Hidden “resort fees” will soon be a thing of the past for Marriott International, Inc. after a recent settlement between the company and Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Hotels like Marriott routinely advertise nightly rates that do not include mandatory fees, such as resort fees. Those fees are then added later — usually on the last page in the booking process, but sometimes not until check-in. Attorney General Shapiro referred to this practice as “drip pricing” because fees are gradually disclosed to consumers. He said it is misleading, deceptive, and violates the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Laws.
Marriott becomes the first major hotel to commit to disclosing the total room rate, including mandatory fees, as part of its initial advertised price on the first page of its booking website. Attorney General Shapiro wishes to see this as a standard practice across the industry, stating: “Hotels shouldn’t be able to slap hidden fees on top of your bill at the last minute, and thanks to this settlement, we’re putting the hotel industry on notice to put an end to this deceptive practice.”
The settlement follows similar lawsuits by District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine against Marriott and Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson against Hilton.