The past year or so we’ve really seen the major hotel chains “evolve” when it comes to their complimentary wifi offerings.
With IHG Rewards Club, Marriott, and Starwood there have been “catches” to the free wifi, like needing to be a member of their loyalty program and/or needing to book your reservation directly with the hotel in order to be eligible (not that those are big hurdles). Hyatt introduced “no strings attached” free wifi, meaning you don’t have to be a member of their loyalty program and don’t have to book directly through them in order to offer free wifi.
Hilton has been oddly silent, though it looks like they’ll finally be joining the free wifi bandwagon:
- Hilton HHonors Diamond members will receive complimentary premium wifi starting in the second quarter of 2015 when booking directly through Hilton
- Hilton HHonors Blue and Silver members will receive complimentary basic wifi starting in August when booking directly through Hilton
- Hilton HHonors Gold members will continue to receive complimentary basic wifi
In order to be eligible for the free wifi you have to book directly through Hilton or via a corporate travel agency. So that means you can book through the following channels in order to receive complimentary wifi:
- The Hilton HHonors mobile app
- Online from hilton.com, HHonors.com, or any of our brand/hotel websites
- Calling Hilton Reservations Customer Care: 1-800-HHonors or your local Hilton reservations office
- Calling an individual hotel (plus walk-ins and physical on-property too)
- Via corporate travel agencies and travel professionals that book via a Hilton proprietary channel
Obviously free wifi is good news. I do think this is bad news for Hilton HHonors Gold members, since they don’t get premium wifi, so presumably the speeds will drop a bit. On one hand that’s kind of disappointing since Hyatt, Marriott, and Starwood all offer their mid-tier elites complimentary premium internet. But then again I have always said Hilton needs to do more to differentiate between Gold and Diamond status, and I guess that’s one way to do it. 😉
How do you feel about this announcement — are you excited, or as a Gold member are you kind of miffed that wifi speeds may drop a bit?