Hotel WiFi and the Meeting Planner



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.

Read on…


2013 HotelChatter Hotel Wi-Fi Report

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About the author

Keith Johnston

Keith Johnston is the Publisher and Chief Writer Guy of PlannerWire | You can learn more about him here , connect with him on Twitter , Facebook , Google + and LinkedIn.


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  • I love hotels, and I love beautiful hotel gardens and environments, especially those that reference the wonderful hotels and gardens of Provence and the Italian countryside: the fountains, the citrus trees in terra cotta planters, and the casual formality of the environments. I am always looking for ways to bring a bit of that magic into my own garden. Well, I recently found an incredible store and online presence: Authentic Provence ( in West Palm Beach. The finest collection of European garden antiques I have seen in the US: statues, fountains, planters (note especially the classic Caisse de Versailles in every color, and Anduze pottery), terra cotta shields, stone animals, copper pots, garden spouts, etc. They also have beautiful stone fireplaces, re-purposed tiles, and many other specialty items. I felt transported to a unique environment reminiscent of the wonderful hotels and gardens of Europe.

  • Thank you so much for saying it like it is. As a veteran planner as well as a techie, I constantly try to explain to my fellow planners what to ask for, what to look for and what to pay for. The stories hotel sales people present are, as you so rightly say, myriad and highly creative. They think that we are clueless when it comes to technology. I have an app on my iPhone called Gist and when I run a test and tell them that their free wifi in the lobby is the slowest in the world (literally), then they take a little more notice.

  • I was at a “State of the Industry” panel discussion one time when someone pretty high up with Marriott admitted to us that the reason they charge so much for wifi is that the fees for the wifi cover the maintenance of the phone system that no one uses but, that they must continue to offer. Seriously? Just lie to me.

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