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LUXURY OPINION: Why Do Luxury Hotels continue to Charge for WiFi?

Dear Luxury Hotels…  Why, oh why, do you continue to charge for WiFi? Especially when so many other establishments (such as budget hotels, coffee shops, public parks, tourist spots…. Do I need to go on?) offer free WiFi to their patrons.

I suppose the real reason that luxury hotels don't charge for WiFi is simply that they can get away with it. 



Luxury Hotels know that they can charge for WiFi, as their guests need it and are willing to pay for the service.  Business travellers will simply charge it back to expenses while leisure travellers don’t bat an eyelid at paying extra while they are already paying for a luxury suite.

Just last week I checked into a very well-known luxury hotel, but my mood quickly turned to frustration just minutes after checking into my Suite.

Somewhat unbelievably, but sadly unsurprising, as I went to my phone to connect to the WiFi I was met with a screen informing me to enter my credit card details to access the WiFi for $USD25 per day.

Any good first impressions of the hotel, from curb appeal, to check-in to the wonderful room amenities and design quickly disappeared. 

I was seriously not impressed at having to pay $50 for a two night stay just for the basic luxury of communication (work emails, keeping in touch with the news, arranging travel plans … or even just keeping up with the latest Hollywood gossip).

But then, almost instantly a message popped up on my phone informing me that for a minimal fee I could use my home Data Plan while abroad. 

And here lies the problem… WiFi should not be treated as a luxury by luxury hotels. Because no one else treats it like one. In 2023 access to WiFi is a basic necessity.

All luxury travellers need WiFi for communication; for work, for social interaction or for research. Therefore, it is no longer acceptable for hotels to charge for an standard amenity as if it is a luxury. 

After research amongst TLTB team members, it would seem I am not alone in feeling disgruntled at these WiFi Charges. Charging for WiFi was the number one complaint guests have against luxury hotels. It really does leave a sour taste in your mouth.
So come on Luxury Hotels, stop charging for WiFi, we are already paying enough for the stunning five-star suite… you should at least allow us to Instagram it for free! 

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Sarah Bryans 12/07/2022
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