Hotel Pet Peeves – What Bugs You the Most in 2012

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1.)  Expensive Internet

Expensive Internet (including separate charges for multiple devices) took top honors. This is not particularly surprising, as most business travelers rely heavily on Internet access – and are frustrated about paying extravagant rates for it.

FlyerTalk member Redhead put it best: “If I can get free wifi at Starbucks where I’m buying a $4 cup of coffee, why can’t I get free wifi at a hotel where I’m paying $250 a night?”

Some, including TMOliver, saw a cause in the making: “Free wifi should be an inalienable right for guests in any room priced at more that $49.95 per night.”

2.)  Inaccessible/Insufficient Electrical Outlets

Regardless of the cost of the hotel room, few seem to have sufficient electrical outlets and many are inconveniently located, requiring guests to move heavy furniture to plug in power supplies and chargers.  The typical business traveler can easily require five or more outlets, simply by having a laptop, smartphone, Wi-Fi hotspot, tablet, and camera along on the trip.  And for business travelers with sleep apnea who travel with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, an outlet next to the bed is essential – and sometimes impossible to secure.

Frequent Business Traveler editorial director Jonathan Spira recently discovered a low-tech, low-cost solution to at least part of the problem: the Bobino Driinn phone holder. It allows the user to place his smartphone in a small tray that hands from the charger itself when plugged in.

3.) Weak/Slow Internet

Today, guests are demanding more bandwidth than ever.  Many turn to their iPads for entertainment instead of turning on the television – and this means that more bandwidth than ever is required.  When all of the guests start doing this at once, the result is predictable – and slow.

In a recent discussion with me, Jonathan Spira recounted a recent conversation with a hotel executive at a leading property.  The hotel had just turned on a new Wi-Fi system in the guest rooms and the Internet provider had failed to provide the agreed-upon amount of bandwidth.  Needless to say, the guests practically revolted and were ready to start dumping tea into the bay.  This major gaffe could have been avoided with better testing and, possibly, a better vendor.

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