Nice Try, TI – How I Caught This Las Vegas Strip Property In The Act

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Treasure Island Las Vegas

My early April trip to Vegas was quite an adventure filled with highs and lows.  I wrapped up the trip staying at Treasure Island Las Vegas.  Originally, I booked it on a goof – the novelty of redeeming Radisson Rewards points for a free night there sounded fun.  Shawn had positive things to say about TI, so I figured it was worth a try.  I stuck with the reservation, and I was generally happy with the brief stay.  But I caught one nasty trick that’s clearly customer-unfriendly.  Here’s what happened and I how I got it fixed.

Room Taxes on an Award Stay?

My TI check-in was pretty positive.  The property allowed me to check in at 1 pm without any additional fee.  As part of authorizing my credit card during check-in, the front desk agent said I’d owe a bit more than the resort fee for room taxes.  My radar went up immediately.  Room taxes on an award stay?  I figured maybe she misspoke and meant to say there were taxes on the resort fee, which I expected.  Also, I’d checked in and out five times already that week, and I didn’t want to bother questioning it at that point.

Interestingly, the front desk agent volunteered that I didn’t have to check out at the front desk the next day.  She recommended I simply leave keys in the room.  Big picture, I feel hotels prefer guests to miss opportunities to review folios for erroneous charges in person.  Would that be the case here?

Las Vegas Hotels
A nice room, but a nasty trick. Source: Treasure Island.

Gotcha!

The next morning, I reviewed my guest folio at the front desk.  Indeed, I always aim to check out in person, no matter how inconvenient it can be.  The resort fee and related taxes were on the bill, as expected.  Then, I noticed a separate line item noting room taxes for $13.38.  I calmly asked how TI calculated this room tax.  I mentioned I was on a points stay, effectively a $0 rate.

The front desk agent fumbled the response, basically lumping in that tax as related to the resort fee.  I politely stood my ground, noting the room tax.  The agent quickly punted to the assistant front desk manager.  Without me saying anything, he stated he would take a look.  He basically said that tax is added to stays, and if a guest questions it, the front desk can take it off.  It’s as if this happens quite often, and they wait for guests to call them on it.  About thirty seconds later he returned the erroneous room tax and printed an updated folio.

When I asked how this happens, the manager had plenty to say.  First, he said that cooperating with loyalty programs enables guests to book Vegas hotels with points.  So far, I heard this non-answer as an “everyone else does it” excuse, even though I haven’t heard that elsewhere.  He clarified that TI isn’t an official Radisson hotel, merely a partner.  Okay, pal.  I thanked him for his efforts and went on my way.

Conclusion

Looking back on this experience, TI seems to quite literally bank on guests erroneously paying room taxes on points stays.  And with straight faces, they encourage guests to not check out in person, conveniently avoiding customers’ further inspection of their bills.  It all feels so slimy, but I’m not surprised.  We consistently hear of “accidents” where various properties erroneously bill guests, mostly overcharging them for unconsumed goods or unsolicited services.  Has this happened to you at Treasure Island Las Vegas or elsewhere?

Benjy Harmon
Benjy is a fan of points, miles, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently focuses on roaming throughout the USA expense-free (or close to it). He enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

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12 COMMENTS

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Didn’t used to check folio too carefully but now check it religiously!

    Stayed at Terranea Resort in Southern CA and kids got some cookies at the coffee shop. They asked if I wanted the receipt and i said no. At check out, I noticed a huge charge from the coffee shop. Cookies were $6 and someone wrote in a $60 tip.

    Check the folio and grab all receipts from that point on!

  2. Omg we’re staying there on 05-25-05-30-22im using my boa credit card where I get rewards is this going to happen tome. It’s our first time going to Las Vegas we booked flight and room with southwest!

  3. NYNY tried to screw me over. They stated that I could check in at 1 pm without any extra fees and then when I went to check out not in person it had an early check in fee.

  4. I love FF & Freq Guest programs. But sometimes/oftentimes they are just more hassle than they are worth. I’m self employed, so I am paying for the trip. Sadly we’re not in the last century.

    FF & FG & Loyalty programs are often more costly and cause more trouble than they’re worth if you want the best price overall. If you’re travelling on the Employer dime, go for it. I just don’t want to fight battles like this with big corporations for $13 bucks….

    It’s just time to move on M2M….

  5. Too bad that Treasure Island lives up to its namesake. Pity the many guests robbed of their gold coins, and kudos to you for standing up to these modern-day pirates.

  6. Check your credit card statement later. Vdara changed my room rate and bill on me after I fought with them at checkout.

  7. accounting pulls these fees taken and meant for the city/state and keep them in house. Same scam the Fed uses on us.

  8. Anyone else wonder if the resort is actually remitting the collected/retained taxes to the appropriate taxing authority?

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