This Is a Great Way to Avoid Resort Fees

One Twitter user has come up with a novel way to avoid those unexpected resort (or "junk") fees that hotels tack onto your bill

Senior businessman checking out from hotel. A Twitter user has come up with an interesting way to avoid a hotel's resort or junk fees.
Refusing to pay a resort fee is actually a valid course of action
eclipse_images / Getty

Even if you’ve only recently heard the phrase “junk fee” — it was part of the State of the Union address that somehow didn’t mention aliens — you’re probably familiar with the concept of unexpected charges tacked onto your hotel room, airline ticket or, really, almost any purchase. But one Twitter user has a novel approach to getting rid of some of those fees: bring up their quasi-legal status.

Allison Williams, a writer and social media editor, recently posted this in response to President Biden’s tweet regarding service/junk fees.

“I look up state class-action suits against resort fees, then cite the case to the hotel manager & say ‘It’ll take about 45min for us to do some paperwork before I check out, to document this fee. Can you spell your name pls?’ They’ve waived it every time,” she tweeted over the weekend (h/t View From the Wing).

Now, Williams didn’t mention the paperwork needed, so you’ll probably have to do a little online sleuthing to figure out what you’ll need in case the hotel or place you’re staying decides it’s worth their time to go through the process. One good source is a site actually called Kill Resort Fees, which was started in 2016 by an attorney who says she’s traveled to 97 countries and only paid resort fees in one (that’d be the U.S.). KRF offers a step-by-step routine to try out before or after booking a room to avoid extra fees and also provides links to complaint forms to fill out to Attorney Generals in different states.

Biden Administration Wants to Scrap Airline and Hotel Junk Fees
Hotel guests paid billions in hotel fees and surcharges back in 2018

As for the President’s Junk Fee Prevention Act, it might not end fees but could theoretically make them more transparent. “Will the final Junk Free Prevention Act actually ban so-called ‘resort fees’ or merely require their immediate disclosure when booking? Frankly, I don’t care,” writes Matthew Klint at the travel site Live and Let’s Fly. “However hotels want to play games with taxes and fees, I simply need to know all-in pricing from the very moment I search for space.”


Join America's Fastest Growing Spirits Newsletter THE SPILL. Unlock all the reviews, recipes and revelry — and get 15% off award-winning La Tierra de Acre Mezcal.