Today Marriott announced that it would offer free wi-fi to all Rewards members at all its brands, worldwide, including Ritz-Carlton, starting in January. That’s 42 million members getting free wi-fi at more than 3,800 hotels around the world. That’s huge!
Or is it? (See poll below)
Dig into Marriott’s release about the plan, and you’ll see that the free wi-fi is the “standard” or basic version- at many hotels that’s only fast enough for a quick check of email or flight status. Plus, to get free wi-fi you have to book directly with Marriott.com or with a hotel– travel agency or other third party bookings won’t qualify.
Have you ever tried to do anything else with the basic version of wi-fi at Marriott or any other hotel? To me, basic wi-fi is now basically useless given today’s much bigger bandwidth requirements. But hey, it’s better than paying $16.95 for a crappy connection, right? (PLEASE TAKE POLL BELOW)
Please click the clear-looking or “vote” button
Some good news: Marriott is giving free “enhanced” wi-fi to its elite Platinum and Gold Rewards members. If that’s not you, you’ll have to pay up for the fatter pipes.
In any case, Marriott’s announcement is more evidence that it pays off to join nearly every hotel loyalty program at at least the basic level. Marriott joins other brands like IHG, Kimpton and Fairmont in offering free wi-fi– but only to registered members of their loyalty programs. Best Western was the first chain to offer free wi-fi at all its hotels way back in 2004.
Bonus: How to get 50,000 Marriott Rewards points
Tell us what you think about Marriott’s big move…and what you think about “tiered” hotel wi-fi speeds. >PLEASE scroll up and take our poll!<
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