Love it or hate it, the fee-based business model appears to be here to stay for airlines. But the hotel business is a different story. To some extent, the hotel industry has followed the airlines down the path to a more fee-centered, nickel-and-dime business model. In 2012, guests at U.S. hotels paid nearly $2 billion in fees. Yet, a recent study from PKF Consulting indicates that revenues for hotel extras such as charges for Wi-Fi, on-demand TV, parking, and food and beverages have essentially remained flat. From 2011 to 2012, the total collected for what PKF calls “other operated departments” (Wi-Fi, in-room phone charges, and such) actually fell 0.8%. Why aren’t hotel guests paying more and more in extras like airline passengers? The answer is pretty simple: Airlines have a captive audience to sell stuff to and hotels don’t — or at least not to the same extent. Once a traveler is booked on a flight, he has no choice but to pay that airline’s fees for seat reservations, baggage, Wi-Fi, itinerary changes, and food and drink if he wants these services. Sure, airlines have competition among each other, but for the most part, they’re competing with businesses that have the same revenue model and charge the same fees. And it’s not like you can simply hop off the plane in mid-flight and hit a nearby convenience store to grab a cold drink. Get the full story at