Hilton Rolling Out Free Wifi Globally Starting June 4, 2015

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.

Hotel-Wifi

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.

Rollout Timing

  • 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. 😉

Comments

  1. I’m confused. If everyone gets it in June 4, why are they pointing out that Diamond members get it later? Why not just say everyone gets it June 4 – period.

  2. Hotel having Wi-fi nowadays is like asking if the hotel includes hot water.
    If it doesn’t include it, its likely hurting their bookings.

  3. @Daniel Hilton offers both higher bandwidth “premium” and regular wi-fi.
    Diamond members get higher throughput.

  4. @ Daniel — Because Diamond members will get premium wifi, though that benefit only kicks in later in some regions.

  5. In the near future, there will be classes of wifi, I can imagine it. First wifi, business wifi, premium economy wifi, and economy wifi. Oh, and Residence wifi 😉

  6. Unfortunately this doesn’t help much at hotels that set their “standard” wifi to dial-up speeds, but it’s a good start.

  7. I have been Diamond for years now but being pushed to Egencia through corporate. I don’t think they are an “authorized” third party agent for Hilton. Just made my first stay using it and asked the front desk to add my Diamond number and hopefully that will credit me points. Does anyone out there use them and is there a hotel chain that honors bookings through Egencia to accumulate status and points?

  8. @Lucky sez: “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.”

    LOL. I do not even know where to begin to make fun of such a silly statement but let me try. For the longest time, the echo chamber that is travel blogosphere had gone on and on claiming how there was “no material difference between HH Diamond and HH Gold”, although the claim was demonstrably wrong for those of us HH Diamonds who are in on the secret.

    Anyway, it seems that the claim of the lack of difference between HH Diamonds and Golds got too much even for HHonors managers, who have decided to put even more distance between the two levels. And look at what happens: @Lucky is now “disappointed” and bitching that “HHonors Gold members don’t receive complimentary premium wifi” after Hilton finally got fed with being told how Golds were just like Diamonds and decided to do something about it!!!

    You should smile because you finally got HHonors to act on differentiating between their Golds and Diamonds. You won and so…

    …congrats….or something…. 😉

  9. @DCS

    Lucky mentions, “then again” at the beginning of his sentence, which shows that he knew he was contradicting himself. Effectively what you’ve done is repeat the same ideas he did. A for effort, D- for execution on your behalf.

  10. @ pat butcher — I believe a lot of their properties already do, but not as a benefit of the program as such, as far as I know.

  11. @DCS – As “everybody” knows, Hyatt and SPG are much better places to earn status. Let’s keep it that way 🙂

  12. @Paul — Yeah, if your idea of “a better place”, is a small footprint and things always looking like work-in-progress that’s gonna get better but never does. Me, I get turned on by maturity and a huge footprint 🙂

  13. @DCS

    So that means you like retirement age BBW then? Not quite my thing, but taste is a very different thing.

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