More Hotels Offer Free wifi with Extras
Hyatt Hotels and Resorts is giving travelers the one thing they’ve said they want the most: free wifi.
Starting February, all guests at Hyatt hotels worldwide receive free wifi on an unlimited number of devices in both guest rooms and public spaces.
You won’t have to be members of Hyatt’s loyalty program. Nor will they have to book directly with the hotel rather than a third-party site like Expedia or Travelocity.
Hyatt believes the move “doesn’t just help travelers. It helps us just as much,” Kristine Rose, vice president of brands for Hyatt, wrote in a blog item. “We can’t continue to differentiate and innovate our guest experiences when we’re charging some guests for the technology that powers future improvements.”
Hotel chains like Hilton and Marriott have given free wifi to guests at their less-expensive properties while charging for it at their premier brands.
Starting next month, Starwood Hotels and Resorts will offer complimentary wifi in rooms and public areas to all Starwood Preferred Guest members, and those with Gold and Platinum status. The guests will have to book directly through Starwood channels such as its website or mobile app.
Marriott Rewards members will receive free wifi in Marriott Hotels, Renaissance and JW Marriott. Members will be able to pay $5 to $7 a day, depending on the market, for premium bandwidth. The upgrade will be free for Gold and Platinum elite members. Wifi is free in the lobbies of all Marriott International brands.
Hilton offers complimentary wifi to all Hilton HHonors Gold and Diamond members. Several Hilton brands also offer free standard wifi to guests. In 2014, Hilton started a new system that lets guests purchase premium Internet starting at $3.95.
InterContinental Hotels Group, ICH, offers free wifi to its Rewards Club members. Premium service is also available for a fee at select properties.
Wifi Policies at our Major Hotel Chains
- IHG: Free wifi for all Rewards Club members.
- Hyatt: Free for all guests. Premium wifi available for a fee (Free for Diamond and Platinum Hyatt Gold Passport members).
- Marriott: Free for all Rewards members. Premium wifi available for a fee (Free for Fold and Platinum elite members).
- Hilton: Free wifi for all Hilton HHonors Gold and Diamond members. Premium wifi available on a tiered pricing system.
- Starwood: Free wifi for all Starwood Preferred Guest members. Premium wifi free for SPG Gold, Platinum, and Partners.
Demands of Business Travel
Where some of us dream of a day at the spa for relaxation, Peggy Fucci looks forward to boarding a plane and traveling thousands of miles to meet with a potential customer.
A long flight to Europe gives her time to take in a movie, clear email and read a magazine without interruptions: “It’s peaceful. My phone doesn’t ring. It’s me time.”
Yesterday’s road warriors have evolved into today’s global gladiators who are not just taking the red-eye across country for business, but across hemispheres and time zones.
They are shaking off jet lag to meet with clients across continents and mastering ways to use extended flight time to their advantage.
Avoiding lost luggage, delays and travel mishaps takes know-how and planning.
Whether she’s off to Sao Paolo or Beijing, Fucci takes only a carry-on, a prepacked, wheel-in-any-direction bag that she refers to as her miracle suitcase. Fucci has found a driver in most international cities with whom she can leave her suitcase and rush straight to meetings.
Most crucial, she has gained global clearance, allowing her to breeze through security checks and bypass long lines. She also uses airline apps to check ahead on her mobile phone for flight delays. “Between that and traveling light, I can gain at least an extra 30 minutes to an hour at home with my family,” she says.
For international travelers raising children, balancing work demands with the family’s needs takes extra coordination. Embracing technology and using international data apps help.