From an editorial in Thursdays News & Observer:
The airlines started it, this business of adding extra fees to travel, for baggage and the like. But hotels, The Associated Press reported this week, are signing on to this gouge-the-customer game. This year, hotels are going to take in over $2 billion in add-on fees, some of them covering things that guests likely wouldnt dream of seeing on a bill.
Whatever happened to all those consumer advocates on Capitol Hill? Perhaps theyre getting their rooms comped.
At the Liberty Hotel in Boston, a cold can of Coke from the minibar runs $5. Thats outrageous, but not unheard of. But heres the kicker: Theres an 18 percent administrative fee for a hotel worker to put another can of Coke in the minibar.
The last straw: Tips are no longer optional in many places. Theyre just added to the bill.
If guests ship something to a hotel in advance of a visit, some charge $10 to $25 just to receive the package.
When pricing hits gouging, its time for regulators to step in. Consumers who need to travel and have to have places to stay cant do much other than to throw up their hands and pay it. But Congress has a right, and in fact a duty, to protect them.
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