If you have done any traveling in 2015 you may or may not have noticed that some hotels have stopped charging for Wi-Fi access. There are still several hotels charging for the use of the internet, so why have some stopped charging while others are still adding a fee for it?
– Some hotels have simply added the internet fees into their standard room rates. No one likes to think about being nickel and dimed and adding an internet fee to a bill feels like just that. To offset this concern instead of charging $5-$15 per night for use of the internet it is actually hidden in your hotel fees.
– You can trade “loyalty” for free Wi-Fi in some properties. You know those programs that hotels offer where you can get extra perks for frequently staying on their properties? Free internet is one of those perks.
– The hotels that are charging you might not have an option about implementing the fee. Condé Nast Traveler did an article on this very subject in summer of 2014 that basically said owners and operators sometimes have a dispute over this issue leaving the operators to merely do as their told by the owners. “Most hotel brands don’t actually own the physical property where the hotel is located. Instead, they sign a management contract with the hotel’s owners, and then run the operations under the brand name. The owner has to commit to some of the hotel brands’ standards and programming (services, amenities, decor, etc.) but free Wi-Fi isn’t always on that list.”
– In the most basic terms hotels that are still charging for Wi-Fi are doing so because they can. As long as people continue to pay the fees without bucking too wildly hotels will keep charging for it. The more people complain about it on customer services surveys, however, the more hotels are stepping up and either offering it for free or simply hiding it in their standard fees. In the end, Wi-Fi will never actually be free, but it always feels nice when it at least seems like it is.