26 September 2019
Note: If you are a consumer with a Resort Fee issue, please do NOT contact us! We do not represent consumers with complaints against hotels. We advise hotel industry clients on litigation, compliance and risk mitigation strategies. We have provided counsel on Attorney General investigations. We understand the best defenses to consumer and government agency claims that Resort Fee practices constitute violations of state consumer protection actions, the Federal Trade Commission Act and other causes of action based on misrepresentation, consumer fraud, and unfair business practices.
On September 25, 2019, a bill was introduced in the House of Representatives that would expressly make hotel resort fees and other mandatory charges illegal.
H.R. 4489 is entitled the Hotel Advertising Transparency Act of 2019. It was introduced as bipartisan legislation by Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) and Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE).
H.R. 4489 declares that the practice of charging mandatory fees which are not disclosed with the advertised rate of a hotel room (excluding taxes and fees imposed by a government) is unfair and deceptive to consumers. It expressly authorizes the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce the legislation and also permits State Attorneys General to do so as well, coordinating with the FTC.
Click here to see the complete text of H.R. 4489, the Hotel Advertising Transparency Act of 2019.
How angry are consumers? Will hotels lose guests over resort fees? Will H.R. 4489 become law? What will be the outcome of the litigation filed against Hilton and Marriott?
We don’t know the answers. But these questions are being asked not only by attorneys general and legislators, they are on the lips of movers and shakers throughout the industry.
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