Nearly every day we are hearing about new fees imposed above and beyond the advertised cost of airfare, car rentals & hotel rates. These fees increase revenue for the airlines, car rental companies & hotels, but are they legitimate fees and are the charges always accurate? Do we always receive the services that these fees are charged for? Are these charges necessary? Regardless of the answers to these questions, once these fees are implemented, it is very unlikely that they will ever disappear.
For corporations who are reimbursing travelers for business travel expenses and for individuals who are paying for leisure travel, it is wise to know what you are being charged for and if you are obligated to pay these ‘hidden travel fees’. You should always read the fine print when making travel arrangements and then be ready to dispute any charges that are billed incorrectly.
Listed below are some, but not all, of the fees that we have been seeing recently~
Airline Hidden Fees
- Baggage fees (try packing all you need in carry-on luggage or if possible, ship your luggage to your destination, via FedEx 3-day service, UPS or FedEx Ground, it can be much cheaper than paying the airline)
- Fees for NOT checking in on-line
- Mandatory curbside service fees
Hotel Hidden Fees
(In 2007 the hotel industry took in 1.75 billion in fees alone)
- Mandatory bellman fees or fees for holding luggage
- Hospitality fees
- Resort fees
- Surcharges and gratuities can be added to your bill automatically
- Early departure fees
- Fees for in-room safes even if they are not used
- Some mini-bars have sensors that record when an item is moved and you can see charges for items you did not partake of.
Car Rental Hidden Fees
- No-show fees are now being charged by many rental companies
- High priced fuel costs if you don’t fill-up before returning the car
- 1 hour late may result in a full day rental fee
- Energy recovery fees charged to cover the companies cost of doing business
- Fees for early returns or arranging in advance to drop off on a later date
To save money and frustration with your billing process, be sure to check ahead of time for what you are being charged for. Be assertive, and ask before making your reservation, for fees you will be charged that are not disclosed up front. Review your bill closely and dispute charges that you feel you are not obligated to pay. You can always check with your Christopherson Andavo Travel Agent or Account Manager to better understand these hidden fees.