NEW YORK (MainStreet) A mandatory fee for a "free" breakfast. Minibar "restocking fees." Early check-in fees.
The list goes on, Hotels, in the past few years, have become intoxicated by silly greed pills that have prompted them to pile on fees that unsuspecting (and docile) travelers pay.
Know this: dig your feet in and in a loud voice at checkout question the silly fees, and they will come off.
For instance, publicist Richard Laermer said that what fries him are early check-in fees charged, he said, by a growing number of Los Angeles and Manhattan hotels. When the official check-in is 4 p.m., show up at 1 p.m. and it's increasingly likely that, yes, the hotel can accommodate you but at a price - sometimes $20, occasionally as high as $50.
Other travelers said that these fees have become a norm in Las Vegas.
Note the illogic of the greed: the room is available, it's empty. Why charge at all? Because, apparently, some hotels believe this is found money that should not be ignored.
In Laermer's case, incidentally, he said he never pays those upcharges and almost always gets the room early anyway. How? He sweet talks the clerk, throws in that he is a regular visitor to XYZ, and, said Laermer, he is never turned down.
Paige Ring, the shopping editor at alphacityguides.com, has a yet more outlandish charge: the minibar restocking fee. She explained: "We all know that the Toblerone in the mini-bar is going to cost 12 bucks, but what most people don't know is there's often a restocking fee to put a new one in, essentially boosting that price to $17-plus at some hotels."
Word of advice: ignore the minibar. That's a fast track to savings and, unfortunately, not all hotels will waive the "restocking fee" when a guest protests, Surely, paying $5 to restock a $5 item you just paid $15 for is a clearcut case of adding insult to injury.