Everyone Else Can Stop Trying, Short-Term Rental Has Most Ridiculous Fees Ever Seen – View from the Wing

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In the world of short-term rentals, we’ve all seen our fair share of additional fees. From cleaning fees to service charges, these extras can often be a thorn in the side of an otherwise excellent stay. But, my recent discovery of a rental property takes the concept of “additional fees” to a ludicrously new height, and does so in a way that hides the ball too.

I’ve come to expect the standard cleaning fee, though it would be better just to amortize it into a higher room rate (longer stays, lower nightly rates). But then, things escalate quickly. Would you be surprised by a ‘linen fee’ for bed sheets; an ‘electricity usage fee’ that would fund a small factory; or a ‘kitchen amenities fee’ for using the refrigerator?

How about bundling all of these fees into one, not even naming the benefit, and burying it in the fine print? Here’s a rental whose fee structure doesn’t just nickel-and-dime you, it throws the entire piggy bank at your head.

I’m sure I’ve never seen any place that charged both a resort fee and a destination fee, since they’re actually the same thing (a destination fee was the innovation where hotels that aren’t resorts could get in on the action).

And this is real. I assumed the image was altered. This is the property. And there’s a $1,000 destination fee in the fine print.

Booking.com even has a section called the fine print, where they also disclose,

A damage deposit of $300 is required on arrival. This will be collected as a cash payment. You should be reimbursed on check-out. Your deposit will be refunded in full, in cash, subject to an inspection of the property.

There’s a $300 deposit you have to pay separately when you arrive. In cash. And you have to wait around when you check out to have the unit inspected in order to get the $300 back. And you can’t just check in and check out when you wish. You’d better not have an early flight out of Miami airport – or, what happens if you’re flight there gets delayed?


Hotel chains, under pressure from both the federal government and state attorneys general, have been cleaning up how they display prices on their own websites – at least offering the ability for customers to see an ‘all in’ price when they search.

However online travel agency sites do not do this. That makes it hard for customers to compare actual pricing, but it makes those sites look like they’re offering a better deal (indeed, a better than than booking direct, which is rarely true with Expedia or Booking.com).

It’s time for short-term rental homesharing to clean up its absurd drip pricing act, and for online travel agencies to clean up theirs over how they display the price of all accommodations.

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