A NEW bill targets hidden surcharges affecting every American traveler.
The Hotel Fees Transparency Act requires anyone advertising a hotel room or short-term rental to provide advance notice of any fees in their rates that a customer would be required to pay.
The bill was introduced by Senators Jerry Moran and Amy Klobuchar as part of the Biden administration’s effort to stop “junk fees.”
Recent data shows that six percent of hotels nationwide have a mandatory resort, destination or amenity fee averaging $26 per night.
The American Hotel & Lodging Association, the largest hotel association in the United States, supported the bill.
The bill would create a standard for a mandatory fee to be displayed from hotels to online travel agencies.
“We know that consumers are booking their trips across multiple websites, and this bill is a critical step in creating a more transparent booking process for guests,” said Chip Rogers, President and CEO of AHLA.
The bill was presented on July 27.
“High prices force Kansas residents to cover all their expenses, and they shouldn’t have to guess how much they’ll end up paying for a hotel room,” Moran said.
“This sensible legislation requires hotels and other short-term accommodation providers to display and advertise the total price of their room so that Kansas residents can be assured that the price shown is the price they pay at check-out.”
Travelers who reserve online often face hidden fees that make it difficult to compare prices, Klobuchar said.
“This bipartisan legislation would help increase transparency so travelers can make informed decisions.”
During his State of the Union address last February, President Joe Biden pointed to several industries he says have taken advantage of junk fees.
These include hotels, airlines, credit card companies, concerts, sporting events, cable and Internet providers, and cellphone companies.
“We will ban surprise resort fees that hotels bill on your bill,” Biden said. “These fees can run as high as $90 per night at non-resort hotels.
Last month, the Biden administration announced that Zillow and other housing companies will disclose fees that are applied to monthly rents, such as B. Rental application fees, parking fees or pet fees.
However, some companies have justified their fees as they struggle to support their employees in the wake of the pandemic.
As ingredient prices skyrocketed and it became harder to find and retain workers, some business owners claim they had no choice but to charge fees to cover costs.
But the federal government has targeted some of the most fee-intensive industries, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau recently fined Bank of America $150 million for abusive overdraft fees.