Few airlines love fees more than Allegiant Air. The carrier literally charges you for anything that isn’t bolted down on the aircraft. But now now you can experience that kind of gratuitous unbundling, courtesy of Allegiant, when you buy a hotel through its site.
Carol Lyon did when she reserved a four-night stay at the MGM Grand Signature recently.
When I booked, it was solely because the price was very good. I was thrilled when I saw pictures and descriptions of the room. This trip is for my 60th birthday, and is on a very limited budget, so when I was reading on the MGM site and saw that about “resort fees” being $20 per night, I got worried.
Back in January, I noted with amusement that Harrah’s had issued a press release saying it does not “impose mandatory resort fees attached to a room reservation.”
At the time, I wondered why Harrah’s had phrased its announcement in exactly that way. Why not just say, “We’ve eliminated resort fees?” Also, it remained unclear why a large casino resort would turn down money from its guests that, at least according to the other casinos in town, they were more than willing to pay.
Question: I’ve been booking hotel rooms through Hotwire recently, and I’ve been quite pleased with the site — until now. The last hotel charged a $25 per night resort fee, which included the “use of the spa.”
This was mandatory, even though we didn’t plan to use the spa, and had not been disclosed in the Hotwire booking process. I tried calling Hotwire about this and they simply kept saying, “It’s in our terms and conditions that hotels may charge separate fees for parking and resort fees.”
I understand that parking often constitutes an extra charge, but failing to disclose substantial, mandatory resort fees seems inappropriate. In theory, they could have tacked on $100 a night or more to our nonrefundable reservation, and we would have had no recourse. What do you think? — Sonja Johnson, San Francisco
Answer: The hotel shouldn’t charge you a mandatory “resort” fee. It shouldn’t charge anyone a resort fee, for that matter.
Resort fees are wrong on so many levels; it’s hard to know where to begin. A room rate should include all mandatory charges except maybe taxes (and I would argue that it ought to include taxes as well, but I digress). Resort fees — which are charged by some independent hotels for the use of anything from an exercise facility to beach towels — add anywhere from $10 to $30 to the per-night cost of your room. Read more “But no one told me about the resort fee!”
What do you get when you put a Las Vegas hotel, a mandatory resort fee and an opaque Web site together? If you said “trouble,” you’re absolutely correct.
Ben Huynh made a bid on a Priceline hotel in Las Vegas recently. He got the Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, but he also was charged an additional, mandatory $15-a-night resort fee. He appealed to Priceline for a refund, but it turned him down, saying that the fee had been adequately disclosed in its terms and conditions.
Depending on the city and property you stay in, you may also be charged resort fees or other incidental fees, such as parking charges. These charges, if applicable, will be payable by you to the hotel directly at checkout. When you check in, a credit card or, in the hotel’s discretion, a debit card will be required to secure these charges and any incidental fees (phone calls, room service, movie rentals, etc.) that you may incur during your stay.