The resort fee, it is a thorn in the eye of everyone who sometimes goes to Las Vegas. Or to Atlantic City, Miami or Hawaii, because the resort fee is becoming a habit in more and more places in the US. What is particularly annoying is when you see room prices online and only when you find out that the prices are “bare”. In other words, that a few tens per night is added. However, Dutch and European legislation is aimed at countering those small print. For example, airlines are no longer allowed to mention prices without all taxes etc, which were previously mentioned when booking. Book your Las Vegas trip now for less! Yet it took a long time before the resort fee received the same treatment: until recently you booked rooms at a certain price and if you were lucky you got to see what you had to pay at the hotel. In the meantime, websites such as booking.com etc now offer all-in prices: prices including taxes and therefore also resort fees. However, package travel providers thought they had found a way out, and often still put it somewhere in the small print. However, from 17 December 2019 the Advertising Code Committee (Stichting Reclame Code) will be dealing with this shortly. You can of course read how it works on Onetime!
Brief history of the resort fee
Where does the resort fee actually come from? The phenomenon has not been around for very long, about 25 years. Then the first mega resorts were built on the Strip. Guests who stayed in these huge resorts had to pay extra for anything and everything, the room rates were quite bare. This could sometimes be an expensive joke, so the hotels came up with an all-in price for all those extra facilities: the resort fee. Since the turn of the millennium, the resort fee is now mandatory, so that hotels no longer have to keep track of which guests are using what. In other words: everyone staying at the hotel must pay the resort fee. You pay this for services such as use of the fitness, access to the swimming pool (usually including towels), WiFi, a newspaper, things like that. In other words, many things that are included in the room rate at almost all hotels in the world. The resort fee can therefore also be seen as a smart marketing trick: keeping room rates low in advertisements and hoping that people will book after all, also although they will receive an extra fee of a few tens per night later in the process. Because the costs are compulsory for everyone, we find that in the Netherlands and Europe these are just part of the room price. Just like taxes, which are also fixed. That is why providers like booking.com now offer all-in prices, whereby they also clearly state that the resort fee is part of the total price.From now on you will see all-in prices at booking.com. So including mandatory surcharges such as taxes and resort fees
Package providers and resort fee
Well, room providers like booking.com no longer fool you and show the actual room rate per night. This does not apply to all providers, although it is now mandatory in Europe. If you look at the websites of hotels themselves, they initially offer “bare” room rates, and only later in the booking process does it become clear that you can also add a nice extra amount to stay in the hotel. And since you cannot say: I do not use it so I do not have to, everyone simply has to pay for this. Package providers such as klipackage deals (from KLM itself) do not yet show prices with a resort fee included. So if you want to go to Las Vegas for a week, they say that this, grab it, costs € 735 per person, including flight and stay at the Circus Circus. Even when booking, if all details are known, the costs are still not included in the total price. There is a small print with a link to a pop-up with extra costs. A customer complained about this to the Advertising Code Committee, which ruled on 17 December 2019. The total price is a price per person, excluding the resort fee. Below the price is a link to a pop-up in which the resort fee is discussed. The defense of klmpackagedeals is that the resort fee is calculated per room and a package tour per person, so the Advertising Code Committee does not agree: if the number of rooms for which the resort fee has to be paid is known, as well as the number of nights, then the resort fee for the journey is also known This is because the provider can also deliver tons and in the pop-up. The decision is therefore that at that time the resort fee must be discounted in the price, so it must be calculated proportionally to the number of people and included in the price. In this case there is a € 260 resort fee. The total amount would then amount to € 1,730, the price per person to € 865. This is a fair representation.
Resort fee is paid at the hotel
A second argument from klmpackage dealals, not to include the resort fee in the total price or the price per person, is because it is not paid to them but can only be paid directly at the hotel. This argument is also easily wiped off the table, because that doesn't hold out. That does not surprise us, since, for example, tourist tax is not paid to the provider but in the hotel. For example, what providers such as booking.com do is make you pay the room price and pay the rest at the hotel. You do know what the total price of your overnight stay or trip will be, but you pay it in parts. The customer who has submitted the complaint is also right to mention that klmpackage deal is trying to gain a lead over competitors such as the aforementioned booking .com. Because there you will find prices including the (sometimes rather high) resort fee. That's quite a difference if you compare it with prices without a resort fee. This is, I can remember, also called comparing apples with pears.Even though the resort fee is mentioned when you click on the link, the Advertising Code Committee does not think this is enough. If the price is known, it must also be included in the total price! Ultimately, the Advertising Code Committee determines that klmpackage dealals can no longer deal with showing package travel prices in combination with the resort fee. A day later this is (logically) still the case, we are curious when this will be adjusted.
I am very curious about how other providers are doing now. The pronunciation is one day old, so people will not have had time to adjust it. So I'm going to make a tour of some online travel agencies that offer package tours to Las Vegas. I start with Expedia, a favorite of The Great One, among others. If I choose a flight plus hotel, I see prices including tax. Below is a line “Info about taxes and surcharges” plus an i that you can click. If you do that, there will be a pop-up that nicely explains that the prices include a resort fee, plus how high it is. In other words, Expedia does as it should. And if they can state a price per person, including a resort fee, must klmpackage dealals also be possible?Expedia gives a price per person including resort fee, as it should be! Another well-known travel provider is Tui, one of the few remaining old-fashioned travel agencies. I see prices, but I want to click through, it does not work equally well everywhere. Moreover, prices where I can click through are not clearly broken down. Whether it is calculated with or without a resort fee, is at least not clear today. The same applies to d-Reizen and De Jong Intra Vakanties. They indicate that the trip is booked subject to change at this moment. At Vakantiediscounter there are several trips on the site with prices, but whatever you choose, which hotel and whenever, no trip is available. It seems that they are updating their website, but that is my interpretation. In the course of the day after the verdict, things seem to have happened in the travel world, the journeys are no longer too easy. booking for the stated prices. So it won't be long before you actually know what your trip will cost in total, and I think that's a good thing!