Free Hotel Internet for All – No Catches with Hyatt!

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Last week we saw SPG announce that all members of their loyalty program that book a stay via a SPG channel (online, app, etc) will be eligible for complimentary internet during their hotel stay.  That was great news, and put them in the ranks with Marriott, IHG, Club Carlson, and Fairmont that offer somewhat similar policies currently, or will beginning in early 2015.

hyattThat left Hyatt and Hilton likely needing to do something in order to not be left behind in the hotel amenity war.  In true Hyatt fashion, they just announced today that they are not only going to match what other chains are offering in terms of complimentary internet, they are going to beat it.

They will be offering “free internet without a catch”.  From what Hyatt told me, “no matter how you made your reservation or which of the more than 500 Hyatt hotels around the world you find yourself in, Wi-Fi in guest rooms and social spaces will be free on as many devices as you’d like. Membership in Hyatt Gold Passport won’t be required either, however, Platinum and Diamond Hyatt Gold Passport members will get a complimentary upgrade to premium Wi-Fi service where it is available.”

I love that Hyatt is not only responding to what other competitors are offering, but they are jumping a step or two ahead of it by not having restrictions such as how you booked your stay, how many devices are eligible, or whether you are a Gold Passport member (though obviously you should be one to rack up points!).

They are still working on the technical pieces of this change, but expect it to go live in February 2015.  It looks like 2015 will be the year of “free hotel internet”, and that is a travel trend I’m very happy with!

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  1. There is one big catch. If everyone gets it for free, many more people will use it and the speed will be much slower for everyone. Given you have status with Hyatt, I am not sure why you love this change.

  2. @Julian: +1!!!! You took the words out of my mouth. Unless Hyatt and the other chains really invest in technology nobody will have WiFi access in their hotels. In my case I have unlimited data on my iPhone and I almost never connect to the hotel WiFi for 2 reasons: security and speed.

  3. I love the change because I don’t think you should have to be elite to check your email on your laptop without additional fees.

    Totally agree that speed will be an issue, but hopefully one that is monitored and improved over time.

  4. So let me make sure. You love it because of all the non-elites that will benefit, despite the fact that you and all elites (which I bet are many of the readers of this blog) will lose?

    • Julian, yeah, it benefits budget and leisure travelers (like my folks) the most and I think that’s awesome. I also don’t have status with all chains so like this trend.

  5. Doesn’t IHG offer free wifi to all members of their loyalty program, regardless of status, or method of reservation, or even whether or not a registered guest?

    • I believe that is how ihg does it. Hyatt isn’t even having the loyalty program member stipulation…though of course I think everyone should join!

  6. Like some other blogs have mentioned, I’m curious how the Platinum membership will be affected: the free internet was along with late checkout the only real perk for it. I think they’ll need to up the reasons to get Platinum somehow, or revamp that level.

    • WR, I hope so, too. Maybe they will go the SPG route and offer some sort of bonus points or free drink coupon at check-in for mid-tier elites.

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