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Happy New Year from the penthouse offices of the Skift Business Traveler team.
I’m not sure why we’re still talking about charging for hotel Wi-Fi in 2015. Most, if not all business travelers agree that it’s a necessity, but it seems that hotels are slow to catch on. Marriott, for example, last year conceded to giving out free internet, but it’s only for loyalty members and at basic speeds. And they’ve also made some draconian moves to block personal hotspots.
Still, it seems that we’re moving in the right direction. Late last year, Hyatt anounced that free Wi-Fi was coming to all of its properties, and even now where I sit in a Hyatt Grand Vacations in Las Vegas there’s a decent free signal. Perhaps this year where we finally get over the hump.
SOCIAL QUOTE OF THE DAY
Not happy with @Marriott’s greedy schemes to mess with your i-net access? #BoycottMarriott, there are plenty of hotels with fast, free wifi
Measuring the Value of Airline and Hotel Loyalty Points in 2015: In truth, a great deal of variables go into building a loyalty program and applied carefully, they can still have great value. Read more at Skift
AirAsia Flight Route in Indonesia Suspended as Crash Details Emerge: Indonesia temporarily suspended AirAsia Bhd. flights on the route of its crashed jetliner, as teams searching for the plane found bodies still strapped in seats and debris resembling parts of the tail. Read more at Skift
Delta SkyMiles One Way Awards Now Bookable: One of the few positive aspects of the controversial new Delta SkyMiles 2015 program is that one way award tickets are now permitted for half the cost of a roundtrip. Previously Delta charged the same number of miles for a roundtrip award as for a one way. Read more at One Mile at a Time
Las Vegas Airport Wants CES Attendees to Be Powered Up and Connected: While the gadgets of the future are only just arriving in Las Vegas for the annual International CES show, officials at the city’s main airport are updating a decades-old terminal to cater to legions of tech-savvy travelers. Read more at Skift
CIA Report Lists Triggers for Secondary Screening: A document released by Wikileaks reveals what officials look for when selecting travelers for secondary screening. Read more at FlyerTalk
Confessions of a former TSA officer: “I quickly discovered I was working for an agency whose morale was among the lowest in the U.S. government. In private, most TSA officers I talked to told me they felt the agency’s day-to-day operations represented an abuse of public trust and funds.” Read more at The Week
Hey, Frequent Flyers, Avegant Wants You to Watch Movies on This Thing: One of the lingering (and somewhat compelling) arguments against the latest wave of virtual reality headsets is style: As Valleywag’s Dan Lyons put it earlier this week, “Nobody wants to sit around for hours with those big fucking goggles strapped to their head.” Read more at Re/code
Marriott Wants To Jam Your Wi-Fi For Your Own Good: Three months after Marriott got a $600,000 fine from the Federal Communications Commission for blocking Wi-Fi devices at its Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center in Nashville, the hotel chain is petitioning regulators to let it do pretty much the same thing on all its other properties, too. Read more at ReadWrite
Hyatt Introduces Free Wi-Fi Throughout All Its Properties: Hyatt Hotels announced today that it would begin providing free Wi-Fi in guest rooms and public spaces at all Hyatt hotels worldwide as of February 2015. Read more at Skift
Interview: Hilton CEO on Being Everything to Every Guest Everywhere: Hilton Worldwide is the largest global hospitality company by number of rooms and is quickly innovating to meet customers’ changing demands across technology, experience, and mindfulness. Read more at Skift
U.S. Embassy Issues Warning for U.S. Hotels, Banks in Jakarta: The U.S. Embassy in Jakarta issued an alert to American citizens warning of a potential security threat against U.S.-associated hotels and banks in Indonesia’s second- biggest city. Read more at Skift