Marriott International has announced a major enhancement for its guests who are members of the Marriott Rewards program. Beginning January 15, 2015, Marriott will “offer free in-room Wi-Fi to all (emphasis mine) Marriott Rewards members who book directly on, Marriott’s mobile app, 1-800 MARRIOTT, or through a Marriott hotel. As a member, you’ll be able to connect at over 3,800 hotels across 70 countries worldwide.” Golds and Platinums will continue to receive free “enhanced” wi-fi where available.

Marriott has posted an FAQ on the topic as well as a list of non-participating hotels.

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MJ’s Take

This is a real enhancement for the Marriott Rewards program and for the Marriott brand. Wi-fi charges at full-service hotels are a common complaint of business and leisure travelers, including me. While I have elite status with Marriott, and have not been subject to wi-fi charges for years, the fact is that they are a big turn off for many. Will Hilton soon follow? SPG? Only time will tell, but I don’t see how they avoid it. I definitely consider internet access charges when I’m making stay decisions with other hotel brands.

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