Skift Take

Although it's a step in the right direction, Wi-Fi is still expensive for many regular and loyal customers depending on the kind of service they need.

Marriott International today announced plans to provide free standard Wi-Fi to members of its loyalty program Marriott Rewards when they book a full-service hotel directly via the hotel’s website, mobile app, by phone, or in person.

The benefit will begin for the program’s 47 million members starting on January 15, 2015.

Members; however, will have to pay between $5 and $7, depending on the property, to be upgraded to enhanced Wi-Fi needed for downloading large files or streaming media.

Standard Wi-Fi has been available to Marriott Rewards Platinum and Gold Elite members for some time, but these loyalists will receive free premium Wi-Fi as part of the announcement.

Customers not part of the rewards programs will continue to pay between $9.95 and $15.95 for basic Internet access and up to $19.95 for premium Internet.

The announcement comes close to a month after Marriott International was charged a $600,000 fine by the FCC for jamming conference attendees’ personal Wi-Fi networks at one of its hotels. None of the major hotel corporations that Skift spoke to afterwards agreed that this was standard practice.

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Tags: marriott, rewards, wi-fi

Photo credit: Overlooking the lobby of the Washington Marriott Marquis. Tim Evanson / Flickr

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