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Should We Pay Charges We Didn’t Know About? PDF Print E-mail

Q: We’re getting annoyed by the increasing gotcha charges when we travel. Every day, airlines and hotels seem to find reasons to pad the bills. When we‘re at the grocery or department store, the prices we pay are exactly what are advertised in the media. No more in the travel industry.

At the stores, we don’t have to pay extra to park, use our credit cards or do other routines that hotels and airlines find ways to charge us. Are there any ways to fight back?

Bill S., Atlanta GA

A: Want a quick answer? How about NO. Seriously, until government regulation agencies crack down, there’s nothing to stop the increasing prices. You can rationalize it by understanding that it’s merely the way airlines and hotels must pass on their ever-climbing costs of doing business.

The frustrating part of the problem is that hotels and airlines still insist on blaring come-on ads that offer bargains, such as $99 flights and hotel rooms. Of course, your out-of-pocket costs are typically at least 20% higher. Their song & dance routine is to claim that add-ons don’t actually stay in their pockets, but go out for taxes, ever-growing fuel prices and other tariffs. In their minds, the $99 ads are not deceiving. The only way we can suggest you fight the frustrating battle is through your friendly neighborhood travel pro or online agency. When you accept the best price quote possible on flights and hotels, get a printed sheet of the charges and keep it with you.

It won’t help much at the airport, but when you get your hotel bill and believe the extra charges are excessive, show the hotel front desk person your original price quote and demand the add-ons be dropped. For some of our readers, this kind of stand-your-ground works. For others, lotsa luck!

 
 
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