Hilton rolls out free Internet access for all HHonors members

By Chris Chamberlin , June 3 2015
Hilton rolls out free Internet access for all HHonors members

Hilton Hotels will unlock free standard Internet access for all Hilton HHonors members from June 4 at its worldwide range of brands including Hilton, Conrad, Waldorf Astoria and DoubleTree by Hilton.

Previously a benefit only for Gold and Diamond members of Hilton’s loyalty program, that now includes members at the Silver tier and those newly-enrolled in the free-to-join scheme with Blue status.

Diamond cardholders will also gain access to higher-speed ‘premium Internet access’ from the same date in the Americas, where available, and by September’s end in Australia and the Asia Pacific region, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

The only catch? Members need to book their stay directly through Hilton to enjoy the free Wi-Fi, either through its websites and that of its associated brands, mobile apps, reservation contact centres, in-person at a hotel or via a travel agent that books via the same methods.

Bookings through other services such as Qantas Hotels, Agoda and Expedia won’t get you that free connection, while properties charging a compulsory ‘resort fee’ for a package of amenities including Internet access will continue to do so.

For Hilton HHonors members it has always been best to avoid such third-party booking websites as stays made on such bookings don't accrue HHonors points or contribute to retaining your elite HHonors status.

Read: Want points for your hotel stay? Avoid third-party booking websites

A company representative shared the plans with the FlyerTalk online community, noting that the Hilton HHonors Terms and Conditions would be amended on June 4 to reflect this new benefit.

Hilton Hotels follows other major chains such as Accor, GHA, IHG, Hyatt, Marriott and Starwood in setting the Internet free for base-level members of their respective loyalty programs.

Also read: The Hilton HHonors loyalty program for Australian travellers

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 May 2013

Total posts 324

For heaven's sake, just make it complimentary for all guests. It seems like a backpackers lodge charging $20 a night offers free wifi, whereas hotels that charge a fortune don't! It's 2015, it's time to offer free internet in hotel rooms.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

Can't agree more, I had unlimited internet in a $130 motel but Crowne Plaza can only give 100mb.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Mar 2014

Total posts 574

I'm at the Hilton Berlin as I type this and it's 29 euro for non Hhoners, per day. Most hotels offer free wifi to all guests. It's an odd one to me.

It's times like this that Vodafone's $5 roaming comes in handy – just link your laptop to your smartphone and it's cheaper (and often faster) than hotel Internet!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Oct 2013

Total posts 714

Yes but not everyones on Vodafone

(I am on Vodafone though)

It would be nice to see free of cheaper roaming roll out like T-Mobile in the US

Air New Zealand - NZ*E

17 May 2015

Total posts 94

What is most amusing about this announcement is that the Hilton PR spin departmet thinks this is progressive - however the reality is quite the opposite!!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Mar 2014

Total posts 574

They're by far the least progressive of any major brand. I understand that's where they see their position in the market, and the characteristics such as ugly desks and phones in the toilet are valued to their clients.

Not for me. I've only been using them due to the velocity gold HHoners gold connection. Wish I'd gone with IHG!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards Gold

04 Jul 2014

Total posts 132

If only gold also got the high speed... Seems like somehwat of a devaluation for gold members.

It's funny how the idea that data and wifi access is somehow a right.

Telegrams, telephones, faxes introduced in the past have always come with a price tag in hotels. But somehow society has moved very quickly on the issue of free internet access (around 30 - 35 years from the widespread use of the internet).

I wonder why this is the case? Is it due to mankind's general ever increasing embrace of technology? Or is there a catalyst in the form of smart phones and tablets, which has personalised technology to the extent that it becomes akin to breathing? 

Have businesses discovered mankind's Achilles' heel? Specific customisation = increasing consumption.

Air New Zealand - NZ*E

17 May 2015

Total posts 94

You raise an interesting point and I agree your argument has some merit.

However, like it or not, the Internet has become a key component of modern life - in the same way that running water, sewerage and electricity have become key utilities we rely on for our daily lives. Each of these are all included in our room rate?

Also the travel industry expects us to be connected online in some way to interact with it - I can't remember the last time I had an actual paper ticket for an airline booking or hotel reservation or talked to a real person to make a travel booking. The aviation industry manages to provide this connectivity as part of the lounge and (most) airport experiances for free - while the hotel industry seems to struggle with this concept.

The bottom line is that most people don't mind paying for value - but when it's a commodity item like the Internet has become - for better or worse we expect this to be included in the tarif, this is the reality of the world we live in. 

Finally, I work in the IT world and I understand better than most that in the end you still pay nothing is actually for free - my argument is that hotels need to adapt their business models to suit their customers - history shows us what happens if you don't adapt

Interesting point BizTraveller. 

I like how you've associate internet access to utilities. I completely agree. The internet, unlike previous modes of communication has transcended from a service of mere convenience to take on a quality of something more vital.

On that account, I'm in no doubt that the hotel business models need to change. What is challenging however is the cost. Will there come a time when the cost of data is universally low? To ensure that cost is kept relatively low, does governments need to intervene/subsidise/nationalise?

I'm not a student of economic history but I wonder if there are any parallels in the story of data to that of electricity (i.e. what were the challenges of connecting people to the grid in the late 19th century?)

Air New Zealand - NZ*E

17 May 2015

Total posts 94

I am pleased we found some common ground - that's what I like about this site - there is always robust discussion on all sorts of business travel topics from informed and interesting people. 

05 Aug 2011

Total posts 16

In Asia about 99% of ALL hotels not including Hilton have FREE WiFi.

Get with the times!!!!


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