If Starbucks and McDonalds can provide free wi-fi, why can’t hotels?
July 23, 2011 (Traverse City, MI) – Rick Ingersoll, a world traveler and the author of the popular blog “The Frugal Travel Guy,” continues to speak out against one of his
pet peeves: Internet connection fees that most hotels charge.
Ingersoll first made this point during an interview with CNN in London in 2009 while the Sheraton Skyline Hotel’s manager listened in: “The Sheraton Skyline is lovely, clean, convenient and well managed,” he told CNN, “but they charge 15 pounds for a cable Internet connection in your room. At the dollar to pound conversion at the time, that almost doubled the cost of my cash-and-points stay there.” (Cash and points means using rewards points to pay very little cash for a hotel stay.)
He also made it known on the air, while the assistant manager listened, that he’d checked for available wireless connections from his room, found one that worked, and connected for free. After the interview, he was asked the name of the unsecured Internet provider and he provided it.
“I recommend to all of my blog readers that they do the same,” he said recently. “Check for available wireless connections before you agree to the outrageous charges hotels are collecting.”
How outrageous are these charges?
In the Huffington Post, Dave Taylor of the “Ask Dave Taylor” column, stayed at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas and wrote: “As has become all too common with Internet access in hotels, the Wynn charges not by room for Internet access, but by computer, so that they can maximize their revenue: share a room and each of you pays for Internet access. At $13.99/day, that adds up fast.” Taylor also noted that he had a laptop, iPad and iPhone. “According to hotel policies, that’d be 3×13.99 or $41.97/day for Internet access,” he wrote.
At the Marriot World Resort near Disney World, Consumer Traveler’s Janice Hough reported “$14.95 a day, plus tax. Per computer.”
And earlier this year, a TripAdviser review on the Rydges Wellington in Wellington, New Zealand, reported $30 per night for Internet connection, and even more for a high-speed connection. “Having paid $240 for the room, it’s pretty short sighted to nickel and dime us like this and expect repeat patronage,” the reviewer notes.
“Most four and five star hotels charge daily rates from $10 up for one connection, more for multiple devices,” said Ingersoll, who admits that after amassing all the frequent flier miles and rewards points he can to travel around the world nearly for free, hotels’ Internet usage charges gall him. “Of course, it’s not a problem for business travelers with expense accounts, but for a family on vacation with more than one computer or other mobile device, $10 a day per device adds up to a major expense.”
Ingersoll heartily agrees with Consumer Traveler’s Janice Hough, who said, “It’s time for hotels to go the path of Starbucks, McDonalds and most airports these days and give guests free wi-fi access.”
“To all of the hotel executives out there,” he added, “thanks for removing the fees for some of your frequent business travelers. Now how about doing the same for the rest of us average working folks?”
For more information on Rick Ingersoll and The Frugal Travel Guy, visit www.frugaltravelguy.com.
About The Frugal Travel Guy:
Rick Ingersoll is the author of The Frugal Travel Guy blog, which is read around the world and averages 5000 views per day, and The Frugal Travel Guy Handbook. He is constantly on the lookout for the best credit card and debit card sign-up bonuses and other promotions. He posts frugal travel tips deals every day on his blog with the goal of reducing his readers’ travel costs for the rest of their lives. He is also available for seminars and speaking engagements. A retired mortgage banker, Ingersoll and his wife live in Hilton Head Island, SC, and Traverse City, MI, when they’re not traveling the globe. For more information visit www.frugaltravelguy.com.