Bjorn Hanson, a lodging consultant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, has seen major changes in hotel fee structures in the past two years. Here are some examples.
Then: Rental fees charged only for the room where the meeting itself is held
Now: Rental fees also charged on the room where food and beverage is served
Then: Charges just for the bottles of liquor opened for an open-bar reception
Now: Taxes and gratuity for the bartender, plus per-bottle charges
Then: No charge for organizations billing directly to a master meeting folio
Now: Charges that average $50 in a small hotel, $500 in a larger hotel, to bill directly to the folio. “This one is a little sneaky,” says Hanson. “The hotel is charging you, plus they don't have to pay the commission on individuals' credit cards.”
Then: No charge for local calls
Now: No charge for local calls — unless they last over 20 minutes. Then they get billed as toll calls, because the hotel assumes that you're dialing into a computer network's local access number, not making a restaurant reservation.
Then: $1 per page for faxes
Now: $5 for the first page of a fax, $1 for each additional page