Marriott’s CEO Thinks Hotel Resort Fees Are Like Airline Baggage Fees

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Washington DC’s attorney general is suing Marriott for charging resort fees and failing to properly disclose them.

Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson thinks these are like baggage fees that are charged by airlines:


I don’t agree with just about anything he talks about in that video, but the baggage fee comparison is just egregious.

You don’t have to travel with bags, so that is not a mandatory fee.

I’d be happy for forgo the free bicycle and free WiFi (which is already free for loyalty members) in exchange for avoiding a mandatory $30 daily resort fee.

The worst part is that even city hotels are now charging bogus destination fees in exchange for a food and beverage credit, effectively forcing you to buy overpriced drinks from the hotel.

Additionally, the airlines have long figured out that it makes business sense to waive nuisance fees like checked bag fees for their credit card holders and elite members.

Only Hyatt offers waived resort fees on paid stays for their top-tier Globalist elites. If you have the Chase World Of Hyatt Credit Card you can even spend your way to top-tier status and a wide range of benefits.

Hilton and Hyatt also waive resort fees on award stays for all members, so that you can actually stay somewhere for free. Marriott does no such thing, so your free stay will not actually be free at a growing number of hotels charging resort and destination fees.

I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by Marriott’s comments though. This is the same chain that claimed they were making the beloved SPG AMEX more valuable than ever by reducing earnings from 3 points per dollar to 2 points dollar. They bungled the SPG merger and turned #Bonvoyed into a verb. They got away with calling themselves Bonvoy because they are big enough to call themselves just about anything.

I was in Miami last week for one night and used my Marriott AMEX annual free night at the Residence Inn Surfside. Alas it wasn’t actually free, they charge $22 pretty much because they are within walking distance of a (heavily seaweed cluttered) beach. Resort fees are a joke at this point. Never mind how they flat out lied about not having any available suites to upgrade me as a Bonvoy Titanium member, despite their site still selling several standard suites. #Bonvoyed again.

At least Marriott claims to live by the #GoldenRule. Can you imagine what Marriott would be like otherwise?!?

I’m not holding out much hope, but boy would it be nice to see resort fees go the way of the dodo!

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26 Comments On "Marriott’s CEO Thinks Hotel Resort Fees Are Like Airline Baggage Fees"

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The logic is kinda ridiculous. If this was an added value, shouldn’t customers get to decide if they want this “way more valuable than price they charge” package?

Why can’t customers decline the “extra benefits” and pay just the room rate?


Oh so resort fees are like baggage fees, a profit center.

Baggage fees and the like came about moreso from low cost carriers and the public loooking for the cheapest way to fly and legacy airlines joined in.

Dan I agree flying with bags is an option, destination junk fees are not.


Be nice, be friendly. People like him just need a high-five!

To the face.

With a shovel.




Agree 100%. It’s insane that I’ve seen even simple motels such as some Days Inns charge $20, $25 nightly resort fees for such BS items such as usage of pool towels by the pool (I’d be okay to bring the bath towels out or buy my own), bottled water (they put one or two simple 17oz waters in the room), a newspaper by the front desk (okay… like I need that USA Today), and WiFi (we are in 2019, not 1999). Nor, do I understand why something is called a resort when there is an outdoor pool in January for a hotel in Minnesota, with a workout room consisting of 2 or 3 second-hand workout machines. It’s funny that it usually doesn’t include parking or breakfast after all that.


Check out the resort fees at Trump sunny isles beach for private residences it’s $100 per day for 2 adults and $50 more per person per day! Scammers! I even found out it’s illegal but they call it $50 resort fee and $50 access fee. This is the work of Gil Dezer.


That’s outrageous! What do you get for the $100, free local calls and a USA Today?


I think that they are going to charge whatever the market will bear… if they want to make it more like airline baggage fees, they’re bound to do something uber-dumb and charge you for “optional” linen, noting that you can bring your own. I think that the Washington DC attorney general has the right idea in getting them to disclose ALL their non-optional charges (“if it smells like fraud, looks like fraud, it’s fraud!”)… I think that an airline-like rule that absolutely forbids advertising and quoting separate “fees and taxes” that are not optional would be a good idea for hotels, too.

FWIW, I think that this approach shows contempt for their customers, and is particularly idiotic when applied to their best customers (I don’t have any kind of status in any hotel program, so I say that purely as a business person). But as long as they don’t have to disclose what they are doing, and “all the chains do it”, they will keep on doing it — and even worse.


It would be fine to have the resort fees but if a customer has status they shouldn’t charge for the same benefits that their status gives them


I disagree. Why should a Travelodge in Kissimmee FL call themselves a resort with resort fees? Is it so unique and luxurious to have a swimming pool offered in Florida?


There was an article on DOC on the the daily recap about contacting your state local AG as an easy way to be refunded these bogus fees.
If that is the case it could be a nice chunk of change for the more active of those amongst us.

Not tried it yet, but my the OR AG, has been decent, this month got a settlement (about $600) for pricing fixing by LCD/CRT manufacturers from a case the AG brought and prosected.


This is being driven by 3rd parties such as Expedia. They get paid commission on sales but because resort fees are not part of the original sale they don’t get their slice of the pie.

They don’t mind the resort fees at all they just want it fully disclosed and counted as part of the regular rate.

Ultimately this isn’t justifiable. The lawyers are going to have a blast splitting hairs coming up with inane arguments.


I used marriott points to stay at a resort for about 2 weeks. The resort fee and the tax charged on the resort fee, came to about $500. We did not use the bikes or the wifi so it was truly a waste.

Marriott should remove the resort fees.


We should all do charge backs on every resrot fee. Make them miserable by drowning them in paperwork.


If we all called our CC companies and did charge backs on resort fees, might make the big chains miserable enough to put an end to it.


Southwest doesn’t charge for baggages and as a result they’re probably the most well liked airline currently (which is a good thing for them). This guy makes it seem as if baggage fees are totally ok, they’re not.


This shoita who is asking the questions is agreeing w everything The CEO says.
No familiarity or intelligence regarding How to ask questions.


That’s why folks should be more aware of the ones who don’t charge as many resort fees, like IHG, Wyndham, Choice, etc.

Flying Jew

I used my 7 night Flights and Nights Cert for Yeshiva week in Aruba…Resort fees which I had to pay at booking for a “free room” was over $700. Last year paid zero?

Dan how is that OK?


It’s so interesting to see a bunch of adults, not getting FREE stuff.

On a serious note, I stayed in Orlando Ritz Carlton, it cost me a hefty amount of points, and than I got hit with a bill of $300 for fees and other stuff I never wanted in the first place.

Very not appreciated.


Great post!
We all need to keep posting and commenting and leaving nasty reviews at all Marriott properties maybe eventually Marriott will actually realize how stupid they are being.


Resort Fee is ment to cover the CEO’s Condo on fifth Ave and his Luxury boat.


Bad comparison. With baggage fees you get your bags transported to your destination. With resort fees, you usually get absolutely nothing that you would ever use. It would be different if the resort fees covered one thing that you actually used, needed, or wanted.