Hotels and Package Receiving Fees

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When traveling, having your mail or packages forwarded to your hotel seems convenient. But do hotels charge extra for taking in deliveries on your behalf during a visit? This article covers the common fees and policies around guests receiving parcels at hotels.

Hotels and Package Receiving Fees

Background on Hotels and Mail Services

Modern travelers increasingly have critical items like medications or electronics shipped while away from home. Meanwhile supply chain issues make buying locally tricky. This fuels guest demand for reliable package delivery to hotels.

Brands Balance Service and Staff Constraints

Hotels walk a fine line handling mail for visitors. While wanting to provide good service, added packages strain already busy front desk and bell staff. Some take advantage also with excessive shipments.

Many hotels historically included basic mail acceptance as a standard amenity. Expanding guest expectations around receiving goods means revisiting old policies however.

New Fees Appearing

In response, properties worldwide experiment with package handling fees both to offset logistical expenses incurred and also discourage those who over use the privilege.

Receiving surcharges take different forms but often involve:

• Per box rates
• Larger item upcharges beyond small envelopes
• Claim ticket fees before releasing parcels

Fees appear at some hotels while others still allow free receiving if deliveries are reasonable for short term guests.

Factors Impacting Package Fees in 2023

As receiving delivery fees spread in 2023, hotels consider variables like:

Target Clientele

Budget chains with younger frugal guests less dependent on shipments waive fees easier than luxury hotels catering to high-touch business travelers.

Parcel Volume

Mid-sized locally owned hotels see fewer mail drops on average than bustling convention mega properties. lower packages mean lower fees.

Front Desk Staffing Levels

With hiring challenges, under staffed lobbies struggle with an influx of cumbersome boxes. Passing logistics costs to guests offsets payroll issues.

Storage Space Limitations

Older urban hotels devoid of stock rooms grapple with overflow packages consuming lobby space quick. Charging for storage offsets upgrade costs.

In essence, hotels with more foot traffic from guests reliant on delivery service for business or health have begun recouping labor, storage and other unseen mail costs through delivery fees while smaller leisure hotels continue providing complimentary receiving.

Common Package Handling Fees

Guests today may encounter a range of surcharges around receiving items sent to hotels such as:

  • Claim Ticket Fees – $5+ per parcel
  • Storage Fees – $10+ daily after X days unclaimed
  • Labor Fees – $20+ for moving large/excessive items
  • Box Handling Fees – $2+ per box

As hotels figure out what works best balancing service with sustainability, fee definitions and structures still vary widely today. Ask ahead what, if any, charges apply to anticipate mail costs.

Maximizing Package Savings

Regardless what current registration desk policy exists on packages, guests can proactively take steps to minimize fees for hotel mail handling:

  1. Have Parcels Held At Local Post Office
    Rather than hotel address, use USPS hold for pickup skipping the middleman.
  2. Discuss Needs At Check-In
    If expecting vital medicine or work items, ask about waiving fees. Management often makes exceptions for guests needing package receipt.
  3. Consolidate Orders to Limit Box Count
    Curtailing overall package quantity arriving reduces hotel touches driving fees.
  4. Give Heads Up On Big Items
    Forewarning staff of oversized items, pallets, etc allows hotels route properly rather than surprise overwhelmed clerks.
  5. Don’t Abuse System
    Avoid flaunting policies mailing excessive personal items out of convenience as it strains free mail programs hotels offer.

The hospitality industry still values going above and beyond for guest requests. But changes in visitor shipping behaviors test logistics capabilities today.

Until the pendulum swings back or new norms cement broadly regarding hotel package policies, inquiring individually still serves traveler budgets best.

Where one hotel tacks on newly adopted delivery surcharges, the next still happily accepts visitor mail free as a hallmark service.

Jennifer Tuffen
Jennifer Tuffen

I'm Jennifer Tuffen, a travel enthusiast and storyteller, six years and 10+ countries deep into a journey of discovery and cultural immersion.