I stayed in the Hilton Boston Logan Airport last weekend and paid $12.95 for 24 hours of wireless Internet access. I stayed in the Omni San Diego Hotel over Labor Day weekend and got it free.
It’s still a bit of a crapshoot, folks.
USA Today reports that there’s a big scramble among almost all the hotel chains to offer wi-fi in public areas and in guest rooms. And the prices are all over the map, with variation sometimes among hotels in the same chain. (There’s a useful chart at the end of the article.)
If you’re like me, and you want it free, check out the Hotel Chatter blog. Every year it releases its Best WiFi Hotels list. The winners this year included Marriott’s Residence Inn, Courtyard and Springhill Suites brands, as well as the Omni chain and Holiday Inn Expresss. They all offer free wireless pretty much across the board.
The losers included Marriott’s flagship hotels, the Intercontinental chain and the Four Seasons.
I don’t always travel with the laptop but when I do – or when the wired kid is with me – I gotta have that wireless access. And it absolutely honks me off to pay that stupid fee.
Oh, and if you have to have that wireless on your way to the hotel, the airlines are all scrambling, too. Alaska Airlines is the latest to announce plans to test in-flight wireless. Oh, and the airlines – they’re definitely not planning to give it away.