Marriott Settles PA Suit, Will Curb Hidden Hotel Fees Practice

HARRISBURG, PA — Marriott will become the first hotel chain to curb the use of hidden booking fees as part of an industry practice known as drip pricing.

As part of a settlement of a lawsuit filed Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s office, Marriott has agreed to be transparent in disclosing mandatory fees as part of a hotel stay’s total price. The move should allow consumers to more easily compare total price costs for hotels and find the best one for them financially.

“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,” Shapiro said.

“With costs going up and more seniors and families traveling for the holidays, consumers should beware of these surprise fees when booking. Marriott has stepped up to commit itself to fix this
practice and we expect more hotel chains to follow suit.”

With drip pricing, fees are gradually disclosed to consumers as they go through the booking process. Customers often don’t learn the total price of their booking, room rate plus what is known as resort fees, until the last page in the online booking process, or sometimes until they check in at the hotel.

Shapiro’s office had argued that such practices are deceptive and violate Pennsylvania’s Consumer Protection Law.

As part of the settlement, Marriott has committed to prominently disclose the total price of a hotel stay, including room rate and all other mandatory fees, on the first page of its booking website as part of the total room rate. Marriott did not admit to any wrongdoing, but has committed to implementing the changes within the next nine months.

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