When Priority Club – the Holiday Inn, HI Express, Crowne Plaza, InterContinental etc reward scheme – was relaunched as IHG Rewards Club last year, the biggest change was the provision of free internet.
From last July, all Gold and Platinum members of Priority Club / IHG Rewards Club got free internet access on their stays.
The long-term plan was more ambitious, though. From January 1st 2014, ALL IHG Rewards Club members were to receive free internet. Since IHG Rewards Club is free to join, this effectively meant that everyone in the hotel would get free internet.
(Not necessarily high speed internet, though. I expect a lot of properties to offer a slow speed for free but still require payment if you want something fast enough for video.)
There was no doubt about this – free internet for all in 2014 was the stated policy.
And yet, this is what the terms and conditions on the IHG website actually say:
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.
So …. if you are at a hotel in Europe, you will NOT be getting free internet unless you are Gold or Platinum.
This is not a typo. If you look at this page on the IHG site, there is a tiny mark next to the line “All members will be able to stay connected at no charge” and in the small print at the bottom it says “May not be available in all regions”.
Well, call me fussy, but excluding THE WHOLE OF EUROPE from something you are advertising deserves a little more than a tiny footnote. Heaven knows how many people will book rooms on the back of this and then find out that they aren’t getting free internet after all.
What is IHG playing at? How can you spend 8 months saying you going to bring in global free internet, and then decide at the last minute to exclude a huge chunk of your hotels?
I don’t know at the moment if European hotels have been given a short-term temporary reprieve or whether this will be the permanent position. IHG may be getting a visit from the advertising standards people sooner rather than later, however.
IHG One Rewards update – November 2022:
Get bonus points: You will earn bonus IHG One Rewards points on stays between 13th October 2022 and 31st December 2022. You can choose between 2,000 points for every two nights or 10,000 points for every four nights (not cumulative). Read this article for full details. You can register here.
New to IHG One Rewards? Read our overview of IHG One Rewards here and our article on points expiry rules here. Our article on ‘What are IHG One Rewards points worth?’ is here.
Buy points: If you need additional IHG One Rewards points, you can buy them here.
You will receive a 100% bonus if you buy IHG One Rewards points by 29th December 2022.
Want to earn more hotel points? Click here to see our complete list of promotions from IHG and the other major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Offers’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.