Things I’ll Give Up for Free Internet Access in My Hotel Room

I’ll be out-of-state for an upcoming wedding in October, and was planning to work from my hotel room. I was unsurprised to learn that I’ll have to pay for Internet access, but was still annoyed:

• In-Room Wireless Internet: $9.95, Complimentary for HHonors Gold & Diamond

Here are free amenities I am willing to forgo for free Internet access:

• Arm Chair with Ottoman
• Clock Radio w/ MP3 Connection
• Curved Shower Rod
• Ergonomic Desk Chair
• HD Channels
• In-Room Movie Channel
• Lever Door Handles
• On-Demand Movies
• On-Demand Video Games
• TV – 37 Inch Flat Panel HD
• TV-Cable
• TV-Pay per view
• Coffee Maker
• Desk Level Phone Jacks
• Hairdryer
• Telephone – Two Phones

All that has to be worth at least $9.95, right?


20 Comments / Post A Comment

thenotestaken (#542)

I saw a comment made about this the other day where someone pointed out how ridiculous it is that you can get free internet in cafes where you pay $2 but you still often can’t in hotels where you’re paying hundreds of dollars.

Megano! (#124)

So I have stayed at hostels with free wifi. WTF fancy hotel.

WaityKatie (#1,696)

@Megano! I’ve ridden buses with free wifi! I really wish hotels would just add it onto the price of the room like they do with everything else and call it free.

boysplz (#56)

@Megano! It’s a nickel and diming thing. Like I mentioned below they only charge in their more expensive hotels. They assume (and rightly so) that people that can afford to stay at the full service brands will be willing to shell out for internet.

selenana (#673)

@Megano! I ONLY stay in hotels that have free wifi. No wifi, no go. I guess that means I’m not fancy? Well, I knew that.

sally (#917)

Five times out of five that I have said to the guy at the front desk that I think it sucks, they have comped it. Ask!

boysplz (#56)

About Hilton, only the top tier full service brands (Doubletree, Hilton Hotels and Embassy Suites) charge for internet. Their other ones (Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood) all have free access (this is mandated by Hilton BT-Dubs). Sooo, you could totally get free internet in exchange for a few of those amenities.

ALSO, I’m not sure on the specifics but most Hilton hotels have an agreement with AT&T at this point that allows AT&T customers to get free access, so ask about that if you have them for wireless service.

jfruh (#161)

I am always baffled that in general it’s the fancy hotels where the Wi-Fi is a separate charge and the bargain ones where it’s included. Can anyone explain the logic to me?

@jfruh The only thing I got is that fancy hotels have lots of business customers who pay for access and expense it. Might as well make a few extra bucks off people who will pay for it anyway.

boysplz (#56)

@jfruh I’ve thought about this for a while and I don’t really get it. It must work otherwise they’d change the model.

To talk completely out of my ass I would say that they know that people that can afford to spend more on a hotel are more willing to spend on internet. Another (completely unsupported) guess is that people that can/are willing to spend more on a hotel are older maybe? They may not demand or expect free internet the same way that younger people might.

On a side note, finally a billfold post that I have business experience in!

mishaps (#65)

@jfruh It’s totally due to business travelers. We can expense the wifi, but generally not the porn channels.

@jfruh I used to work for a company that installed internet at hotels- and yes, what everyone is saying is exactly true. Hotels figure that most travelers are there for business, and their companies will pick up the tab.

jacqueline (#653)

Are you sure you can live without that curved shower rod?!

pearl (#153)

Do you stay in hotels a lot and use credit cards? If so, maybe a Hilton Amex Surpass would be good because it gives you gold status plus points roughly equivalent to a free night for $75 a year. I myself am a responsible credit card bonus fiend though so it’s not for everyone

Mike Dang (#2)

@pearl I don’t! I’m only staying at this hotel because that’s where the wedding party will be, and it has hotel transportation to all the events so I don’t have to rent a car. There was also a “wedding party discount” that saved me about $40, so I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much.

Oh no, don’t pay for wireless, it’s totally a fool’s fee. You can still get the internet for free! This has only come up for me twice because I don’t stay in a lot of hotels, but while both of the hotels I stayed at recently charged extra for wireless, there was no extra charge for simply plugging in the blue ethernet cable and getting internet that way. Chances are your hotels will be the same. The only drawback (if saving $10/night can be a drawback!) is that while you can still get free internet, you’ll just be limited to where in the suite you can work if the cable isn’t very long. Both my hotels had the ethernet cable next to the kitchenette table, so yeah, it would have been nice to sit on the bed or sofa to work, sitting at the table and saving that ten bucks was better!

call_her_alaska (#1,113)

@Deb of last year@twitter It might be a case of where you are with this one. I happened to stay at a Hilton in London a few weeks ago (secret hotel deal, last minute rush for lodgings) and they made you pay 15 pound (!!!) for 24 hours of internet and the *only* way you could use it was through the supplied ethernet cable. It was crazy lame but I used it because I was desperate (but I downloaded like I’ve never downloaded before, to make it somewhat worthwhile…)

Anne (#33)

I always thought that only Vegas charged for Internet access (because they want you out of the room and in the casino). In related news, I need to get out more.

Caddy@twitter (#1,711)

Dorky FYI comment coming! The levered door handles are most likely a requirement under the Americans with Disabilities Act (because not everyone is able to grasp a knob and turn, but most people can use some body part to press down a lever or bar), so I don’t think they could trade those for wifi!

I agree with the rest of your list, except for cable TV, because I don’t have it at home and it’s a nice treat to watch never-ending episodes of home improvement shows when I’m traveling.

andrewstati (#4,780)

I had free internet access when I stayed in Cancun All Inclusive Hotels, when I go on a trip I search for hotels that have included free Wifi in the price, usually the majority of them offer this kind of service. You could ask at the front office desk about this, I am sure they would find a solution for this.

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