The Texas Attorney General’s Office has filed a lawsuit against Hyatt Hotels Corporation for violating Texas consumer protection laws by marketing hotel rooms at prices that were not available to the public as advertised.
Hyatt, one of the largest hotel operators in the country, implemented this practice by charging consumers mandatory and unavoidable fees—such as resort fees, destination fees, or amenity fees—in addition to daily room rates. Even when these fees were eventually disclosed, they were done so in a manner that was unlikely to alert consumers that the initial rate that attracted them was not, in fact, the actual price of the room.
The Texas Attorney General’s Office alleges that many of these fees have nothing to do with the customer experience. As an example, they note that the resort fees charged by hotels do not necessarily align with “resort-like” experiences. In some cases, a significant portion of the amenities purportedly covered by resort fees, such as access to a fitness center and in-room Wi-Fi, are regularly offered free of charge at non-resort properties. Hyatt also charged these fees regardless of whether consumers used the amenities.
“Hyatt’s lack of transparency regarding hotel room prices has misled consumers and violated Texas law,” said Texas Attorney General Paxton. “These deceptive practices enabled Hyatt to advertise lodging at artificially low rates, and it must end immediately. I will not stand by while Texas consumers are taken advantage of by Hyatt, or by any hotel chain that tries to get away with charging illegal hidden fees.”
Hyatt operates hotels worldwide—including in Texas—under brand names such as Hyatt, Grand Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Hyatt Place, and Thompson Hotels.