Marriott International is currently facing a lawsuit over alleged junk hotel fees that violate consumer protection laws in California. The lawsuit has been filed by two guests named Nina Baek and Megan Ramsey. They claim that these unfair fees give Marriott an unfair advantage. As The Wall Street Journal reported, the lawsuit has been submitted to California’s Superior Court, targeting Marriott International, Courtyard Management, and Marriott Hotel Services for imposing fees that are deceptive and detrimental to guests.

The fees in question pertain to the implementation of the Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance Costs Surcharge by Marriott in response to a local ordinance passed in Los Angeles. This ordinance aims to protect hotel workers from assault. It also ensures fair compensation for their work. Consequently, several Marriott properties in the area have introduced a surcharge. It ranges from $10 to $14 per night, depending on the specific hotel.

Baek and Ramsey argue that these fees greatly exceed the actual costs of compliance. They view the charges as nothing more than junk hotel fees camouflaged as worker protection measures. To support their claim, they provide specific examples. Ramsey paid $13.87 per night at the Los Angeles Airport Marriott. Baek paying $11.92 per night at the Residence Inn by Marriott at 5933 W. Century Blvd.

Clarity On Hotel Booking Fees

The lawsuit asserts that the 1,004-room Los Angeles Airport Marriott, with its occupancy rate of over 80%, stands to earn over $10,000 per night from the HWPO fee. This translates to an annual revenue of more than $3.6 million. However, the lawsuit points out that the local ordinance lacks clear instructions. Hotels should inform how they will finance the additional safety measures required for their employees.

In order to address concerns of transparency, Marriott displays a banner during the booking process, notifying guests of the daily Hotel Worker Protection Ordinance Costs Surcharge, The Points Guys reported. Baek and Ramsey argue that this hidden fee enables Marriott to advertise lower room rates, only to offset the discount with the HWPO fee at the time of booking. They believe that the fee should be included in the total accommodation price to ensure clarity for guests.