Expert shares why room prices at hotels like Hilton, Marriott, IHG are ‘so high’ even when the hotels seem empty

@thelawyerangela/TikTok Photobank/Adobe Stock (Licensed)

‘Can confirm this is true. I worked at a Marriott’: Expert shares why room prices at hotels like Hilton, Marriott, IHG are ‘so high’ even when they’re empty

‘It’s a dystopian nightmare’


Grace Rampaul


Posted on Apr 20, 2024

New York. Paris. London. Los Angeles. Tokyo. Dubai. Some of the most popular cities to visit in the world. Filled with endless culture, spirit, and life, these places are considered a dream to many. 

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But leave it to finances to kill the dream for any young (or old) traveler. Somehow these cities have managed to make it on the list of most expensive cities to visit.

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Yet as air travel rates continue to rise alongside these lofty costs, large hotel chains have found a way to keep up and stay competitive. According to Harvard Law School graduate Angela (@thelawyerangela), famous hotel brands, such as Hilton, have been secretly communicating with one another to assure their prices remain high. Posted yesterday, the TikTok claiming a class-action lawsuit may be at hand has already received more than 159,800 views and 17,500 likes. 

Wearing a red blouse, Angela sits in front of her ring light and tells all. 

“Have you ever wondered why the hotel prices are still so high,” Anglea asks. “Even if the hotel seems empty?”

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And with more than 90,000 hotels in the United States and an average occupancy rate of just under 65%, Angela’s question remains valid. 

So, why are hotel prices so high even when they seem empty?

“Because of a price-fixing conspiracy where these hotel chains agree to share their confidential info with each other,” Angela answers her own question. 

At this point, Angela continues to provide a list of potential hotels participating on the screen. 

Specific locations of Hilton, Marriott, IHG, ACCOR, Hyatt, and more were all listed. 

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Claiming such communication to be done all via a third party, Angela believes that this information can only be accessed for those within the industry. Not only this, but the differentiating price points can only be provided once a hotel chain provides their prices first. 

“When they’ve officially joined the club, they can pick their comp set  and get real time info of average daily rate and occupancy [of] past, present [and] future,” Angela says.

However, this supposedly is kept no-secret to the public. 

“Can confirm this is true,” one viewer commented. “I worked at a Marriott and I used to call around hotels asking how much they are charging every night.” 

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And research proves exactly this. Not only are hotel employees calling other hotel groups, hotels have historically been known to use something called a STAR report, or STR report. The benchmarking tool is used to compare hotel performance rates to one another, allowing competitors to see one another’s occupancy, ADR, and RevPAR rates. 

But this isn’t where the problem lies. Rather, Angela believes that the proposed lawsuit stems from alleged conferences hosted by companies at which hotel corporation executives stand on a stage and encourage one another to continue rising prices. The process was even compared to the 2022 car industry.

“You see cars being marked up $10 to $15,000, [but] people are still buying them,” Angela explains. 

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Violating antitrust laws, a federal class action lawsuit has already been filed in the United States District Court Northern District of Illinois for similar activity. 

Allegedly, according to Angela, these meetings are also encouraging hotels to reduce their occupancy rates, once again keeping prices high. 

“High occupancy means more guests, more wear and tear, more staff, [and] more longer lines,” Angela says. 

Luckily for the hotels worried about high occupancy, there has been a slight decrease in hotel room demand of 1%  since 2023. According to the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics, that is.

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Regardless of the reason, Angela believes the current proposed lawsuit at hand seeks compensation for anyone who has stayed at one of the previously listed hotels between February 2020 and today. 

@thelawyerangela Send to ur travel bestie #hotel #hotels #travel #traveltiktok #hiltonhotel #marriott #ritzcarlton #westin #marriottbonvoy #luxurytravel #traveller #travellife #lawsuit #classaction #sheraton #whotel ♬ original sound – 💥 LAWYER Angela 💥

Who knows? Maybe a free hotel stay of Christmas past is in your future. And reported on this past January, this isn’t the first the Daily Dot has heard about gaining a free hotel stay or two. Travelers of the popular party destination, Los Vegas, have found a way to also stick it to the system. 

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The article explains that when arriving at your Vegas destination, to sign up for a free loyalty card, charge it via Player’s card, then after 90 days, the strip will be offering you “free hotel stays,” to come back. 

Before logging off her channel, Angela made sure to tell her viewers to spread the news. 

“Share this with your travel bestie,” Angela captions, concluding her message. 

The Daily Dot reached out to Angela (@thelawyerangela) via TikTok direct message, Hilton Hotels via the Hilton Press Center website, and Marriott International via their press email.

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*First Published: Apr 20, 2024, 6:18 am CDT
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