Why do hotels throughout the world have this delusion that they have a godgiven right to charge for wifi? Arriving in Berlin, I discovered my chosen hotel charges for a connection even though, last year, it was free. Five euros a day isn’t a fortune but there is principle here. In my view a free connection to the Internet is as essential as hot water, clean sheets or heating.
There is also the question of how wifi is implemented. In Germany, as in many European countries (excluding Britain I am glad to report), hotels have a fetish for a controlled system where a little till receipt bearing a password is valid for 24 hours. Every day you must ask for a new docket and go through the process of registering once again. Worse, in my bitter experience, these controlled systems rarely work reliably and require constant re-registration. Often, too, there is no reception in the particular bedroom allocated.
Providing free wifi is not a big deal these days. And overzealous protection procedures serve only to annoy guests.
On this occasion I have declined the hotel’s with-strings offering and am relying instead on my Vodafone EuroTraveller option which costs a reasonable £3 a day when outside the UK and in any other European country.
This works for me. It allows me to use all my UK minutes, texts and data just as if I were at home. Since I currently have a monthly 8GB of data on tap, it is no hardship in forgoing wifi and enjoy constant connection in a foreign city.
I can also use my iPhone as a hotspot to host an iPad or MacBook.
It is about time hotels accepted that an Internet connection is an essential service. These days, charging for wifi is like adding a bar of soap to the bill.