Marriott Charges “Sustainability Fee” at Select Properties
Marriott made news recently for lawsuit which accused the company of charging customers unfair fees. This was mainly related to resort fees that were not disclosed upfront. When comparing rates, customers thought they were paying one price, only to see a significantly higher rate when they were ready to book.
Marriott reached a settlement with Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office late 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 while Marriott is working to comply with the conditions of this settlement, it has introduced a new fee at some of its properties and it is not really showing them upfront.
Instead of “resort fees” and “destination fees”, some Marriott hotels are now charging a “sustainability fee”. It’s not clear when this fee gets you, or how Marriott uses it. 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. You only see this fee included in the total price if you check the filter option for all taxes and fees to be included in the display. For most users this box is originally unchecked.
Sustainability is important and if these fees helped and it was disclosed how, I’m sure many customers would happily pay it. But for now it just looks like a new fancy name for resort fees.
To make matters worse, 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. The only way to see this fee included upfront is by checking the box for all taxes and fees to be included. That doesn’t sound compliant with the settlement requirements, but I’m no lawyer.
Either way, this is a new fee that you should be aware of when booking Marriott stays. It doesn’t seem to be widespread for now, but most likely the number of hotels that charge it, will grow.
Let me know if you come across any other properties that charge this $4.99 sustainability fee.