Rhonda Moret’s vacation rental in Park City, Utah, came with a few surprises.
We love to advocate a good bait and switch, and today’s Advocate This! offers just that.
Rola Hassoun wrote to us on behalf of her mother, Sanaa, who bought a cell phone from Verizon as a gift to her husband in July, 2014.
Lynda Shirley thinks she’s been scammed.
Is Aruba part of the United States? I’m not the one asking. Hank Roden, a fine art photographer from Urbanna, Va., is, and it’s more of a rhetorical question.
A carry-on bag is included in Lana Joseph’s ticket price whenever she flies from Cleveland to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on United Airlines. But if that carry-on includes Molly, her six-pound Yorkshire terrier, Joseph has to cough up an additional $250 round-trip.
“That’s way too much for a bag that goes under the seat,” says Joseph, a retired hairstylist from Akron, Ohio, who spends her winters in South Florida. “I can see a small charge, but not an exorbitant fee.”
Welcome to the topsy-turvy world of pet travel — a world that some say shouldn’t even exist. Americans spent an estimated $55.7 billion on pets last year, according to the American Pet Products Association, most of it on food and veterinary care. But an unknown portion of that amount also paid for plane tickets and accommodations for man’s best friends.
Here are three ways you could get broadsided with unexpected fees on your next hotel visit. Know them before you go.
What if they had to give it all back?
Imagine if someone forced airlines, hotels and car rental companies to return every penny they took from you under questionable circumstances. The checked-bag fee, often poorly disclosed. The resort fee billed to your room, whether you used the “free” wireless and unlimited local phone calls or not. The license recovery fees that pay for your rental car’s plates — as if that were optional.
These extras, which most travelers call junk fees, aren’t just expensive annoyances. Vast sectors of the travel industry have made them a cornerstone of their business operations, with airlines leading the way down this ethically troublesome path.
It’s a practice the industry delicately calls “unbundling,” or removing often essential components of a product from the base price to make it look deceptively cheaper.