A LoyaltyLobby reader sent me a question regarding the Premium WiFi that Hilton HHonors Diamond members are eligible for during their stays.
You can access Hilton’s web page for elite benefits here.
Here’s the email from the reader:
I’m a Hilton HHonors Diamond member but have never been able to figure out what their Premium WiFi guarantee really means (“Diamond Member benefit: “As a Diamond member you can enjoy FREE PREMIUM WI-FI only when you book direct.”)
I always use their app and/or the website to book stays, and when in the room use the login where I have to enter my HHonors member number and PW, and room number. Then it recognizes me and welcomes me as a Diamond member and tells me how many points I have, etc.
The WiFi speed is always very slow when I do it this way. So today I had a conversation (chat) with HHonors website staff on this topic. Their answer was vague – not at all what I’d expect. Here’s what was said in the chat:
Me: Please tell me what Premium Wi-Fi means (what speed I can expect) based on this Diamond Member benefit: “As a Diamond member you can enjoy FREE PREMIUM WI-FI only when you book direct.”
HH: I apologize, but we do not have that information on our end. I highly suggest to contact the hotel directly for an accurate answer.
Me: Does it vary by hotel? I would have thought that there would be a Hilton-wide standard that I could rely on – otherwise the guaranteed benefit seems questionable, doesn’t it?
HH: Yes, it does vary by what hotel you are in. Premium WiFi means that you will have a WiFi which is more faster compared to standard WiFi. But, in terms of how the specific speed it has. It is better to contact the hotel for more accurate answer.
I would think there should be a baseline standard of __ Mbps for standard, and __ Mbps for premium. How else can they advertise “Premium”? And being vague like that gives me nothing on which to base a complaint to the hotel.
I am sure that the brand standards manuals for various Hilton brands clearly state what the minimum bandwidth requirements for hotels are. Not sure how often these are updated and whether the requirements are adequate when many rely on streaming content online.
Sometimes you log in using room number and last name combo while some hotels give you a code that you should use. It is very difficult to tell if the premium WiFi is any faster than the standard one.
Here’s the clarification from Hilton spokesperson:
Premium internet is up to three-times the speed of standard internet and ideal for high-definition video streaming and large file downloads. The actual speeds of these offerings vary by property based on the different factors that can impact speed.
The internet speed issue does affect many travelers, and there is really no rhyme or reason why some hotels can have fantastic speed and the hotel next door is abysmal. Also, you may get “premium” WiFi at Ritz-Carlton that is 1 MBPS while some select service property has a speed exceeding 100 MBPS.
I wish that the chains would mandate the minimum acceptable speed for their brands. If a hotel’s internet connection is so bad that I cannot get any work done, I have no other choice than to leave and book another property.