Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Free hotel internet . . . or not

Reading a National Geographic Traveler article (Sorry. I don’t think it’s online.) on hotel internet and how some hotels abuse or even lie to guests expecting free internet reminds me of past hotel experiences.

One particular hotel in England shall remain nameless because they resolved the situation to my satisfaction after I made my displeasure known (and provided an otherwise excellent stay). I had researched this hotel and expected free internet with my pricey room. But when I arrived I discovered that not only was it not free, but that the access charges were exorbitant.

As I told them when I left, this is the 21st century and many travelers expect and require free internet with their rooms, especially if room charges are high already. Hotels that don’t provide that will and already do lose business. Such hotels are sooo last millennium.

My policy is that if a hotel does not have free internet, it greatly decreases my chances of staying there. When on the road, looking to turn in for the night, I’ve more than once skipped hotels that don’t provide free internet . . . even if I was tired and eager to get off the road.

But some hotels are less than forthcoming on just what kind of internet access they provide or whether it’s free or not. I’ve seen more than one web site that makes it appear it’s free when it’s not. Interestingly, I’ve found the more expensive hotels to be bad about that.

So in the future, I’ll double check whether internet access is free or not before making any reservations. And I recommend you do likewise if you are an online kind of guy like myself.

And, hotels, get with it. The 20th Century is over.

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