Marriott Improves Internet Perk for Elite Members as Hilton Starts to Kill it.

Good news if you are a Marriott Gold or Platinum member! Marriott has changed the rules for free internet for their top their guest. 

As many big chain hotels have started to offer all guest free internet; Marriott has made it standard for the upper tier members of their program to get the “upgraded” speeds for free. The “standard” speed free internet that is becoming common at hotels is close to useless but better than nothing, check email and read the news. Hotels all around the world have started to offer an up-sell to faster “High Speed” internet. If you are Gold or Platinum with Marriott you will be able to get the fastest hight speed option for no extra fee. A perk for sure.

Now Hilton on the other hand has once again made the brilliant move to not provide their top level members this perk for free. When a Hilton representative was asked why some Gold and Diamond members were being charged for internet at some hotels, and only being provided free “Low Speed” internet here is what they said, 

“You are correct that the complimentary internet speeds for Gold and Diamond members have recently adjusted at some properties. Some properties are testing different internet offerings, while others are introducing tiered internet products at others. The premium internet services that our hotels offer are intended for those guests who need additional bandwidth (for video streaming or large file downloading).

Some hotels may charge for standard internet while others may offer it complimentary. Regardless, HHonors is fully committed to ensuring Gold and Diamond have access complimentary internet at all hotels worldwide.”

So once again Hilton proving they have no idea what brand standards are! So as this new “test” expands around the world, the perk of free internet will just be free internet for all. So no longer a perk. “JohnnyColombia” provided a great recap of the Hilton plan over on flyertalk.com 

1) At all properties Golds and Diamonds will get complimentary free internet access

2) At some properties everyone might get complimentary internet access

3) At some properties the complimentary internet access might be unserviceable

4) Where the internet access is unserviceable there might be a paid upgrade option

5) Where Golds and Diamonds pay to upgrade this might be refunded at check out

6) Some properties might be participating in tiered internet experiments

7) The geographic extent of the experimentation is not known

8) Which brands are participating in which experiments is not known

9) The rollout timescale is not known

10) When making a booking at a Hilton brand it is not possible to know what internet offering you will get.

When asked about these changes Hilton corporate acted like this was news to them, very new, and not a big deal. But I knew it was coming early this year when a graphic changed on the confirmation emails when making a booking at Hilton Hotels. This graphic outlines the VIP perks at the Hotel as a Diamond. The wording went from “Complimentary High-Speed Internet Access” to “Complimentary Lobby WiFi Internet Access” What? Lobby access? 

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Hilton you just do not get it, do you? A perk is something above what the average guest gets. Saying Gold and Diamond members will get internet access is not a perk when you are moving to free internet for everyone. Your most loyal are business travelers that make your hotel rooms offices and working via a 1998 era connection will not cut it.  You were the last major chain to add the “Free High Speed” internet perk for top tier members - now you are the first too take it away? And really trying to do it very secretively with changing wording? Like we would not notice. Shame on you! Your major competitor just upgraded the perk, and you are slowly killing it. Wake up Hilton! 

This was taken at a Hilton Hotel that now offers free internet for all guest, and offers an upgrade to high speed for about $10. 

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Comments

#1
Grant August 21, 2014 at 05:00 pm

Complimentary "Lobby" Wi-Fi is ridiculous.

#2
Bryan August 21, 2014 at 10:02 pm

Hyatt Diamond does not provide premium internet access as a published benefit, per their benefits page: "Upgrades to premium service may be available for an additional fee."

I have found that it is hit or miss depending on getting the fee waived so I expect to pay if I upgrade.

#3
Damian August 22, 2014 at 01:43 am

@ Bryan. Thanks, I have updated the info. I have always gotten it as a Hyatt Diamond (mostly in Europe and Asia).

#4
A. S. August 22, 2014 at 08:53 am

Marriott also offers free wifi to all MR members (not just elite) in the Asia/Pacific region.

#5
rj123456 August 23, 2014 at 02:25 am

As a Marriott Silver I did not get free Internet at many of their properties in Spain. (Exception: AC Palacio de Santa Ana in Valladolid - loved the hotel not just because of the free internet :).