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Marriott Faces Backlash For Hefty Resort Fees, D.C. Attorney General Steps In
Hotel brand Marriott International is facing backlash from D.C. Attorney General, Karl Racine, who filed a lawsuit against the company in 2019. The lawsuit outlines the misleading resort fees that appear once an interested traveler books a vacation stay at a Marriott location.
The resort fees are difficult to find on the Marriott website after you make a room reservation, and this is what inspired the Attorney General’s actions against the hotel franchise.
The hotel chain has over 6,500 locations worldwide that include international countries.
Depending on the hotel you book, the fees range from $9 to $95. These extra charges are in violation of the District’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act and the Attorney General, as of recently, is filing more complaints.
The illusive pricing of Marriott rooms lies within the usage of resort fees. When consumers book through online third-party platforms like Expedia, they may come across a huge jump between the number originally shown on Expedia from right before you confirm your booking. The additional “taxes and fees” can jump your initial booking amount many dollars higher, which the General Attorney is pointing out could be a form of false advertising.
The accumulation of revenue Marriott earns from latent resort fees are millions of dollars. In 2019 alone, the brand made $17 million dollars off of the fees and over its overall history, one year the hotel racked in $82 million. These amenity fees are adopted by most hotel brands, and Marriott is definitely accruing one of the largest amounts possible.
The Marriott investigation sparked all state Attorneys General’s attention in the United States.
Marriott hasn’t openly commented regarding the Federal Trade Commission’s outcry towards the subliminal costs, referring to the resort’s pricing methods as deceiving consumers who may believe the first pricing they see reflected on various booking websites.