More travelers risk booking hotel rooms on sites that tack on steep fees

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Justin Perry was planning a one-night stay in London for early February and booked a room on what he thought was his chosen hotel’s website. It was only after getting a reservation confirmation that he realized he’d used a third-party platform — which charged him $155.92 in service fees on top of the $269.16 room rate.

“I was shocked,” said Perry, who considers himself a frequent traveler and has booked numerous trips on well-known platforms.

Perry, 49, a managing director for a financial services firm who lives in Boulder, Colorado, reserved the room on Jan. 31 after having searched for the hotel on his phone’s mobile browser. On the results page, he tapped a link that started with the hotel’s name and wound up on a page that he didn’t initially notice was operated by

The booking process seemed straightforward, but the big, colorful “confirm reservation” button appeared above the full amount quoted for Perry’s stay, which appeared in less conspicuous text after scrolling to the bottom of the page.