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How to avoid those sneaky hotel fees

CNN

Planning a hotel stay this summer? Watch for fees when you checkout

Saturday, May 24, 2014 - 4:00pm

Making a getaway for the long Memorial Day weekend? If a hotel stay is on your itinerary, be mindful of what might end up on your bill at checkout.

There are the obvious extras, like valet parking, internet, breakfast, or in-room movies. And then there are fees that can catch guests by surprise at checkout.

Like the airline industry, the hotel industry is getting savvier about the conveniences guests are willing to pay for, even if they've been free in the past.

According to New York University, hotels collected an estimated $2.1 billion in fees and surcharges from guests last year, almost double the amount collected in 2000.

Consumer Reports says unexpected charges can include:

  • resort fees for athletic facilities and more, whether guests use them or not.
  • fees for an early arrival or late check-out
  • stowing luggage before check-in or after check-out.
  • in-room snacks and water that may appear to be complimentary, until you read the fine print.
  • In some cases, avoiding fees can be as simple as joining a hotel chain's loyalty program, where perks can include waivers of things like late check-out, and in-room snacks.

In others, hotels will bundle perks like in-room movies, activity fees, and breakfast as part of special room rates, so look for those packages when booking a stay. 

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