Hotel WiFi cost is something that meeting planners do not understand and for good reason. It does not make any freaking sense. I can find no logical rhyme or reason to the cost or how it is applied. You will find one hotel where WiFi is free, another where it is $9.95 in the guest room but free in the lobby, and yet another where idiots can pay $19.95 but if said idiot rushes and signs up for the hotel loyalty rewards program the WiFi is not only free, they will bring you a side a bacon to munch while you are surfing Facebook in your jammies.
WTF. It is like some twisted Escher painting that makes your brain hurt.
Meeting planners are smart people; We “get it” when we are being taken for a ride. We know that hotels are fleecing us, our attendees, and their other customers. They are scamming us and they are doing it with a smile on their face telling us that “They have to charge because of this stupid reason or that stupid reason”. Hell, I actually had a hotel sales person tell me straight up that the charge was bullshit and that the hotel knew it. It was refreshing to get the honesty and I was able to negotiate the charge out of the contract… but I should not have too. We have bigger fish to fry in our contract talks.
Once Starbucks, Target, and the corner pub all started offering free WiFi to a population of caffeine drinking, discount shopping, drunks, it was just a matter of time before the general population wanted it everywhere they go.
But me thinks my rant lands on deaf ears. So instead, we must arm ourselves with information and choices.
I came across this handy dandy infographic from HotelChatter and although from 2013, it is still pretty accurate, and shows who is taking you for a ride and who is not bogarting the wireless signal. I especially love the info on the Atlantis… you can also go there and pay like a gazillion dollars for a cheeseburger.