(CBS News) – As travelers hit the road this summer, some might be in for a rude surprise when they check into their hotels: no free Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi has become one of those staples, like clean linens and spotless bathrooms, that travelers simply expect when from a hotel, but that’s not always the case. Ironically, the more expensive a hotel is, the less likely it may be to offer free Wi-Fi, which may be because the management feels its better-heeled clientele can afford to pay up for Internet connectivity.
Yet that might be a short-sighted approach to hostelry, based on a May survey from online booking service Hotels.com. The site found complementary Wi-Fi is what more travelers look for than any other feature when booking a leisure stay. Six out of 10 respondents said they wish free Wi-Fi would become standard at all hotels in 2015.
“We know that free Wi-Fi has been the most sought-after amenity since we began doing our annual amenities survey in 2012,” Taylor Cole, a travel expert for Hotels.com, wrote in an email to CBS MoneyWatch. “While the demand for free Wi-Fi remains, it appears that it’s starting to become more of an expected offering than a differentiating benefit.”