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Jill Stone

Your Meeting Matchmaker Fairy Godmother

Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, FEE!

in: Meeting Planning Economics

hotel fees

Whenever and wherever we take our meetings to, we know that there will be fees and surcharges involved. Some such charges we have become accustomed to. While, some tend to make us scratch our head about, and others just make us a bit perturbed.

2016 is looking to be a banner year for rising hotel fees. According to a post made by Meetings & Conventions, “Fees and surcharges collected by U.S. hotels this year could reach a record $24.7 billion, according to Bjorn Hanson, Ph.D., in his annual trend report.” Gulp.

Most of us know that the bottled water is more than likely not complimentary, that minibars are stocked with yummy, yet expensive tidbits, and those Wi-Fi service charges and parking charges are a great possibility. But there are some other fees that have been popping up lately, and these are not as expected.

Whether your room is facing a lovely lush lawn or you are looking at the air-conditioning system, you may still be paying a groundskeeping fee. Even the in-room safe that you may never even open can come with a charge. If you go to the pool and use more than one towel, that may cost you as well. Thinking of checking out early? You may be hit with an early departure fee.

It goes without saying that you have to do your research, but even then it may be tough to determine what you are paying for, as some hotel fees are all lumped together in one “fee” category. Though some of the information can be found online, your best bet is to talk directly with your hotel representative. For example, you may wish to make sure that you are not tipping twice, as some hotels now include tips for certain staff members in their fees. Whenever in doubt, just ask. And do your research before signing the dotted line.

It truly is your right to know. Federal law requires that all hotel fees be disclosed, and these can usually be found in the fine print of the terms and conditions portion of your reservations agreement. Unfortunately, federal law has not ruled any of the fees as inappropriate, simply that they must be disclosed. If fees show up that were not discussed earlier, then you should definitely address it. And do like I do, save all papers and all emails and all everything!

I know, you’re jumping for joy that you have yet another thing to toss into your “Negotiation” files. Or you can just let me do the negotiating for you – I am all over this! For you I am willing to negotiate those fees away, or at least minimize them. Give me a call at 636-678-7661.


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