Heiko points out an article in Computerworld: Free hot spots pay dividends. Resturant owners and hoteliers in the US are opening their eyes to offering free Wi-Fi to their customers and see a lot more business coming their way when they do.
I'm currently doing a series of stays at several of London's 4 and 5 star hotels, and I've been shocked to find internet access offered at anything from 20 pounds (US$ 34!!) per day (Langham Hilton) to 0.5 pounds per minute for modem connections (that's US$ 0.85 per minute even to access local toll free numbers) at the Sheraton Park Lane hotel.
Free (Wifi or ethernet) would definitely hook me at any of those chain hotels. Independent chain Club Quarters has free WiFi, but no frequent traveller programme and no way to earn free nights and frequent flyer miles...
As a hypertraveller, miles, points and upgrades based on programme status unfortunately matters for me as well, and I find it matters more than the net access at the moment...
However, I split my nights between the Hiltons and the Starwood group to earn and maintain their respective top level statuses (Hilton Diamond VIP and Starwood Platinum) - if one of the chains had free internet I'd go only there (and that's quite a few thousand pounds going in some hotelier's direction just from one traveller alone *hint hint*).
Anders Jacobsen |