Five Fees to Avoid When Traveling

Physician's Money Digest, January31 2004, Volume 11, Issue 2

In order to present low prices to consumers, hidden and unexpected fees are becoming the norm in some industries. With the push of online discount sites, hotels are finding crafty ways to recover costs. According to a recent Bottomline article, many large hotels are charging what’s called a “resort” fee, usually associated with maintenance of recreational amenities such as pools and gyms. Some hotels are charging this fee whether you use the facilities or not or even when there are no facilities. Make sure your quoted room rate includes all fees. If you find this fee on your bill, ask to have it removed since you were not told it would be added. Some hotels are charging smoke-odor fees up to $250, even if there is no proof that the guest smoked in their nonsmoking room. If you are charged this fee, contact your credit card company and have them contact the hotel to remove the charge.

Hotels aren’t the only culprits. Airlines have begun charging reactivation fees for frequent flyer miles not added or redeemed for 18 months. Be sure to use your miles as soon as possible and keep your account active. Many car rental companies charge higher fees to rent at the airport, so consider renting a car at an off-airport rental property. Most importantly, be careful to read the fine print before and after you travel.