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Hotels are Now Charging for What Was Once a Free Service and People are Angry

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Some hotels are now charging guests for simple perks that were once complimentary. A hotel stay used to come with an array of amenities, but some insist there is now a “price of convenience.” The Wall Street Journal recently revealed a growing trend within the hospitality industry that aims to nickel-and-dime hotel guests for standard requests such as an early check-in or a late checkout time. Hotel guests will now be expected to pay a considerable fee to access their rooms early and to linger a little bit longer.

Guests of the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco are now charged $50 in order to check in before 1 p.m. “Because we had to pay a housekeeper to get in early and get the rooms ready. We’re basically passing the cost on to the consumer,” said the location’s general manager, Anna Marie Presutti. The troubling trend has also made its way to the East Coast, with the Hyatt Place Boston Seaport charging guests $50 for staying later than 1 p.m. If a guest wants to stay in their room even later, the location can charge them up to $100. Marriott hotels have commonly adopted this new practice, adding that the shift in the hotel industry is the root cause of the new fees.

If You Aren’t Doing This In Hotels, You Have To Start

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“Occupancy rates and limited room availability” are to blame for guests being forced to pay additional charges to occupy a room that they already paid for in the first place. Terrence O’Donnell, the general manager of the Cromwell in Las Vegas, believes that these new fees help hotel staff manage the hotel’s occupancy levels. Getting a hotel room ready for its next occupant can be time-consuming, and in the hotel industry, time is money. As hotels bounce back from taking a major hit during the pandemic, the cost of renting a room has skyrocketed. The data firm Statista revealed that the average daily rate of U.S. hotels has gone from $125 in 2021 to $148.83 in 2022. Although airfare costs have declined by 19% according to the U.S. Travel Association, hotel costs increased by 5%.

Paying high-priced fees for simple accommodation requests has become the new normal for hotel guests. Now checking in early or getting an extra hour of sleep before checking out will likely come at a cost. Frequent travelers are understandably concerned about the new industry standard. Wei Chang, a precious metals dealer who often travels for business, believes that once consumers agree to pay these fees there’s no going back. “Once you start paying…it creates a precedent. It’s going to be harder to not pay it in the future,” he said. “I always encourage people not to pay it.” Florida travel agent Amy Franks is a diamond-level user of Hilton’s loyalty program, and even she has been upcharged to gain access to her room. After arriving at the Orlando Doubletree early, the front desk staff charged her $35 to check in before the hotel’s regular check-in time. Confused about their new fees, Franks asked the hotel employee why there was a sudden extra charge for checking in early. “They just gave me a cookie-cutter answer that it’s their policy,” she said.


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