Marriott Now Charging “Sustainability Fee” at Some Properties
Marriott was recently in the news for a lawsuit which accused the hotel chain of charging customers unfair fees. This was mainly related to resort fees. Those fees are not disclosed upfront and raise the room rate significantly higher than the posted price.
Marriott reached a settlement with Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office last year, and agreed to also implement changes within the next nine months. That means that the company will disclose the full price upfront.
But Marriott still has a few months left to implement these changes in order to comply with the settlement agreement. And in the meantime, has decided to add on some more unexpected fees.
We are used to seeing “resort fees” and “destination fees”, but some Marriott hotels are charging a “sustainability fee”. What is this fee exactly and what extra services and sustainability features does it provide? No one really knows exactly. The hotel doesn’t describe this “sustainability fee” on its website, and phone reps are not able to provide any information either when contacted by One Mile at a Time.
What we do know is that this new “sustainability fee” is not initially displayed with the room rate. It is instead added on later, for $4.99 per night. Some hotels that currently have this new fee include Hotel Saint Louis, The Warrior hotel, The Current Hotel, and Hotel Blackhawk, as reported by OMaat and View from the Wing. But this was also first reported years ago at Westin Milwaukee.
Sustainability is important. But the way Marriott is implementing these fees leave much to be desired. The most important thing is that there’s no information why this fee is added on. I’m sure some guests would happily pay it if they knew what sustainable practices it pays for.
Then, there’s the same reason why Marriott was sued last year. The fee is not included when the price is first displayed. You only see it once you select your dates and choose your room. It is added to the room price along with government fees and taxes.
I would guess that Marriott needs to get this fixed to comply with the settlement it reached a few months ago. But they do have a few months to be sneaky about it and apparently they are using that time the best way they know how.