Hotel pricing can be a bit of a mystery. Like the way planes work or the existence of double rainbows. That being said, the actual prices shouldn’t be a mystery. Shouldn’t being the key word. But because the world we live in is less than ideally transparent, we’re stuck with some pretty shady hotel prices.
The problem is because of those little annoying gremlins we call taxes and fees. Here’s what happens. You go online, you find a nice hotel, the price looks good, and you book it for 3 nights. Say the hotel room is on sale for $300. Using the powers of our mathematical genius, 3 nights at $300 makes out to $900. So that’s all you have to pay, right? Wrong. In most cases, once you’ve selected your dates, and are about to put in your credit card info, you’re faced with the real price, which is often anywhere from 15 - 30% higher than what you expected.
Often you don’t realize what you’re actually paying until it’s too late.
Some sites cleverly (read: sneakily) do one or more of the following things.
3 Ways Booking Sites Play With Your Heart And Mess With Your Mind
- They don’t tell you up front that the price you’re seeing is exclusive of taxes and fees, hoping that once you’re ready to hand over your credit card information you won’t even realize that they’ve added it in. They’re assuming that you don’t have the mathematical capability to realize that the price has shot up and that you’ll just pay anyway.
- Sites break up the rate exclusive of taxes and fees and then in minuscule font at the bottom disclose the taxes and fees that you’ll be paying on top of the rate. When was the last time you read fine print (unless you’re a lawyer or going through a lawsuit)? Imagine if you had to read the fine print on every iTunes update. You’d sooner finish a Russian novel.
- They don’t tell you that there are taxes and fees at all until you stay at the hotel and the hotel ends up charging you for it. That’s a pretty cruddy way to start a vacation.
Now imagine if this happened in the real world. It’d probably go down a little like this:
You: “Excuse me, how much is this watch?”
Store owner: “It’s $2000.”
You: “Ok. I’ll take it.”
Store owner: “Please hand over your credit card. I’m going to charge you $2000. (under his breath) And an extra $500 for taxes and fees.”
You: “Excuse me, what was that?”
Store owner: “Oh nothing. Now, please sign here.”
That would never happen in a real bricks and mortar store. But it is happening on virtually every other booking site online. This is wrong.
How We’re Shaking Up The Travel Industry
At ImpulseFlyer, we’re all a bunch of travel nerds and understand how frustrating it can be to deal with this sort of shady behaviour. That’s why ALL of our prices include taxes and fees. What you see is what you get.
The common theory in the travel industry is that if a site shows prices inclusive of taxes and fees, then they’ll appear more expensive than their competitors and no one will book through them. We think the opposite. We know that you won’t be fooled by this sort of base trickery. All the members-only prices you see within ImpulseFlyer will be inclusive of any fees and taxes. No nasty surprises. And if there are any other fees, we’ll make it VERY clear on the site so you know what you’re in for.
We focus on providing the best service possible for our members – and at the core of that service will always be honesty and transparency. Booking luxury holidays should be fun, not painful like a brazilian or going for your prostate exam.
Talk To Us
If you have any comments or suggestions on how we can improve our service at ImpulseFlyer, please shoot an email to Gabby, our Customer Delight Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’ll be more than happy to help you out with anything at all. Need a restaurant recommendation? What electrical converter to bring? Are bathing suits optional? She’ll help you out.