Six Flags Great Escape Lodge Hit With Class Action Over Hidden Fees

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Vacation Costs Surprise: Six Flags Great Escape Lodge Accused of Unlawful Charges in New York

Checking out during an online shopping experience and having extra fees tacked on at the end isn’t just annoying, it’s also now illegal in New York. The latest company to find out the hard way is Six Flag Great Escape Lodge, which, according to a new lawsuit, has been charging hidden fees to vacationers in violation of the law for over a year.

According to the lawsuit, the way the lodge stings consumers is by adding processing fees after a customer has confirmed payment, which bumps up the costs of their stay from the advertised price at payment.

Last minute price hike

Heather Labrake and Stephanie Smith filed the proposed class action lawsuit against Six Flags Entertainment Corporation, which does business as Six Flag Great Escape Lodge, accusing the company of violating the New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law. 

They say that whenever a customer selects tickets on the website, they’re quoted a fee-less price, only to be charged a processing fee after checkout. 

“This hidden charge, which most customers will not discover until they receive a confirmation email with their receipt, is exactly the conduct the law is designed to prevent,” the lawsuit alleges. 

Both Labrake and Smith attempted to book rooms at the lodge in 2023 and were hit with the hidden fees between $10 and $15 right at the end of the process. The pair argue in the lawsuit that the company broke the law by “failing to disclose the “total cost of a ticket, inclusive of all ancillary fees that must be paid in order to purchase the ticket.”

New York law sees lawsuits flow

Since the latest version of the New York law went into effect in 2022 to combat companies charging consumers hidden fees, especially targeting online shopping for entertainment services, lawyers say there has been a major uptick in proposed class action lawsuits. 

Some of the proposed class actions in the works challenging the fees have been filed against SeatGeek, LEGOLAND, and the Museum of Ice Cream,

Federal government could follow suit 

In April 2023, Congress introduced the Junk Fee Prevention Act in attempts to tackle hidden, misleading, or deceptive fees by requiring covered entities to “clearly and conspicuously display” the total price of an advertised good or service, “including any mandatory fees,” when the price is first displayed to consumers.

If passed, the law would let the Federal Trade Commission enforce rules around how companies charge consumers fees. However, it doesn’t look likely the bill will pass anytime soon. Since it was read in April last year, it has been referred to a congressional committee where it remains.

Six Flags faces other legal action 

The hidden fees lawsuit isn’t the only legal actions a Six Flags offshoot has faced. Recently, the company and its Magic Mountain theme park were hit with a lawsuit accusing them of discrimination due to their disability accommodation policy. 

In 2023, a wage-and-hour class action was filed against Six Flags and Great America amusement parks, which accused them of failing to pay employees while they were waiting in line for a required security check in and check out, Law.com reported.

In another check in check out scandal, the company had to pay $36 million to settle a class action lawsuit accusing them of collecting finger-scan data and violating the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act.

In the current class action lawsuit, Labrake and Smith want to represent a nationwide class of consumers and are seeking damages, attorneys’ costs and fees, and injunctive relief.

The plaintiff and proposed class are represented by Enes Hajdarpasic of Onal Gallant Bayram & Amin; and Chad Saunders of Crosner Legal, P.C.

The Six Flag hidden fees proposed class action lawsuit is Labrake et al v. Six Flags Entertainment Corporation d/b/a Six Flags Great Escape Lodge, Case No. 8:24-cv-00356-AMN-CFH, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.

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