I’d say the single greatest development we’ve seen from the “major” hotel chains in the past year is the introduction of complimentary wifi. Over the years wifi has gone from an add-on which virtually all hotels charged for, to an essential offering, which most hotels are now offering on a complimentary basis.
Among the major chains IHG was the first to offer all members of their loyalty program free wifi. Then Marriott, Starwood, Hyatt, and Hilton followed. The terms of free wifi have differed by chain, as some chains have required you to be a member of their loyalty program, some have required you to book directly through the hotel chain, and some are giving it to all guests “no strings attached.”
Back in March I first wrote about Hilton’s plan to roll out complimentary wifi globally, and it looks like we finally have an update on the timeline of that:
As we announced in March, Diamond members who book directly through a proprietary Hilton channel or via one of our approved travel agent partners will begin receiving free premium Wi-Fi, where available.
Also, Gold, Silver and Blue members will receive free standard Wi-Fi when booking through one of our propriety channels or via one of our approved travel agent partners.
- Beginning in June 2015, premium Internet access, where available, will be rolled out globally and will be free of charge, for Diamond members who book directly. This offering will not be available until August through September in EMEA and APAC.
- Free standard Wi-Fi will continue to be a benefit for Hilton HHonors Gold members who also book directly through our proprietary Hilton channels one of our approved travel agent partners.
- Free standard Wi-Fi will be available on June 4, 2015 for all HHonors members who book directly at all StayConnected properties globally.
- The HHonors Terms and Conditions will be updated on June 4, 2015 to reflect these changes.
So if I’m interpreting this correctly (because it’s still a bit confusing to me):
- Hilton will offer all HHonors members booking directly through their channels/an approved travel agent complimentary wifi starting June 4, 2015
- Hilton will begin offering HHonors Diamond members booking directly through their channels/an approved travel agent complimentary premium wifi starting this month in the Americas; however, in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia, this will only be available starting in August/September
Kudos to Hilton for actually rolling this out more quickly than promised, which is exciting news. I am still a bit disappointed that HHonors Gold members don’t receive complimentary premium wifi, since presumably the speed of basic wifi will deteriorate due to increased use.
Then again, I have been saying Hilton needs to do more to differentiate HHonors Diamond status from Gold status, so I guess that’s one way to do it. 😉