a green bag with a white bottle and a red lid
Source: Fill It Forward.

Fill It Forward: A Ridiculous New Initiative From This Lodging Company

This idea is full of it — and that it ain’t water.

Hotel and resort properties have been charging mandatory fees that are not included in the advertised rate; and overreaching initiatives are in place to save the environment from being inundated with plastic — but Fill It Forward is a ridiculous new initiative from one multinational lodging company that seems to combine both ideas and take it a step further beyond absurdity.

Fill It Forward: A Ridiculous New Initiative From This Lodging Company

Fill It Forward is a simple idea that is supposedly designed to “reduce single-use waste” during the stay of the guest by providing a reusable bottle to be used at water stations throughout the hotel property — including in the concierge lounge, health club, mezzanine level, and conference space.

“Thank you for helping make an impact for people and the planet” are followed by the words of the fine print at the bottom: “Please note, if this bottle is used a charge of $14.95 +tax will be applied to your bill.”

FlyerTalk member JonasCLT related this recent experience: “Checked into St Louis Marriott Grand today and discovered this new idea in the room. Took a minute to see the fine print that they’re charging $15 for the bottle. No sign of regular water bottles in the room or the lounge.”

Laughingly, a photograph of the bottle that was in the room had a note inside of it: “Remember to rinse before first use.” An unopened bottle of water does not need to be rinsed; so water is initially wasted prior to first use — but at least one less plastic bottle is discarded into the environment.

Final Boarding Call

This idea combines three nefarious techniques that lodging companies have used for years:

  • Fool guests into believing that this initiative is under the guise of the good cause of saving the environment
  • Charge unwitting guests a usurious amount for the privilege of participating in said good cause which does not benefit them in the least
  • Save money in addition to profiting by reducing costs at the expense of guests — although at least some of the revenue generated is likely being donated to charity

Even if it benefits charitable causes, Fill It Forward seems like it has the potential to be the next profit generator for lodging companies since the advent of the mandatory resort fee. Fortunately, it is still voluntary at this time — but who knows what the future holds.

Although I do what I can to help the environment, I will not be participating in this ridiculousness, as I will carry my own bottle to refill with water if necessary…

…and doing so will not cost me at least $15.00…

Source: Fill It Forward.

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