Hotel near JFK ordered to pay $65K for exploiting customers during blizzard

Operators of a Courtyard Marriott in Queens hiked up costs by during 2016’s Winter Storm Jonas

Feb.February 13, 2017 11:00 AM

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ordered the owners of a hotel near John F. Kennedy International airport to fork over more than $65,000, after they price gouged hundreds of customers caught up in a major blizzard during January last year.

Granite JFK LLC and Crossroad Hospital Company — the owners of Courtyard by Marriott New York JFK Airport hotel — were told to pay $48,000 in restitution to customers and a further $17,500 in penalties to the state of New York, the New York Daily News reported.

The hotel operators illegally raised their room prices by between 45 percent and 75 percent during Winter Storm Jonas last year, according to an investigation from Schneiderman’s office. The storm between Jan. 22 and Jan. 25 was the second biggest in the city since 1869, and hundreds of travelers were unable to travel.

“The Courtyard by Marriott took advantage of hundreds of stranded people who were simply seeking the safety of shelter during and after this massive blizzard,” Schneiderman said, according to the paper. “This settlement holds the hotel accountable for these actions and prohibits it from happening again.”

In 2013, a Holiday Inn Express hotel in Gowanus was fined $25,000 for price gouging guests during Super Storm Sandy. [NYDN]Miriam Hall

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