Cutting the Cord on Expensive Hotel Internet Service
Travel Blog • Alexander Basek • 02.05.09 | 4:01 PM ET
Thank you, Shangri-La Hotels, for breaking the cycle of expensive internet access. The hotel chain announced that it’s offering free Wi-Fi throughout its 60 properties as of, oh, right now. It’s about damn time—not at Shangri-La specifically, but for hotels in general to start offering this “service” for free, as it should be.
What’s galling is how the higher-end properties love to tack on this charge, while smaller one-off properties tend to give it away for free. It’s shortsighted and unrepresentative of how people travel: wouldn’t you prefer to have free internet access as opposed to free access to, say, Headline News? Not that we don’t all love Nancy Grace. Besides, I’m probably preaching to the internet choir here.
Still, it’s hard to forgo the internet when you work while you travel. I paid exorbitant internet fees many a time in 2008, and I’m sure it’ll happen again in ‘09. At the top of my list: a $15-a-day fee at the Grand Hotel Pupp in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. It’s a beautiful, historic hotel—James Bond even stayed there in Casino Royale—but it’s tough to feel as suave as Daniel Craig when you have to trudge downstairs for an ethernet cable first.