AH&LA Applauds Complete Support from Florida Congressional Delegation
June 10, 2015 2:20pm
Washington, June 10, 2015— The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee lodging industry, today praised the Florida Congressional Delegation after they sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez urging the agency to immediately open an investigation into companies deceptively targeting consumers with misleading online hotel websites. The letter was signed by all 27 Members of the delegation.
“When it comes to the law, it’s very clear; businesses should not be misleading consumers about who they are and what they are selling. But that is exactly what many rogue online booking sites are doing. More than 2.5 million bookings a year are deceptive, leaving consumers in the cold. Consumers are not getting what they want or pay for and dealing with everything from additional room charges, cancellation fees or service charges and accessibility problems,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of AH&LA.
“We welcome the support of the leadership of the entire Florida Congressional Delegation in recognizing that we have a shared responsibility in ensuring that consumers are protected from these unscrupulous scams. We join the Florida delegation in urging the FTC to open an investigation to raise awareness about this growing problem as this body has the jurisdiction and duty to investigate these deceptive practices.”
Please read the full text of the Florida Delegation’s letter to FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez below:
June 5, 2015
The Honorable Edith Ramirez
Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20580
Dear Chairwoman Ramirez:
We write to urge the Federal Trade Commission to immediately open an investigation into companies deceptively targeting consumers with fake online hotel websites. According to the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), thousands of consumers are misled every year into making reservations through fraudulent websites and call centers that give the appearance of being connected to a hotel, but actually have no legal relation to them. AHLA estimates that fraudulent online booking scams have cost U.S. travelers upwards of $220 million per year. These deceptive practices hurt both consumers and hotels, and we implore you to look into the issue immediately.
As a result of these illegitimate practices, AHLA has informed us that consumers may be charged additional hidden fees, lose expected loyalty points, or show up at hotels only to learn that their reservation was never made or that Americans with Disabilities Act compliant accommodations were not furnished. This especially affects the State of Florida, which is the top travel destination in the United States.
As Members of Congress from Florida, we respectfully request that you investigate these deceptive acts. We look forward to working with you to educate consumers and rectify these misleading and dishonest practices. Thank you for your consideration of an issue critical to the people of Florida.
Contact: Katie Longo
AHLA President and CEO Katherine Lugar's Statement on Senate Passage of Tax Reform Legislation
Hotel Innovators Educate Lawmakers on Capitol Hill, Urge Support for Stop Online Booking Scams Act
AHLA and the Better Business Bureau Team Up to Fight Online Hotel Booking Scams
AHLA Celebrates National Apprenticeship Week by Launching Program and Giving $50,000 Grant
AHLA Praises House for Passing Tax Reform
Hotel Industry Teams Up With World Wildlife Fund and The Rockefeller Foundation to Reduce Food Waste
New Study Reveals Tax Reform Could Boost Hotel Industry by $131.7B
AHLA Presents $500,000 Youth Grant to Community-Based Organizations to Open Career Pathways in High-Demand Markets
AHLA President, CEO Katherine Lugar Appointed to Federal Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion
AHLA Applauds Release of Tax Reform Proposal Allows Hotel Industry to Grow, Create New Jobs, Drive Economy
AHLEF Awards Nearly $1 Million in Scholarships to Hospitality Students
AHLA Partners with Department of Labor to Invest in Workforce Development with Registered Apprenticeship Program
New AHLA Research Reveals Online Hotel Booking Scams Are on the Rise, Duping Consumers, Translating to Nearly $4 Billion Each Year
Hotel Industry Praises Department of Labor Decision to Rescind Onerous Joint Employer Guidance
Key Takeaways from AHLA & AAHOA’s Legislative Action Summit 2017
Bipartisan-Supported Brand USA Program Drives $21 Billion in Business Sales, 2 Million Jobs
AHLA Honors Outstanding Hotel Employees and Properties at 2017 Stars of the Industry Celebration
Hundreds of Hoteliers to Descend on Capitol Hill for AHLA, AAHOA Members to Meet With Congressional Leaders
Kevin Carey Appointed as EVP, Chief Operating Officer of AHLA
Online Hotel Booking Scams Cost Americans $1.3 Billion Annually; Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection Pushes for More Action to Protect Consumers
Please login or register to post a comment.