When I quote a travel supplier’s advertising copy, it’s typically to deride it. The airfare ad that boasts a great price, but fails to mention the fees. Or the fact that it’s only available for Tuesday red-eye flights.
In the case of a promotional email from Loews Hotels, however, the message is simple, clear, and compelling: “When we promise all the comforts of home, we mean it. Loews is proud to announce complimentary wireless Internet access in every room and at every hotel.”
Internet access is a fact of life, whether at home or on the road. It is as necessary as electricity and hot running water. A surcharge may have been acceptable ten or even five years ago. But today, travelers bristle at being charged extra for such an essential service.
Some hotel chains get it; others aren’t ready to forego the surcharges.
Among the largest groups, InterContinental has promised to make free Internet access available to all members of IHG Rewards program throughout its network of more than 4,500 hotels in over 100 countries sometime in 2014. Since program membership is free, there will then be no reason for anyone to pay for Internet connectivity at an IHG hotel.
By eliminating the requirement that guests be members of its loyalty program, Loews has one-upped IHG and delivered exactly what 21st-century travelers expect.
Of course, with just 19 hotels in its network, it’s much easier, technically and politically, for Loews to make such a change. Still, the company deserves props for getting it, and acting accordingly.
Reader Reality Check
How important is free Internet access to you when booking a hotel stay?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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