Two U.S. senators have introduced the Junk Fee Prevention Act, following the Biden administration’s pledge to crack down on “excessive, hidden and unnecessary fees” across a variety of industries, including hotels and airlines.
Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) introduced the legislation, which would require hotels and other providers of short-term lodging to disclose the full price upfront.
Hotels would have to “clearly and conspicuously display, in each advertisement and when a price is first shown to a consumer, the total price of the good or service provided by the covered entity, including any mandatory fees a consumer would incur during the transaction.”
This specific mandate would eliminate drip pricing — the practice of obscuring extra fees until the conclusion of the booking process. Drip pricing often results in a final price that is substantially higher than the advertised amount.
The legislation also prevents airlines from charging extra to seat a young child adjacent to an accompanying adult.
“Our bill will help end this price gouging — forcing full disclosure upfront and restricting abusive fees,” said Blumenthal in a statement. “It will mandate basic common-sense fairness and transparency, which consumers rightly demand and deserve.”
The introduction of the Junk Fee Prevention Act comes as the hospitality industry remains at odds over resort fees, with some hotel companies defending their use.
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