The US Will Finally Ban Resort & Destination Fees?

The president of the United States gave the annual state of the union speech on Tuesday night, and several friends alerted me about a part that dealt with banning all sorts of junk fees.

We have covered the destination and resort fees numerous times, and all readers should know my opinion about them – nothing but scams.

Don’t we all remember those airline advertisements from a few years ago (especially in Asia) where airlines advertised close to free tickets only to tack on fees that made the price just the “normal”?

The issue is that hotels have slowly started adding all kinds of junk fees on top of the base charge under the Resort or Destination Fee, which often provide very little value to the average traveler (massive breakage).

We have covered why hotels love these, and here is a refresher:

1. Lower Base Rate

The hotel may look cheaper if not all the fees and taxes are included in the displayed price.

2. Not Points Eligible

Loyalty programs classify resort and destination fees as “taxes,” and you won’t earn points for them.

3. Collected On Redemption Stays

Hilton and Hyatt cover these fees when you redeem points for free nights, but Marriott, IHG, and Accor do not.

4. Commission

The junk fees are not usually commissionable to travel agents, although chains certainly collect their share from them.

5. “Junk” Benefits

These charges rarely cover anything that you would like to use OR something with very high breakage.

Here’s The Relevant Part Of The Speech (White House Transcript):

Junk fees may not matter to the very wealthy, but they matter to most folks in homes like the one I grew up in. They add up to hundreds of dollars a month.

They make it harder for you to pay the bills or afford that family trip.

I know how unfair it feels when a company overcharges you and gets away with it.

Not anymore.

We’ve written a bill to stop all that. It’s called the Junk Fee Prevention Act.

We’ll ban surprise “resort fees” that hotels tack on to your bill. These fees can cost you up to $90 a night at hotels that aren’t even resorts.

We’ll make cable internet and cellphone companies stop charging you up to $200 or more when you decide to switch to another provider.

We’ll cap service fees on tickets to concerts and sporting events and make companies disclose all fees upfront.

And we’ll prohibit airlines from charging up to $50 roundtrip for families just to sit together.

Baggage fees are bad enough – they can’t just treat your child like a piece of luggage.

Americans are tired of being played for suckers.

Pass the Junk Fee Prevention Act so companies stop ripping us off.

Our Junk Fee Coverage:

Resort Fees Las Vegas

Marriott Agrees To Display Prices INCLUSIVE Of Resort & Destination Fees

Why Hotels Love Resort Charges & Why You Should Hate Them?

Whine Wednesdays: Excessive Resort Fees In Las Vegas And Other Cities

NYT: “Paying a ‘Resort Fee’ When You’re Not at a Resort”

Marriott Faces Lawsuit Over Deceptive Resort Fees

Whine Wednesdays: Resort Fees For Holiday Resorts & Casino Hotels – Get Rid Of Them!

Whine Wednesdays: Fake “Resort Fees” Expanding To Cities As “Destination Fees”

Two LAX Area Marriott Hotels Introduce New Junk Fee


These resort fees are a double whammy for many frequent travelers; they are not qualifying spend (no points), and yet you need to pay them on award stays.

Just a scam.

Some may argue that “let the free market deal with the issue,” but we don’t allow the free market to deal with all kinds of scams and unlawful activity. Isn’t that the reason we have regulations and laws?

I had hoped that hotel companies could have dealt with these, but let’s face it, they are too profitable for them.

Let’s see if governments can create legislation that finally bans them.

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