33 Replies Latest reply: Dec 19, 2016 11:19 AM by phctourist RSS

Pet fees are getting out of control!!

drpepper Platinum
Currently Being Moderated

I am a PE member and have been a MR member since 2005.  I love staying at Marriott hotels and have been a loyal member for a decade.  However, as an active duty military member with a family and two dogs, it is getting unaffordable for me to stay at Marriott hotels due to the exorbitant pet fees charged at each hotel.  This past summer, the military moved my family from the Washington, D.C. area to Omaha, NE.  For this military move, we stayed at Marriott hotels in Springfield, VA; Morgantown, WV; Chicago, IL; Des Moines, IA, and Omaha, NE.  Each of these hotels charged a $100-$150, non-refundable pet fee (even at one hotel where we only stayed less than 8 hours)!  This would have added an additional $550 expense to our military move, which is not reimbursable by the government.  This additional charge is completely an "out of pocket" expense. Even as a PE member, some of the hotels were unwilling to waive the fee, saying it was a direct transfer of the charge they pay to have the carpets "professionally" cleaned once we check out.  I take exception to this since I have firsthand experience that the carpets are NOT professionally cleaned after each pet stay.  So this pet fee appears to be a way for hotels to "pad" their bottom lines at the expense of us pet owners.  Luckily, two of the hotels we stayed at during our military move, were willing to waive the fee after I offered a protest.  Only recently, these pet fees were refundable, now they are non-refundable.  Marriott needs to understand the added financial burden these pet fees places on pet owners AND the burden it places on military families who are relocating to a new assignment.  We cannot continue to pay these fees during military moves.  If they continue, unfortunately, it will force us to look at other alternatives.  These fees should be waived at least for military members traveling on orders and for MR (PE) members.

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  • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
    deannad Community Manager Marriott Associate Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi drpepper,

    Thank you for sharing. Unfortunately, these fees are enforced at most Marriott hotels that allow pets and are unavoidable. There are several other threads on Insiders that offer some insight, with Rewards members on both sides of the issue. I think this is a good place to reference: 

    Re: Pet Friendly??

    Remember, you can always search at the top of the page for any topics, questions, etc. as many Insiders share similar sentiments, as you will see with this topic in particular.

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  • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
    randomname Platinum 7 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    Granted the fees are high, but have not changed significantly over the past 10 years.  There are other choices, such as shipping the pet, using nearby kennels/boarding services, etc.  Marriott has been good about allowing pets at several of their hotels.

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  • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
    txman Gold
    Currently Being Moderated

    I feel for you, I have 3 little dogs of my own. What I have found is that many of the places wont even allow pets, deposits or not. I spend a lot of time looking for pet friendly hotels in my travels. It is sometimes easier to board them and have them shipped to you after your arrival. I don't know if it would save you any money or not, but definitely decreases the headaches in my opinion.

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    • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
      drpepper Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      We have done both of your suggestions.  However, sometimes those are not always viable options.

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  • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
    702rugbyref Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I have a service dog and if I need to bring him I will...I believe they are excempt from pet fees

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    • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
      drpepper Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      You are correct.  My mother-in-law has a service dog and doesn't have to pay.  Unfortunately, that's not the case for my family.

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    • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
      phctourist Platinum 20 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      As they should be!

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  • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
    john_thai Platinum 8 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    First, I thank you for your service. It is people like you who protect my right to disagree with you.

     

    I think that all fees should be waived for me. Everyone feels that way. Unfortunately that's not real life. The damage and problems that pets cause aren't mitigated by the fact that you're active military or PE or anything else. Your pets may not be a problem. But let's face it, *EVERY* pet owner thinks their pet is not a problem.

     

    Think of someone with an allergy to cats or dogs. You stay in a room, the next guest in has non-stop problem with allergy due to the pet dander all over the room. Simply isn't fair to the rest of the world. Your pets create an additional expense to the hotel. Is $100 justified? Probably not. But I suspect a big part of it is not recouping costs but rather hoping to deter pet owners from bringing their pets with them.

     

    I sympathize with your plight. But it is something brought on by your decisions. And, of course, by the myriad of pet owners who may be a bit less responsible with their pets than you are.

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    • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
      drpepper Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      John, I am allergic to cat dander, so I understand the need to have the rooms cleaned.  However, the costs should be on as needed basis as it used to be.  As I previously stated, I personally know that not all hotels are having the carpets professionally cleaned after each stay for guest with pets.  So this whole notion of "passing along the cost of having the carpets professionally cleaned" is bogus.  That is not happening at all hotels.  

       

      My concern about this cost for military members is the fact of going cross country (like we had to do) creates an additional financial burden that is not reimbursable.  For a junior enlisted member, this cost can be significant.  So Marriott should take this into consideration.  Or as a minimum, there should be some benefits for being a PE member. 

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      • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
        lbaker1061 Member
        Currently Being Moderated

        Fpr people with severe pet allergies, there is  always the option of staying at a hotel that does not allow animals. the majority of hotels do not allow pets, so people with allergies have a much greater selection than those of us who travel with pets.

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    • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
      clebert Platinum 21 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I have a child with a dog and cat allergy so I'm not keen on getting a room that's had dogs or cats in it.  Our allergist told us that it takes 6 months for the dander from dogs or cats to dissipate once the animals are removed, and even a professional cleaning won't eliminate the allergens.  Plus I'm not a big fan of being in a room next to or near a barking dog.  But perhaps it would make sense to have an area of the hotel dedicated to people traveling with pets.  Or maybe Marriott should dedicate one of the brands as pet-friendly and create a new niche in the hospitality industry?

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      • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
        randomname Platinum 7 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        They've sort of done this with the Residence Inn brand.  I believe almost all we've stayed at allowed pets.

         

        Since there are many other Marriott brands that do not allow pets, for those who have allergies it should be pretty easy to avoid rooms where pets have been.

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      • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
        lbaker1061 Member
        Currently Being Moderated

        I am not keen on staying in a hotel with a screaming child next door or children above me who are unsupervised and jumping in beds at all hours of the night. You are not charged extra for your children.

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        • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
          phctourist Platinum 20 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          I've had screaming kids next door and they are bad, but barking dogs are worse.

           

          I'd like to see the non-refundable fee imposed when (and only when) an extra cleaning is required.  The fee should be imposed for that cleaning service, but not for the mere presence of the pet.  I

           

          I write this as a PE who suffers from dog and cat allergies.  Dog and cat owners should bear the cost that their pet adds to the hotel, but should not be seen as an extra revenue source!

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      • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
        lbaker1061 Member
        Currently Being Moderated

        The majority of hotels do not allow pets, therefore if you have severe allergies, you can stay in a hotel that does not allow pets.

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    • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
      lbaker1061 Member
      Currently Being Moderated

      People with allergies have the option of staying at a hotel that does not allow pets.

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      • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
        john_thai Platinum 8 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        True, but should the majority be pushed around by a tiny minority? Should I have to change my plans or maneuver my reservations around pet owners?

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        • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
          lbaker1061 Member
          Currently Being Moderated

          The majority of households have pets. These people are walking around the community dropping dander all over. Most hospitals have pet therapy programs. Most hotels that allow pets designate certain rooms or even floors that are pet free.

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      • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
        phctourist Platinum 20 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        I agree and that is why I urge Marriott to not accept pets!  I agree that the majority does not allow pets, but I would like that majority to be larger!

         

        A reasonable alternative would be for hotels to set aside rooms that are pet accessible and keep the majority of rooms "PET FREE!"

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  • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
    clebert Platinum 21 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    My dad is a Korean War vet.  When his tour of duty ended, he had to hitch hike through South Korea to get to the pick up point where he got on a boat to Japan.  Once he arrived in Japan, the Army didn't have any way for him to get to Tokyo for transport, so he then had to hitchhike around Japan.  Then he was flown from Japan to Hawaii, then Hawaii to San Francisco.  The Army was able to get him on a train from Los Angeles to Omaha, but there was no way for him to get from San Francisco to Los Angeles, so again he had to hitchhike again.  Once he got to Omaha, his sister picked him up and drove him the rest of the way to his farm that his widowed mother was trying to operate by herself because his 2 brothers had been drafted, and she'd been left on the farm alone with nobody to help.  So, things certainly have changed!

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    • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
      jerryl Platinum 2 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      I think it comes down to preferences of guest. Like with cigarettes I really don't want to smell pets or cigarettes in a room I am entering so I suspect the hotels do added services that cost them extra. Some chains like Best western are better know for allowing pets than Marriott .

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      • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
        jerryl Platinum 2 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        by the way one other option would be to require the pest to be in a cage while in the room then I wouldn't see a reason to charge someone extra

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        • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
          john_thai Platinum 8 Reviews
          Currently Being Moderated

          OK. But how would you enforce it?

           

          For pet owners my suggestion is simple: You know that your preference to travel with your pet causes inconvenience for other travelers and often more expense for the hotel. So accept that and plan on paying the extra.

           

          Exception for *true* service animals (meaning those who are helping physically challenged people). These "Service Animal Diploma Mills" who pump out certs saying that your parrot is a service animal tick me off.

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          • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
            jerryl Platinum 2 Reviews
            Currently Being Moderated

            yes but at least at check in the animal would have to be in  a cage. I do agree with your view as there are many hotels that take pets free and people who go there know there is a strong likelihood  a pet has recently been in the room . I remember going on a business trip a number if years ago to Lawton Ok and when checking asked for a non smoking room and they said there weren't any . all rooms were smoking as to them being on an interstate most people staying smoked. Well I never stayed there again

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      • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
        phctourist Platinum 20 Reviews
        Currently Being Moderated

        And that's ONE of the reasons that I rarely stay at BW.

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    • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
      drpepper Platinum
      Currently Being Moderated

      That's a great story.  Things have definitely changed.  I've heard similar stories from old supervisors years ago that would be shocking today.  Thanks for sharing!

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  • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
    drpepper Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    It just seems suspect to me that less than a year ago, all the fees were refundable deposits and now they aren't.  We mainly stay at RI when we travel, and even there, these fees are exorbitant.  Blocking of rooms for pet owners is one solution.  That way, the fee can be charged only if necessary.

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  • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
    lbaker1061 Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I Totally agree with you. Pet fees are out of control and pet rooms do not receive a substantially different cleaning than other rooms. It is a way to generate extra income and should not be allowed. I recently had to pay 100 dollars for a 2 night stay at the Residence Inn in Allentown PA. No one can tell me exactly how my room will receive a differ t cleaning than the other non pet rooms. In fact I was never asked to sign a pet agreement when I checked in and yet was charged the pet fee.

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  • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
    pingreeman Platinum 1 Reviews
    Currently Being Moderated

    If we start allowing special considerations for pets, why not smokers? Overall, smokers seem to be getting zinged a LOT more that pets with dander and allergens. Just sayin'

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    • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
      lbaker1061 Member
      Currently Being Moderated

      Most hotels are smoke free but they designate a smoking area right outside and adjacent to entrances and exits. I do not like walking into a hotel in a cloud of smoke.

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  • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
    lbaker1061 Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    The bottom line to all this discussion is....Marriot is charging 100 dollars and advertising to customers that they professionally clean all rooms occupied by pets. Clearly, they do not do this and I think this is fraud. The people who should be most concerned are those with pet allergies because they think they are checking in to a professionally cleaned and sanitized room.

     

    That said, a 100 dollar pet fee for a two day stay is outrageous particularly when the rooms are cleaned as usual. Also, the Residence in Allentown told me this is a Marriot policy and all Residence Inns charge the same thing. This is not true because I have stayed for a weekend elsewhere and was only been charged 25 for the weekends.....clearly the managers have some discretion.

     

    Marriot is is padding their bottom line with pet owners and publicly advertising something they do not do and collecting fees for performing a service they do not perform. Fraud? yes, I think so.

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  • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
    1dkramer Platinum
    Currently Being Moderated

    I Have always stayed at Marriott since I'm a platinum member and I must agree with you the the pet fees are out of control. I don't know why they don't have a number of numbers put aside to pet travelers and when there full then you must go somewhere else. I travel with a show cat and I personally clean the room before and after I take the animal into the room I do this for the cat and myself. Since I wash and blow dry the cat ever week there is no dander on the animal.  When I leave the room, the room is cleaner than when I check in. I even leave a tip of $5.00 per night for the mail. This is just another way for there bottom line. When I travel to and from Florida I'm now staying at other hotels. There are never a fee at four seasons but they are not off interstate 95. Even Hilton only charges $25.00 to $40.00 per night for a pet, however I don't like Hilton. It's a sad state the hotels are just ripping people off And I know your told that the charge is for extra cleaning but we both know the mailed would be there 24 hours if the cleaning was that great.

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    • Re: Pet fees are getting out of control!!
      phctourist Platinum 20 Reviews
      Currently Being Moderated

      Actually, many fees are out of control:  Pet fees, resort fees, parking fees, etc.  I would love to see hotels start charging a room rate that includes the reasonable costs of maintaining a hotel and not  nickel and dime (or should I say $50 and $100)  us to death.

       

      Pet fees that reflect a real extra cost of cleaning are appropriate.  Fees that are only intended to enhance profit, are not!

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