The travel industry needs a tech makeover

It’s been a while since I traveled and being back on the road I can see that things are exactly where I left them … pay for everything you do and if possible make the consumer pay again.

I’m carrying my laptop, iPhone, Blackberry and iPad.  All of these devices have wifi and I’m used to using them together throughout my days and evenings.  On the plane down I was able to connect via GoGoInflight which was great as I stayed current on a few work-streams.  The problem was I wanted to use both my iPhone and iPad and GoGo forces the connection through a captcha which when submitted disconnects the other device.  I was on a short 2hour flight yet GoGo still charged their normal rate …

At my hotel, the Hilton charges for wifi as well (so lame for hotels to do this btw) and again I can only connect a single device.  I’m not confident that switching my connection between devices won’t result in a second charge so I’m not even taking the chance.  Instead I’m relying on the 3G services as needed …

I used to travel with a travel router to hack around this BS.  I honestly forget that piece of gear this round.  At a business hotel during the week, why not just assume we all need to be online and build it into the price of the room and offer it up as a free service?  Perception changes a lot here.  I tweeted over to GoGo regarding the second device function and am anxiously awaiting some form of a response.

If this was a personal trip btw there’d be even more reason for multiple devices as bringing my family along would only increase the number of needed connections.

4 comments for “The travel industry needs a tech makeover

  1. 8/19/2010 at 9:02 pm

    I really think that the folks who design these policies are completely clueless re – how important connectivity is these days. The instructions say things like ‘log on and surf to your favorite sites on the web!’ as if being connected was akin to watching TV.

    Speaking of TV – if the TV is free at the hotel, the Internet conection should be as well.

  2. 8/19/2010 at 9:54 pm

    They are definitely clueless. I look forward to having to renew my 24hrs of wireless just to stay connected while in this hotel. Lame. At least I get to expense the charge, but even that is lame.

  3. Hmorefield
    8/19/2010 at 10:30 pm

    As some who travels almost weekly, here is a tip… stay at a Marriott Courtyard, Hilton Hampton Inn (not an old one), Hyatt Place, Marriott Springhill Suites, etc. and you’ll get Wi-Fi and more for free. No paying for coffee. They’re only three star places, but they’re more business-friendly than the regular Marriotts and Hiltons (often these are older properties too).

    That said, not having a lot of sympathy that you couldn’t use four devices simultaneously over WiFi… When I get home tonight (in Dallas airport now, using my Verizon card), I’m going to say “Honey, you think I have issues with always being ‘connected’? Wait til you meet Jonathan!” 🙂

    Hope you make it back to Katonah on-time. Let’s ride again soon.


  4. 8/19/2010 at 10:33 pm

    No choice on this one … conference hotel – which actually makes it worse. They should just include it for an event.

    I definitely don’t need to have everything on, but why should travel be that much different. Infrastructure is in place … it’s the policy that’s busted.

    Guilty on the hyper connected thing. It’s just who I am.

    Love to ride soon … will ping you!

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