They are sporadic and you generally can’t pay for them in advance — the 10 worst ancillary fees levied by airlines, hotels and car rental companies.
The Global Business Travel Assocation Foundation, GBTA’s educational wing, compiled the ranking as part of a new report, “2012 Ancillary Fee Handbook, Who Charges What, When & Where.” GBTA states:
GBTA researchers found that the fees that cause the most problems for companies and travel managers are those that are least predictable, can’t be paid in advance, and are difficult to track individually.
So here’s GBTAs 10 worst ancillary fees for corporations and travel managers:
1. Airline fees for soft drinks
2. Airline fees for headsets
3. Airline fees for movies and videos
4. Airline fees for food
5. Car rental fees for tolls
6. Hotel fees for Internet use
7. Hotel fees for parking
8. Car rental fees for late returns
9. Car rental fees for one-way rental dropoffs
10. Car rental fees for gas
As a rule, you can’t pay these fees in advance and they aren’t available in corporate online booking tools or through global distribution systems.
It is interesting that premium airline seats didn’t make the “worst” list and that may be because some are beginning to enter GDSs. For example, Delta Air Lines announced this week that it plans to sell its Economy Comfort premium seats through Travelport’s GDSs.
In a finding that backs up travel managers’ long-standing complaints about ancillary fees, the GBTA revealed that few travel managers and corporations have the ability to track most ancillary fees. Joseph Bates, GBTA Foundation senior director of research, states:
Last summer, our research found that only 21% of travel managers are tracking ancillary fees while those fees account for over 8% of total travel spend. Our research shows that ancillary fees have a significant impact on travel budgets and policies. With better insight into how these fees work, travel managers can make more informed choices.
The GBTA list and study is oriented toward managed travel, of course.
Unmanaged business travelers, and leisure travelers, too, may be able to compile their own list, which might include everything from resort fees to fees to use airline vouchers.
The ancillary fees report is free to GBTA members and it can be purchased by non-members.