Hilton announced today that they’ll begin offering a “premium” paid wifi option at Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites, and Home 2 Suites properties.
Via USA Today:
Josh Weiss, vice president of brand and guest technology for Hilton, says the hotels will start offering the faster Wi-Fi in the next two months and roll it out to all hotels in those brands throughout this year.
The price will vary depending on the location, but guests will typically be charged $3.95. They will be able to use it on up to three devices.
Weiss says guests have indicated in surveys that they would be willing to pay for upgraded bandwith.
This is interesting, because it comes after Hilton updated their terms & conditions late last year regarding free internet for elite members. The terms & conditions used to state the following regarding HHonors Gold & Diamond member internet:
Complimentary In-Room High-Speed Internet Access during stays at Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Embassy Suites Hotels™ and Hilton Grand Vacations™.*
And they updated the terms to say:
Complimentary In-Room and Lobby Wi-Fi Internet Access during stays at Waldorf Astoria™ Hotels & Resorts, Conrad® Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, DoubleTree by Hilton™, Embassy Suites Hotels™ and Hilton Grand Vacations™.*
So while that seemed like a subtle change, I guess it wasn’t without explanation. Ultimately faster internet is a good thing, and $3.95 isn’t an unreasonable price to pay for it. But that’s only if they keep the free wifi at the same speed, and introduce truly high speed wifi. Maybe I’m just a pessimist, but I certainly hope this isn’t like most other things in the industry, where they start charging for the current product, and then offer a lesser product for free.
Ultimately this is a trend I think we’ll see more of at limited service properties. They don’t have that many ancillary revenue opportunities given the lack of restaurants, room service, etc., so I think we’ll see them getting creative in other ways.
What do you guys think? Are you happy about the option, or scared of the implications?