Out-and-out scams may be relatively rare, but the travel industry is full of misrepresentations and ripoffs. Over the years, we've often highlighted the worst of them, including several mentioned in our recent ripoff report. Among the worst:
Our earlier report covered add-on fees for services that should be in the base price and foreign exchange fees on credit cards. We observed one interesting development, however: Not everybody agrees that optional extra fees for services that used to be included in the base price are ripoffs.
Some buy into the argument that separating out the optional extras allows airlines and hotels to keep their base fares/rates lower than if they had to provide all the extras within the base price, even to people who don't use them. We think most of the extra fees are, in fact, ripoffs, if not inherently, at least in the levels of the prices charged. But it's your call.
Ed Perkins is a contributing editor to SmarterTravel and a respected commentator on all aspects of the travel industry, including passenger comfort and rights, travel insurance, the best credit cards for travelers, and car rental fees. SmarterTravel provides expert, unbiased information on timely travel deals, the best value destinations, and money-saving travel tips.