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 for the room where the meeting itself is held
Now: Rental fees also on the room where the food and beverages are served
Then: Charges 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 to the master folio. “This one is a little sneaky,” says Hanson. “The hotel is charging you, plus it doesn't have to pay commission on individuals' credit cards.”
Then: No charge for local calls
Now: No charge for local calls — unless they go 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.
Then: $1 per-page charge for faxes
Now: $5 for the first page of the fax, $1 each for following pages