Marriott Hotels has introduced an all inclusive price for hotel rooms that the company terms “Total Trip Pricing”. The move addresses long held (and legitimate) guest grievances concerning taxes and surcharges that differ widely across cities and countries. The tax and surcharge structure is particularly onerous and opaque during the reservation process at several hotel websites leaving the customer confused and red faced at check-out. Offering a composite all-inclusive price is not as hard as it is made out to be by some operators. While several jurisdictions require a full breakdown of all taxes and surcharges, it is easy enough to add it all up for the guest and quote a final number. Airlines have been doing precisely that both during ticketing and reservations for eons. Marriott’s example ought to be emulated by one and all.
Speaking of airlines and pricing, the Wall Street Journal has an article on Maxjet and Eos, two supposed upstart airlines offering “business only” on service across the pond at rates that approximate many economy fares offered by the legacy airlines. While there has been no move yet by the tradtional airlines to pull the old chestnut of “predatory pricing” in response, it certainly has their attention with many of them closely monitoring traffic patterns on the two new carriers.
Is there a lesson in it for upmarket hotels who, after years of pricing pressure, have finally seen rates steadily moving upwards?