Hyatt Sued for Charging Guests Undisclosed ‘Junk Fees’ After Biden Asked Congress and Federal Agencies to Make Practice Illegal

By Paul Riegler on 24 August 2023
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Entrance to Hyatt Regency in Chicago

Hyatt Hotels and Resorts is being sued for charging undisclosed “junk fees” to guests by Travelers United, a non-profit that has a stated goal of protecting American travelers.

The suit comes on the heels of President Joe Biden having reaffirmed his commitment to end junk fees across multiple sectors, including travel.

“President Biden has repeatedly called on federal agencies, Congress, and private companies to take action to address junk fees across the economy, and ensure Americans are provided with honest, transparent pricing,” the White House said in a statement earlier in the year.

Biden said that U.S. consumers are tired of being treated as “suckers.”

“Rather than disclosing the full cost of its hotel rooms upfront, Hyatt instead adds on last-minute ‘destination fees,’ ‘resort fees’ and other similar charges that are really part of the daily room rate,” the group said in court papers.

“This lawsuit will show that hotels violate the law when they charge resort fees without including them in the advertised price,” said the group’s chief legal officer, Lauren Wolfe, in a statement.  “American consumers are sick and tired of corporations taking advantage of them with relentless junk fees. Travelers United hopes this lawsuit permanently ends this deceptive practice, and holds Hyatt accountable for their false advertising.”

The court filing specifically references the Grand Hyatt Washington hotel, which charges a $20 destination fee bundled into taxes and fees.

“While the process of stopping these illegal fees has just begun, we are confident that at trial, a D.C. jury will find that Hyatt violated the law,” said Peter Silva, an attorney at public interest firm Tycko & Zavareei that is representing Travelers United.

At press time, Hyatt had not responded to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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