If you’ve felt nickeled and dimed during a recent hotel stay, you’re not alone.
This year, U.S. hotels will collect a record-setting $2.55 billion from charging fees for things like Wi-Fi, parking, cancellations and phone calls, according to a new report from New York University researcher Bjorn Hanson. That’s a relatively small increase from last year, but it’s still the most hotels have made in fees since Hanson started keeping count in 2000.
One possible reason is that hotels are starting to charge for things that were previously free. Some are even charging guests for using the in-room coffeemaker or storing items in the safe, CBS News reports. Others are accepting payments to secure a certain room type, which many hotels don’t guarantee outright.
Travelers may feel scammed by this, but the NYU report is quick to point out that most hotels explain these fees on their websites, in confirmation emails or in hotel room literature. The catch, of course, is that visitors must be savvy enough to seek it out.
Hotel fees are so controversial that even the federal government might be getting involved. Earlier this summer, news broke that the Federal Trade Commission may effectively end resort fees, those mandatory one-time charges for things like gym access and business centers. A new policy, if enacted, would likely require hotels to include resort fees in the initial room price instead of adding them in later.