Watch out for ‘junk’ fees when booking travel online

Those seemingly cheap plane tickets or hotel rooms advertised online may be a trap to make you spend more than anticipated

Jun 16, 2023

That’s because hotels and airlines, struggling to recoup their losses from the pandemic, are increasingly resorting to nickel-and-diming consumers with hidden charges, according to studies and travel experts. Regulators call these “junk fees.”

Key takeaways

  • The extra charges can come in many forms, such as fees for resort amenities, checked luggage and seat selection, and they’re typically not disclosed upfront when you use an online search engine. They creep in toward the end of a transaction;
  • Vague hotel resort fees, which are typically a daily bulk charge of $20 to $50 for basic services like Wi-Fi and parking, have become commonplace;
  • “The hotels and airlines want to make it difficult for you to really compare what your flight or hotel stay will cost because they don’t like being purchased based just on price,” says Henry Harteveldt, the president of Atmosphere Research.

Get the full story at The New York Times (subscribers only)

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