Hotel guests have said it again and again: after location, and service that exceeds expectations, free and reliable WiFi matters the most.
So why do hotels charge for WiFi and why do guests have to struggle find a location that works?
Hotelchatter says that while most hotels provide free Wi Fi, (according to their 1013 Hotel WiFi report , more than two-thirds of hotels say they provide the free service), “availability can be limited to the lobby, or its only free for a while before you have to pay, or you get minimal bandwidth.”
Or, and this is a pet peeve of mine, you have to sign in every time you access the service, and too many times the process is not straightforward. It should be.
Hotelmarketing believes that this is changing. Because so many travelers book hotels on the basis of reliable, free Wi Fi, hotels have woken up and increased efforts to provide free, fast and reliable service, even at great expense, especially in older hotels.
More progress is necessary.
One-third of hotels still don’t provide good, free WiFi service, or stick customers with onerous add-ons like having to become a member of their loyalty program. Or they impose limits on use, like half-hour free before rates kick in. Often, guest aren’t aware that rates “kicked in,” until the bill is paid.
Why are hotels so short-sighted? The idea of “nickeling and diming” a guest is a difficult habit to break. But as guests arrive with multiple devices requiring Wi Fi as a basic necessity, these hotels will either adapt or lose guests and revenue.
HotelChatter has a fun, colorful infographic showing which hotels offer free WiFi..and which charge and how much. And it also shows the best and the worst services from around the world.