FTC issues warning to 22 hotels regarding fees

(CBS News) Airline fees have been bugging passengers for years. Now hotels are playing the game as well.

The Federal Trade Commission recently sent a letter warning hotel operators about hidden fees. In the letter to 22 unidentified hotels, the FTC said, "We believe that online hotel reservation sites should include in the quoted total price any unavoidable and mandatory fees, such as resort fees, that consumers will be charged to stay at the hotel."

CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg said on "CBS This Morning" Thursday that the hotels are not being named because the FTC is giving them a chance to comply before taking further action. He said, "The FTC has never made a statement on this yet or taken a position. This is first time they've done it. They're basically saying, 'We're aware of it, we know that you guys are doing it, we want you to know we know you're doing it, so why don't you get your act together?'."

"It's a nickel-and-dime game again," Greenberg said. "It's called drip pricing."

Some of the fees may be labeled as a mandatory tip for a bellman, a resort fee, or an energy surcharge. And does the bellman actually receive that money? No, according Greenberg, who said he recently questioned several hotels about their fees.

Greenberg added, "In the case of the FTC, they're basically focusing on the websites. It's more than just the website. I called seven hotels yesterday and asked them to quote me the room rate. Everybody did. Not one of them quoted any of those other fees they would add on when you're walking out of the hotel."

For Greenberg's advice for consumers, watch the video in the player above.

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