IHG Rewards, the loyalty program formerly known as Priority Club which includes Intercontinental (for points-earning and redemption), Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and other brands has updated its terms and conditions to include internet access not just for elites but for all members throughout most of the world, and to offer that access for free whether the member is even staying at the hotel or not.
This benefit doesn’t apply in Europe, where only IHG Rewards elite members will receive complimentary internet.
Internet Access for Members: Beginning January 2014, standard internet access will be available to all IHG® Rewards Club members at no additional cost at all IHG hotels located in the Americas, Greater China, Asia, Middle East and Africa with or without a hotel reservation and/or qualifying stay. Furthermore, IHG® Rewards Club Elite members will be provided standard internet access at no additional cost at all IHG hotels in Europe. Internet availability and accessibility in common areas vary by hotel. Internet accessibility, speed, and connectivity in common areas and guest rooms vary by hotel. Details regarding a property’s internet accessibility will be available at the hotel’s registration desk. Please note that The Venetian® and The Palazzo®, an InterContinental Alliance® Resort, do not offer the Free Internet Access benefit, which is instead included in the daily resort fee.
The vast majority of IHG Rewards hotel properties offer complimentary internet now. This extends that benefit to everyone who is a member, so a non-guest will be able to step into a participating property and use their internet for free in the lobby.
I can’t imagine that will cost them very much, or will be much used (or even much known).
Nonetheless, I really like it — it doesn’t quite match but is at least reminiscent of what the predecessor to Club Carlson used to call “Our World, Your Lounge” which was free internet and coffee, tea, or hot chocolate for two for elite members in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
What I don’t love is the terms stating that availability will “vary by hotel” which leads me to worry that the implementation won’t be uniform or reliable, but we’ll have to see how this works in practice and how well-understood the benefit becomes across the chain.
I’d sure like a hot chocolate with my free internet, though!