How Expedia Is Punishing Hotels Who Want to Charge You Hidden Fees
Hotels that charge hidden “resort” fees will now appear lower on Expedia search results than those whose prices are entirely inclusive.
"Everything else being equal, the properties that charge a resort fee on top of a base price will be [displayed] lower than those that don't charge a resort fee," Expedia president Cyril Ranque announced at a conference in Las Vegas this week, according to Travel Weekly.
Hotels who advertise on the booking site have been alerted of the change that will affect all Expedia-owned search sites (which includes Expedia, Hotels.com, Orbitz, Travelocity, Hotwire and CheapTickets).
The new sorting structure will heavily impact results in cities like Las Vegas where advertised hotel rates may seem low but skyrocket much higher than expected as hotels tack on hidden fees. Placement in search results on Expedia however, also results from room rate, quality and popularity that may bump up a hotel that charges a hidden fee.
Travel site Booking.com took a different approach to resort fees earlier this year, announcing that they would take a commission from every hotel that tacked these fees onto their advertised price, TravelWeekly reported at the time.
Resort fees are a contentious issue at the moment.
In September, Congress began investigating a bill that would abolish the “unfair and deceptive” practice. Both Marriott and Hilton are currently battling lawsuits against attorneys general in Washington D.C. and Nebraska over their resort fees.