Click Fraud Protection TZ Represents Travelers United in Lawsuit Against Accor over Junk Fee Practices, Adding to Existing Suits Against Hilton, Hyatt, and Sonesta - Tycko & Zavareei LLP
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TZ Represents Travelers United in Lawsuit Against Accor over Junk Fee Practices, Adding to Existing Suits Against Hilton, Hyatt, and Sonesta

Date Published
Dec 18, 2023

Washington, D.C. — Travelers United, a consumer advocacy organization, has filed a lawsuit against Accor S.A. (Accor) over its deceptive junk fee practices. The lawsuit, filed on Friday, December 15, 2023, is the latest in a series of similar suits that Travelers United has filed against Hilton, Hyatt, and Sonesta that challenge similar junk fee practices.

“These cases stand for a simple idea that is at the core of our free market system—when you advertise something for sale, Americans are entitled to buy it for the advertised price,” said Wesley Griffith, one of Travelers’ attorneys. “Hotel junk fees violate that basic principle by forcing Americans to pay a higher price than is advertised.”

The lawsuit alleges that Accor falsely advertised the price of its hotel rooms for years by adding on “destination,” “resort,” and other deceptive fees at the last minute that do not appear in the advertised price of the rooms. This false advertising misled consumers into believing that Accor’s rooms were cheaper than they actually were.

Junk fee practices, such as Accor’s, exceed two billion dollars annually in the hotel industry.

“Junk fees are not just deceptive. They are illegal,” said Lauren Wolfe, Travelers United’s Chief Legal Officer.

“Travelers United wants to make it very clear that resort fees are illegal and no hotel should be charging them. Consumers are sick of rampant junk fees across corporate America. We hope this lawsuit holds Accor accountable for their false advertising,” Ms. Wolfe stated.

Peter Silva, another of Travelers’ attorneys, continued, “Hidden junk fees violate a bedrock principle of our economy: fair competition on a level playing field. Consumers are denied the ability to make an informed choice based on the price. And competitors are forced to choose between following the law, or losing customers based on inaccurate price advertisements. We believe that Accor violated the law and are confident that a jury will agree with us at trial.”

Travelers United is seeking a permanent injunction against Accor to prevent them from continuing to falsely advertise their room rates in D.C. and to D.C. residents. The organization is also seeking damages for consumers who have been affected by the false advertising, as well as statutory penalties and punitive damages.

Travelers United is a nonprofit focused on travel consumer protection and has long fought against junk fees in the hospitality industry. Travelers United is represented in the suit by Hassan Zavareei, Peter Silva, Wesley Griffith, and Leora Friedman of the public interest firm Tycko & Zavareei LLP, which frequently represents consumers seeking justice through class actions.

The case is Travelers United, Inc. v. Accor S.A., et al. in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Civil Division.

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