Skift Take

Most business travelers won't be satisfied with basic service. If InterContinental really wants to make a difference, it would subsidize premium Wi-Fi use for road warriors, as well.

InterContinental Hotels Group announced yesterday it will be providing free Internet access for all loyalty program members, but that’s not the entire story.

CEO Richard Solomons said today basic Internet access will be free, but there could be a charge for power users.

“We will certainly give the basic internet service free, but maybe we will do something different for the high users,” Solomons said during an appearance on CNBC.

That’s a similar tack that JetBlue is taking as it introduces Wi-Fi on flights. While JetBlue’s basic Fly-Fi service will be free, users will have to chip in some cash for a premium service.

It’s also common for different chains to have tiered Wi-Fi services.

Meanwhile, Solomons of InterContinental said the free basic Internet service, which will be rolled out this year and into 2014, is expected to deliver some cash because it will attract more guests. It will also provide the opportunity to upsell them services through the loyalty program.

“We absolutely see a net revenue upside for doing this,” Solomons said. “It really isn’t a cost. It really is an investment.”

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Tags: intercontinental hotel group, wi-fi

Photo credit: InterContinental Hotels CEO Richard Solomons appeared on CNBC and explained the chain's thinking behind its new Internet-access policy. CNBC

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