In a first for a major hotel loyalty program, InterContinental Hotel Group’s Priority Club Rewards will offer its members free in-room Internet access throughout its network of more than 4,500 hotels in over 100 countries.
The seven IHG brands are InterContinental, Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites, and Candlewood Suites.
The new benefit will be made available to elite members of the program beginning in July, and rolled out to general members sometime in 2014.
Fees to access the Internet have become a major irritant in recent years as both business and leisure travelers increasingly depend on online connectivity. Especially galling has been the fact that the surcharges for Internet access persisted at high-end properties even as more budget-friendly brands went with fee-free access. The implicit message: Pay more, get less.
Citing its own research on the issue, IHG found that 43 percent of respondents would choose not to stay in a hotel that charged for internet.
IHG is announcing the new Priority Club benefit in concert with the program’s new name: IHG Rewards Club.
Reader Reality Check
Is free Internet access a game-changer for you?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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