Hilton Sued By Nebraska AG Over 'Deceptive and Misleading' Resort Fees
Nebraska's attorney general announced that he plans to sue Hilton, alleging that the chain's "deceptive and misleading pricing practices" violated Nebraska’s consumer protection laws."
The lawsuit wants to make Hilton advertise the true prices of its hotel rooms upfront, pay civil penalties, and "provide monetary relief to harmed Nebraska consumers."
"For years, Hilton has misled consumers in Nebraska regarding the true cost of certain Hilton hotel rooms," Attorney General Doug Peterson (R) said in a statement on July 23. "They failed to heed warnings from the Federal Trade Commission and the mounting complaints from their own customers."
Hilton, for its part, said that customers are informed about resort fees prior to booking.
"Resort fees are charged at less than two percent of our properties globally, enable additional value for our guests, and are always fully disclosed when booking through Hilton channels," a Hilton spokesperson told The Points Guy in a statement. "We have not yet been served the related documents, so will take the opportunity to review these before providing additional comment.”
Nebraska's AG isn't the only one taking a hotel chain to court.
Earlier this month, D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine (D) sued Marriott, alleging that the hotel deliberately hid the true price of hotel rooms from consumers and charged hidden resort fees to increase profits.
"Marriott reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in profit by deceiving consumers about the true price of its hotel rooms," Racine said in a July 9 statement.
"Bait-and-switch advertising and deceptive pricing practices are illegal. With this lawsuit, we are seeking monetary relief for tens of thousands of District consumers who paid hidden resort fees and to force Marriott to be fully transparent about their prices so consumers can make informed decisions when booking hotel rooms," Racine continued.
As TPG's Katherine Fan noted after the Marriott suit, customers and third-party booking agencies have started pushing back against the fees. while Hilton and Hyatt allow customers to use points as a way to avoid paying a resort fee, Marriott charges resort fees on paid and award bookings.
Despite the suit, resort fees don't seem to be going away anytime soon, at least for Marriott.
In an interview with Linkedin earlier this month, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said, “I don’t think they’re going away,” and pledged to fight the lawsuit, calling it "wrong."