA for this to work. If you then have an issue with a resort fee, you can in your review rate them low because of this one fact, and mention that they refused to work with you on an opt-out. This could possibly mean a refund after the fact. (#ProTip: you can often find hidden hotels contacts / email to request an opt-out on their TA review page for the hotel).
The above are just a few to consider to get out of these ridiculous and frankly unconscionable and shameless junk fees hotels and resorts are sticking us with. Maybe you have some other ideas that have worked for you in the past to avoid them? Let us know in the comments below! – René