The hotel group’s research found that the average UK business traveller spends £16.30 on wi-fi and roaming charges on each trip. This was found to be greater than in the US, where businesses spend $3.3b on the charges annually, which works out at $15.10 (£9.93) per trip.
The research claimed UK hotels and airports were the ‘worst offenders’ for wi-fi charges and highlighted hotels such as Marriott, where non-members are charged £10 for 24 hours; Mandarin Oriental, where non-members are charged £15 for 24 hours; and Four Seasons, where premium wi-fi costs £17 for 24 hours.
The issue of hotels misusing wi-fi has been at the forefront recently, with Marriott being fined for blocking conference delegate wi-fi at its hotels, and the FCC warning US hotels that the blocking of wi-fi is illegal.
As well as being charged for wi-fi, the research also found that 70% of business travelers were regularly unable to work efficiently due to slow or unreliable wi-fi connections, while 20% claimed there were times when they were unable to join a work call or video conference due to poor connections.
Financial commentator and founder of letssavemoney.com, Sarah Willingham, said: "Fast, free, reliable wi-fi is non-negotiable for modern business travellers. With airlines and rail companies investing in wi-fi on board and international roaming charges falling dramatically, it’s inexcusable to keep charging extortionate rates for patchy wi-fi connections."
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