This has been a year of innovation on the hotel front, both good and bad. On the bad side, we saw Hilton and Marriott both tighten up their global cancellation policies, requiring you to cancel flexible stays at least one day prior to arrival. That’s a pretty customer unfriendly move, given that travelers were often already paying a premium for a flexible rate.
On the plus side, we’ve also seen IHG, Marriott, and Starwood add complimentary in-room wifi. The exact terms have varied, though in all three instances there have been “catches,” like needing to be a member of their loyalty program and/or booking your reservation directly with the hotel (not that those are big hurdles).
Well, it looks like Hyatt is one-upping the other chains. Hyatt will be adding complimentary, unlimited no strings attached wifi at all properties globally as of February 2015. It doesn’t matter if you’re a member of Gold Passport, or if you booked directly through Hyatt. All guests will receive complimentary wifi.
Gold Passport Platinum and Diamond members will receive complimentary premium wifi when available.
CHICAGO (December 22, 2014)– As part of the company’s continued efforts to evolve the guest experience by listening and responding to guest needs, Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) today announced plans to offer free Wi-Fi at all Hyatt hotels worldwide, providing connectivity and convenience regardless of booking method or loyalty program participation.
Free Wi-Fi will become available to Hyatt guests around the world in February 2015. Travelers will be able to access free Wi-Fi on an unlimited number of mobile devices or laptops in Hyatt-branded hotel guest rooms and social spaces.
“Internet connectivity is no longer an amenity. It has become an integral part of travelers’ daily lives and a basic expectation,” said Kristine Rose, vice president of brands for Hyatt. “Travelers shouldn’t have to remember which brands or locations offer it for free or the strings attached to get it.”
Hyatt hotels across many brands have long offered Wi-Fi at no charge to guests in several of its brands and to elite members of the Hyatt Gold Passport loyalty program. Expanding free Wi-Fi is part of Hyatt’s ongoing focus to make the guest experience more seamless.
“Our colleagues are committed to not just listening to what our guests say, but understanding their real needs. This practice has already brought us new ways to make a guest’s stay more personal and seamless, from expedited check-in methods to easier ways for guests to make requests,” Rose said. “Today, people consider smartphones just as important as their car, and more important than television or coffee.* Travelers feel out of sync with their lives when they can’t freely connect. Giving free Wi-Fi without a catch will enable us to continue innovating the guest experience to help people be more productive and stay better connected to colleagues, friends and family.”
This is awesome news and long overdue. It’s about time that the major global hotel chains realize that wifi isn’t an amenity anymore, but rather a core product offering.