April , 2019

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CHICAGO, IL – Bargain-priced vacations are not always what they appear to be. For example, the price shown may look appealing, although there are often additional fees and hidden details. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises consumers to investigate and compare vacation plans, and to ask questions about extra fees that could significantly impact your vacation budget.

Resorts may have fees that go unmentioned until check out time. These fees may be included in your bill for a variety of amenities including internet access, gym usage and access to the safe or refrigerator. These increased costs can surprise consumers if they haven’t read the terms and conditions of a vacation package.

“Travel arrangements require a significant amount of time,” said Steve J. Bernas, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “It is vital that consumers take their time reading through fine print and make sure to ask questions.”

Fees for various amenities can range from $10 to $30 per day and are not always included in the checkout price on online booking sites. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) describes resort fees as being a part of “drip pricing”, a business model in which firms advertise only part of a price and reveal other charges later in the billing process. Drip pricing is not exclusive to the travel industry. It is also common among financial institutions and rental car companies.

The BBB offers some advice for consumers to avoid undisclosed fees:

  • Carefully read the fine print. Review the terms and conditions of a hotel for your stay and before providing a credit card number, in order to discover additional fees that may be added to your bill.
  • Double check what is included. Some “all inclusive” resorts fail to mention that some services are not included. This could be any service including transportation to and from the airport, drinks or certain activities.
  • Compare prices. Before making a commitment, compare prices with other all-inclusive vacations and vacations that are not all-inclusive. You want to make sure you get the most for your money.
  • Add tips into your budget. Some resorts have their staff refuse tips but most expect proper tipping etiquette. Expect to tip hotel staff, restaurant staff and bartenders.
  • Low prices can mean low quality. Remember that you get what you pay for. Decide whether you want to risk low quality with a low price.
  • Ask questions. If you are unsure of something you read in the fine print, make sure you contact the hotel with questions and concerns beforehand.
  • Discuss the questions and concerns you had at check-in. Verify the total cost again at check-in. It is much easier to discuss potential charges before it goes on your credit card.

For more tips, visit www.bbb.org, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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