As an avid traveller, it was heart-warming, if not downright reassuring, to hear Joe Biden assert his plan to do away with “resort fees”. You know those fees you didn’t expect but turn up at the end of the transaction.

He had a pop at airlines too for failing to ensure that young families sit together. Biden intends to legislate by creating a “Junk Fee Prevention Act”. 


 “We’ll ban surprise ‘resort fees’ that hotels tack on to your bill. These fees can cost you up to $90 (£75) a night at hotels that aren’t even resorts.”

According to The Independent, resort fees as well as taxes can almost double the cost of a stay. Domestic travellers may be acclimatised to this, but for UK travellers this can be quite a jolt, especially if they have pre-paid for the package. The states most guilty of doing this are Las Vegas, Florida and New York City.

Lina Khan, the chair, of The Federal Trade Commission who recently published a paper about this, said:

“Resort fees at hotels first emerged in the late 1990s. By 2015, they accounted for one-sixth of total hotel revenue. That’s $2bn [£1.66bn] per year.

“With rising prices, fees are becoming more prevalent, allowing some businesses to raise effective prices without appearing to do so.”

Regarding airlines The President said:

“We’ll prohibit airlines from charging up to $50 [£42] roundtrip for families just to sit together.

“Baggage fees are bad enough – they can’t just treat your child like a piece of luggage.

“Americans are tired of being played for suckers.”

He added:

“For example, we’re making airlines show you the full ticket price upfront and refund your money if your flight is cancelled or delayed.”

While US airlines are sympathetic to the need for families to sit together the norm is to randomly assign seats to passengers. The only way around this is to pay for assured seating.

In the UK, the issue of seating young families together or close to each other is already carved into law. 

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