with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Buying WIFI: The Greed of Expensive Hotels

I’ve been planning to write a scathing article about the high price of WIFI Internet connections at hotels, motels, and the like for a while, but I can’t compete with the brilliance of Respectful Insolence’s article, Good WIFI, Bad WIFI:

Most of the hotels that I end up staying at for these meetings are pretty nice hotels. Some of them are even very nice. You’d think that they’d throw in high speed Internet access and/or wi-fi as part of the package. After all, even a budget hotel chain like the Baymont Inn and Suites provides complimentary high speed Internet access at most of its locations. You’d think that the big boys like Marriott, Sheraton, or Hyatt would be able to do the same at their high end hotels.

You’d be wrong, for the most part.

Case in point, the Marriott in San Diego, which is where I stayed a couple of weeks ago. The hotel charged $9.95 a day for high speed Internet access. Although that’s in general a ripoff, it’s actually not the most expensive that I’ve encountered. In some hotels, I’ve encountered prices as high as $14.95 a night. At big hotels, though, unfortunately, somewhere around $9.95 a night seems to be standard.


As I’ve traveled across the country lately, I’ve been startled by the wonderful free Internet connections via WIFI I’ve found in the most unusual spots. My favorites have been near cheap motels and the few restaurants that also offer free WIFI connections. But get near a big hotel, whether you are a customer or not, and they want money. Sometimes lots of money. The same thing applies to airports and other public spaces in which travelers spend a lot of time. Money grubbers. Greed mongers.

Start protesting and protesting loudly if you have to pay for WIFI, especially at expensive hotels. WIFI is super cheap considering the benefits that come with people who spend money on your premises. Whine really loud!

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