News in brief:
Hotels adding resort fees in New York and other cities
If you’ve ever stayed in Las Vegas or at a US beach resort, you have probably been subjected to ‘resort fees’.
These are, without a doubt, the biggest scam in the hotel business day. If they weren’t a scam, they wouldn’t have been banned in pretty much everywhere else in the world. They are a hidden fee – hidden to the extent they are not included in the price shown when searching for a hotel although they are disclosed later – covering, well, nothing in particular.
A typical example would be a $39 per day ‘resort fee’ to cover ‘use of the hotel pool’, internet, local phone calls and some water in your room. These are all things you would expect to be included in your room rate, and you cannot refuse to pay the fee if you don’t use any of the ‘benefits’ listed.
This Wikipedia article is a good primer on the topic.
A reader recently told me that he had been hit for a ‘resort fee’ in New York. I found this hard to believe but a bit of research pulled up this article.
One of the New York hotels with a ‘resort fee’ is the Crowne Plaza Times Square. A quick search for 25th January showed a room available for $135. This is the number that is used if you rank hotels by price on the IHG website or a third party site like Expedia. Click ‘rate details’ though and it turns out that a $30 per night ‘resort / service fee’ is added mainly for wi-fi – which should be free to all guests signed up with IHG Rewards Club anyway.
Your $135 headline price becomes, with taxes, $188 per night. Quite a difference …..
Last day for the Qatar Travel Festival sale
This is your final reminder that the Qatar Travel Festival sale ends today. You probably won’t find a better opportunity this year to pick up a cheap business class flight.
The best of the availability has gone, unfortunately, but some deals remain. The highlight was a flash sale to Tokyo last Thursday evening from Brussels or Amsterdam, which we flagged on the HFP Twitter and Facebook feeds, at €630 return. In business class.
Remember that all flights on Qatar Airways earn Avios and British Airways Executive Club tier points. Return flights to Asia from Europe will generate 560 tier points (140 x 4) which is 90% of a BA Silver card.
You can book for flights until 15th December although blackout dates apply. Bookings ends tonight.
(Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)