An airline holiday company misled the total price of a holiday

edited 7 September 2020 at 11:24AM in Overseas holidays & travel planning
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TrueValueTrueValue Forumite
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edited 7 September 2020 at 11:24AM in Overseas holidays & travel planning
I am not sure if this is the right section of the forum for my question and advice.
I purchased and paid in full for flights and hotel for a week in New York from the world's favourite airline, however, we were charged by the hotel an unexpected and unreasonable USD $40.16 per night extra (total $241.02 for 6 nights) for a so-called facility fee upon arrival before we were even given our room key!  We had no idea that there was such a payment to be paid to the hotel when we booked our holiday.  We had no choice but to pay, otherwise we would have no place to stay.  Upon checking the hotel voucher and the original booking after we settled in our room, we then discovered the very small print which mentioned this facility or resort fee of $40.16 per room per night to be paid to the hotel in the "essential information" section hidden well away from the total price booked section.
Upon our return I have written to the Company and asked for refund of this extra charge on the grounds of misleading total price in their booking site.  We had three exchanges of email letters but the Company has refused my claim even after advising them I would take legal action to recover the charge.
My question to the forum, do you think my case is solid enough to take this Company to small claims court?
CW
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  • BrowntoaBrowntoa Forumite, Ambassador
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    Nope.

    It's your fault that you didn't fully read the paperwork and the essential information
    I'm a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Shopping and Freebies, Phones and TV and Over 50s boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing . All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • JPearsJPears Forumite
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    Yes the clue is in the title - essential information.
    If you're new. read The FAQ and Vauban's Guide

    The alleged Ringleader.........
  • Alan_BowenAlan_Bowen Forumite
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    Virtually every hotel in NY charges these fees and they cannot be paid in advance, so long as BA identified there would be fees, there has been no misleading information given. Every guide book whether in hard copy or online makes clear that these fees exist
  • TELLIT01TELLIT01 Forumite
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    It's not just NY.  It would seem the vast majority of major hotel chains in the USA have latched on to this moneymaker.  We priced up a 2 week holiday in the US and the price increased by over $700 when these 'resort fees' were added.  We decided against going to the area because of that.  The only 'resort' facilities we would have used would have been wifi.  $50 per day? No thanks.
  • SashikoStitcherSashikoStitcher Forumite
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    There might be some wiggle room if the fee was not mentioned before you confirmed the booking. Question is, would you have still gone ahead if you had know about it? Also, it was clearly stated under “essential information” so you could have cancelled under the 14 day cooling off I think if you had read the booking confirmation in full when you received it. 

    It’s annoying but, as other have said, standard in the Us and you live and you learn. Also, to be honest, in the context of a week’s trip to NYC, $240 is not a huge sum; try to focus on your memories of a lovely holiday. 
  • SashikoStitcherSashikoStitcher Forumite
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    Interestingly I Googled “resort fees” and there is a whole Wikipedia page on them. Worth taking a look. It seems that they are not universal practice in NYC, but are growing in popularity amongst hotel chains: 

    “New York City has seen a surge in hotel resort fees.[15] In New York City the fees are often called destination fees, facility fees or amenity fees.[16][17] There were 15 hotels in New York City with resort fees in 2016. In 2018 there were 84.[18]

    I also (because I have nothing better to do) did a test booking search on BA holidays and chose the Sheraton Times Sq- nothing mentioned there in the pre-booking “essential information” section re resort fees, so either they don’t charge them or BA only disclose their existence after you pay. Would be interesting to know what comes up for your hotel, are you willing to name and shame? 

    The more I think about it, the more this might come under the same bracket as advertising flight costs exclusive of taxes, which is no longer permitted. 


  • mamanmaman Forumite
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    These fees are common across the world including much of Europe. I don't think they're kept by the hotel  but used to maintain and improve resort facilities.

    Personally I'd like to see them introduced in this country. A few pounds a night on hotel bills would really help to maintain historic buildings and other things that Local Authorities can't afford from council tax. 
  • edited 16 April 2020 at 5:51PM
    Neil49Neil49 Forumite
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    edited 16 April 2020 at 5:51PM
    If you don't like the idea of paying Resort Fees (or whatever name is given to them) I strongly advise you to avoid ever going to Las Vegas where they have adopted and refined the idea in order to extract as much money out of you as possible. 

    It's many years since we last visited NY but even then we were charged an additional fee by the hotel but I can confirm that we were made aware of it in the hotel information prior to booking.

    As far as taking legal action, I don't think you would win. 
  • TrueValueTrueValue Forumite
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    TrueValue said:
    I am not sure if this is the right section of the forum for my question and advice.
    I purchased and paid in full for flights and hotel for a week in New York from the world's favourite airline, however, we were charged by the hotel an unexpected and unreasonable USD $40.16 per night extra (total $241.02 for 6 nights) for a so-called facility fee upon arrival before we were even given our room key!  We had no idea that there was such a payment to be paid to the hotel when we booked our holiday.  We had no choice but to pay, otherwise we would have no place to stay.  Upon checking the hotel voucher and the original booking after we settled in our room, we then discovered the very small print which mentioned this facility or resort fee of $40.16 per room per night to be paid to the hotel in the "essential information" section hidden well away from the total price booked section.
    Upon our return I have written to the Company and asked for refund of this extra charge on the grounds of misleading total price in their booking site.  We had three exchanges of email letters but the Company has refused my claim even after advising them I would take legal action to recover the charge.
    My question to the forum, do you think my case is solid enough to take this Company to small claims court?
    CW
    Just to report back on my case against BA regarding NY hotel charging us a resort or facility fee for the pleasure of staying with them $xx per night has been upheld and concluded by Amex.  We got our money back.  BA refused on several email exchanges when dealing with them directly and I could take them to small claims court but chose to claim through chargeback via Amex which was a simple process provided that you have a valid case.🙂

  • k3lvck3lvc Forumite
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    TrueValue said:
    TrueValue said:
    I am not sure if this is the right section of the forum for my question and advice.
    I purchased and paid in full for flights and hotel for a week in New York from the world's favourite airline, however, we were charged by the hotel an unexpected and unreasonable USD $40.16 per night extra (total $241.02 for 6 nights) for a so-called facility fee upon arrival before we were even given our room key!  We had no idea that there was such a payment to be paid to the hotel when we booked our holiday.  We had no choice but to pay, otherwise we would have no place to stay.  Upon checking the hotel voucher and the original booking after we settled in our room, we then discovered the very small print which mentioned this facility or resort fee of $40.16 per room per night to be paid to the hotel in the "essential information" section hidden well away from the total price booked section.
    Upon our return I have written to the Company and asked for refund of this extra charge on the grounds of misleading total price in their booking site.  We had three exchanges of email letters but the Company has refused my claim even after advising them I would take legal action to recover the charge.
    My question to the forum, do you think my case is solid enough to take this Company to small claims court?
    CW
    Just to report back on my case against BA regarding NY hotel charging us a resort or facility fee for the pleasure of staying with them $xx per night has been upheld and concluded by Amex.  We got our money back.  BA refused on several email exchanges when dealing with them directly and I could take them to small claims court but chose to claim through chargeback via Amex which was a simple process provided that you have a valid case.🙂

    In which case I wouldn't be spending the money just yet - no-one here seems to think you're in the right so I'd be expecting BA to challenge the chargeback (I assume you actually mean S75) and Amex will reclaim the money from you
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