Which Hotels are Still Charging for WiFi and Why?

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by sobore, May 7, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
    Original Member

    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2...port:_Who_is_Still_Charging_for_WiFi_and_Why?_

    Whether you’re a frequent traveler or a once-a-year vacationer, there’s one amenity you’re probably counting on during your next hotel stay--free, working WiFi.

    You're not alone. Hotels.com released a recent survey where hotel guests ranked free WiFi as the most important in-room amenity. See ya, minibar Snickers!

    Fortunately, free WiFi has become more commonplace these days (at least 64 percent of hotels!) especially at hotels that caters to business travelers like Courtyard by Marriott and ones that hang with millennials like Ace Hotels. Even traditional brands have let their guard down, like Loews Hotels, who went free at all 19 hotels earlier this year.

    Yet there are still a few greedy grinchy hold-outs, typically the luxury hotels and the heavily-franchised brands.

    Read More: http://www.hotelchatter.com/story/2...port:_Who_is_Still_Charging_for_WiFi_and_Why?_
     
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  2. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    It's time that hotels stop charging for WIFI and yes, they should offer the best and fastest access for free, at all times to their guests. While a few years ago this was OK to charge for such "luxury", now this "luxury" is the new normal.
     
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  3. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    Hotels will stop charging for WiFi when it becomes a competitive disadvantage and affect their occupancy rates. Until then...attain a mid-tier elite level or bring your own portable hotspot. I do both.
     
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  4. pointshogger

    pointshogger Silver Member

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    The greedy hotels are still making too much money that they do not have to give free WiFi yet. We will probably have to wait until their business goes down before we see free WiFi.
     
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  5. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    In the end, hotels will charge for whatever the guest is willing to pay, plus "free" WIFI is a ploy to keep their "loyal" guests happy who have signed up for their loyalty program. Surely hotels want to keep this perk on the list of loyalty offerings for Golds / Diamonds / Platinums.
     
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  6. pointshogger

    pointshogger Silver Member

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    I'm going to look at it from this angle. Let's disregard how full a hotel is on any given night. Because if they already have enough customers staying at the hotel, they will definitely have no reason to give free WiFi.

    Let's just focus on the WiFi for a minute. I'm wondering if hotels are actually getting a lot of customers actually paying to use the WiFi, so much to the point that they are actually making good money from these paying customers. If that is the case, then I think the issue is with these paying customers rather than the hotels overcharging us.

    I am willing to bet that if zero customers pay for the WiFi service at a particular hotel, there will be a higher chance that WiFi eventually becomes free to customers at that particular hotel.

    So I'm not sure I will put 100% blame on the hotels for this one.
     
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  7. uggboy
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    uggboy Gold Member

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    It's a healthy balance between guests who "pay" and don't mind, and hotels who "charge" and don't mind.
     
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  8. FetePerfection
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    FetePerfection Silver Member

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    This thread reminds me of a time when I worked very briefly at a hotel where I was in charge of meeting rooms, bookings and such. Once we added WiFi I was able to finagle charges of up to $500 a day for business meetings. My husband thought it criminal I would and could charge for a service that was readily and easily accessible without charge. What's that saying about a guilty conscience?
     
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  9. LETTERBOY
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    LETTERBOY Gold Member

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    Not if people are willing to pay for it.

    No, they shouldn't, because people are willing to pay for it. That's how a free market economy works. You do realize that it costs money for the hotels to have WiFi, right? Why shouldn't they be able to recoup the costs of providing that service? And if they did provide it for free, it wouldn't be free, they'd just add the cost of that to the room rate. And then people would complain about room rates being too high.

    They must be, if they're charging for it. Their financial people aren't dumb.

    I wouldn't put any blame on the hotels for it. Why on Earth is it their fault that people are willing to pay for something?
     
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  10. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    And of course it's the lower-cost brands (e.g., Fairfield Inn) that offer it free while the more expensive Full Service brands (Marriott, Renaissance) charge separately for it on top of the room charge.
     
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  11. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    I think that you actually have to look at Hotel WiFi as the modern equivalent of in room Telephones. Traditionally, the in room phones were outrageously expensive because of the fact that you had to have enough for each room AND the switchboard to handle multiple calls at one time. So that staying at a hotel with an in room telephone meant that if you used it, you might have to pay ridiculous (to the guest) charges of $10-50 per call. Often guests found it was cheaper, if slightly more inconvenient to use a pay phone in the lobby or on the street corner.

    Now looking at WiFi. A similar infrastructure is needed in a hotel. At the cheaper places with free WiFi, often you will find that some guests do not use the WiFi at all. They are vacationing, traveling and staying only overnight, etc. But in the Business Hotels or Destination Hotels (these are the ones that charge for WiFi) you may find that most rooms are occupied by people that need to access the internet for business, or are tech-savvy enough that they view movies or reports over the internet. As well, they may have company internet protocols that use immense amounts of bandwidth for security. Add to this the fact that in the hotel, you need to have a Tech Specialist to keep everything running on the WiFi network smoothly, and you can see how this can be more costly to the someplace like the Times Square Marriott instead of Route 66 Motel 6.

    Simply put, the larger, business oriented hotels, have more infrastructure for WiFi because it is used more.
     
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  12. Bay Pisco Shark
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    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    Why? The answer is as simple, and just the same as the answer to "Why do dogs lick themselves?"
     
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  13. gregm

    gregm Gold Member

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    Because they can!
     
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  14. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    They can keep their CAN! Whatever happened to the age before the WIFI's and Hotspots and just the telephones? Did businesspeople (gender equality here of course) never close million dollar deals, or get messages from their home office bosses, or even important documents sent by couriers or even (gasp) snail mails?

    When we travel, my WIFE >&>I have no need for all that crap, being retired and all that that encompasses. And if I need a HOTSPOT, well.......!

    Okay so we've got two dumbphones so as not to pay those ridiculous charges for the hotel's room phones, or try to call the airlines and hotels if our plans get SNAFU'ed, or in an emergency when out in our Ford Model T, but our phones are not Smart, just dumb enough to make calls (isn't that what phones are for?), get the infrequent text messages or emails (if I ever set them up to do so), or even take a small, grainy picture (not a "selfie" as we know what we look like), and that's it. First cellphone cost $150 eleven years ago, and it's only dual band, no GSM or sim card and only works up here; the second one cost $80, is a quadband GSM and I can use it almost worldwide with an inexpensive sim card and low rates. Nothing at all like those fancified phones that do everything but flush the toilets (wait, that's coming too, but you'll pay extra for that service and will need at least a three year contract!), but we didn't pay $4/5/or 600 for ours either when we bought them new, and both are on very low prepaid services when needed.

    So our phones are just as dumb as we are, and need them to be, and as for all the other extra's, well I've got them right here with me. ;)
     
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