“Marriott International listens to its customers” is how the short and sweet official announcement started that confirmed Marriott is backing off its Wi-Fi blocking games.
Marriott’s January 14, 2015 announcement stated:
Marriott International listens to its customers, and we will not block guests from using their personal Wi-Fi devices at any of our managed hotels. Marriott remains committed to protecting the security of Wi-Fi access in meeting and conference areas at our hotels. We will continue to look to the FCC to clarify appropriate security measures network operators can take to protect customer data, and will continue to work with the industry and others to find appropriate market solutions that do not involve the blocking of Wi-Fi devices.
I’m not surprised in the least by Marriott’s change of heart AND its “marketing” moves to make this change “in response to its customers.” This comes swiftly after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) settled with the hotel and resort corporation for $600,000 in October for blocking guests from using personal Wi-Fi hotspots in conference rooms and meeting spaces, in violation of Section 333 of the Communications Act of 1934.
As the Order adopting the Consent Degree demands:
To resolve the [FCC’s] investigation, Marriott is required, among other things, (i) to pay a $600,000 civil penalty to the United States Treasury, (ii) to develop and implement a compliance plan, and (iii) to submit periodic compliance and usage reports, including information documenting to the Bureau any use of containment functionalities of Wi-Fi monitoring systems, at any U.S. property that Marriott manages or owns.
And as of January 15, 2015 (stay date, not booking date), Marriott guests may enjoy free standard/“essential” in-room Wi-Fi, regardless of their Marriott Rewards status, so long as they:
- Are a Marriott Rewards (or Ritz-Carlton Rewards) member;
- Book their stay directly on Marriott.com, Marriott’s mobile app, 1-800 MARRIOTT, or through a Marriott hotel; and
- Are staying at a participating Marriott property.
Do Gold and Platinum Elite members Get Any Special Treatment?
Yes. Gold and Plat members get a free upgrade to “enhanced Wi-Fi” where available and regardless of booking method.
Participating Properties Include:
Autograph Collection Hotels
AC Hotels by Marriott
Marriott Executive Apartments
Fairfield Inn & Suites
Marriott Vacation Club
Free Standard Wi-Fi is NOT Included Here: (as of blog posting)
Hotels that do not participate in the Marriott Rewards program
Atlantis Paradise Island (free enhanced Wi-Fi for Gold and Platinum)
The Ritz-Carlton, Millennia Singapore
Phulay Bay, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
The Ritz-Carlton Destination Clubs, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, and The Abaco Club JW Marriott Miami
Residence Inn at Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville, FL
Marriott’s StreamSide Evergreen, Vail, CO
Marriott’s StreamSide Douglas, Vail, CO
Marriott’s StreamSide Birch, Vail, CO
47 Park Street – Marriott Grand Residence Club, UK
Marriott Vacation Club at The Empire Place, Bangkok, Thailand
Marriott Vacation Club at The Buckingham, Macau, China
Aspen Wye River Conference Center, Queenstown, MD
NCED Marriott Conference Center, Oklahoma City, OK
Jesse H. Jones Rotary House Conference Center, Houston, TX
Hotel Ritz-London – London, UK
Hotel Ritz Madrid – Madrid, Spain
Bulgari Hotel, Milano – Milan, Italy
Bulgari Resort, Bali – Bali, Indonesia
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.