My recent critique of the phrase “for your convenience” in the hospitality industry brought out angry hotel managers, who insisted they were providing a convenience to their guests and that I was all wrong.
Airlines sure do love their fees, don’t they?
A recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report revealed that domestic air carriers collected $7.1 billion in revenue from checked-bag and changed-reservations fees last year. The extra charges are helping the industry earn record profits.
If enough travelers stopped paying the travel industry’s infuriating surcharges and fees, would the unwanted add-ons simply disappear? Would extra charges for checked luggage, ticket change fees and mandatory hotel resort fees vanish into thin air?
How do you turn sour grapes into a rare and expensive vintage? Ask your favorite airline; for over a decade they’ve been fermenting profits ever since the fuel surcharges were no longer needed to cover oil price spikes.
Will the industry with the worst fees please stand up and take a bow?
When Walter Nissen signed up for a British Airways Chase Visa card recently, he though he’d be jetting off to London after earning just 50,000 miles.
The sooner, the better.
Fees on top of fees. It used to be the kind of hyperbole with which I spiced up my columns.
In part two of their interview with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Christopher Elliott and Charlie Leocha explore the new tarmac-delay restrictions for airlines and pending rules for the disclosure of surcharges, such as baggage fees, that have spread through the airline industry.
Mike Simonetto is the principal and global leader of Deloitte Consulting’s pricing and profitability practice. With airlines and other travel companies testing our willingness to pay fees, I wanted to ask a pricing expert like him why travel companies were doing this and where it’s all headed.
If you think fees are outrageous here in the United States, may I suggest a European vacation? Minisha Kochar recently
When it comes to fees, never underestimate the car rental industry’s creativity. If you do, you might miss the six percent surcharge that Avis slipped on Monica Huchro’s bill last week.
If this isn’t a bait-and-switch, I don’t know what is. Jonathan Yarmis thought he was getting a $375 a night room rate at the Hotel Bauer in Venice, marked down from $537.
Scott Booker is the chief hotel expert and guest advocate for Hotels.com. I asked him about this summer’s unprecedented crop of hotel bargains and how to take advantage of them in a recessionary economy, plus the outlook for new hotel fees.
Times are hard for car rental companies. No one knows that better than Robert Barton, chief operating officer for U-Save Car & Truck Rental and president of the American Car Rental Association. Times are also hard for car rental customers, who are experiencing new fees, surcharges and higher prices. I asked Barton to explain what’s happening, and what the industry plans to do.
If you’re tired of being nickeled and dimed to death when you fly, you might want to be in Miami on May 12 and 13. That’s when hundreds of executives will gather at an industry conference to figure out how to grow the $3.5 billion in so-called “ancillary” revenues they expect to collect from us this year.
Are the car rental companies taking a page from the airlines’ playbook, when it comes to fees and surcharges? Charles Locher thinks so. First, Hertz billed him an extra $26 for gas and fuel service, even though he had prepaid for both. Then another car rental company socked his friend with a $120 “interior cleaning” charge, even though the vehicle was returned in good shape.
They make us pay for our first checked bag. They invent new fees. They slap outrageous fuel “surcharges” on to the price of our ticket. Why? Airlines say it’s because fuel costs are out of control. What nonsense.
They may be a little late to the game, but then again, the first skiers who will probably be hit by these fees won’t see them until this summer (winter in South American ski resorts like Valle Nevado and Cerro Catedral). But a group of skiers is protesting the planned second-bag surcharge that United Airlines and US Airways have announced, hoping to enlist scuba divers, golfers and parents with strollers to their cause.
Are the illegal fuel surcharges imposed by cruise lines about to be scuttled? Don’t hold your breath. Royal Caribbean today announced a settlement with Florida’s Attorney General to eliminate its controversial fuel surcharge for bookings made before Nov. 16 and to refund any fees already collected. Other major cruise lines are expected to follow.
The first of what could be several fuel charge-related lawsuits against the cruise lines was filed earlier this week in Miami. Coral Gables, Fla., attorney Harley Tropin submitted the complaint, which seeks class action status, on behalf of New York resident Jason Ablelove. It charges several large cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Carnival Corp. and Norwegian Cruise Line, with colluding to fix unreasonably high fuel surcharges.