Thistle Hotels Offers Complimentary Wi-Fi at London Hotels

Thistle Hotels, the UK based hotel brand, is offering complimentary Internet access to its guests.

Introduced recently across its properties, the hotel brand is offering the free and unlimited Wi-Fi service at its London hotels.

The brand has recently upgraded its partnership with BT Wi-Fi, and the new service comes from the partnership, claiming to offer seamless and fast connectivity for hotel guests. The service is complimentary for unlimited usage at the London properties, and for half an hour daily at its other properties in the UK.

David Grosfils, the operations director for Thistle Hotels said, ‘We recognise the increasing importance of ‘staying connected’ and are fully committed to providing the very best experience for all our guests, whether they are business or leisure travellers.

We are confident this free, unlimited service will offer a seamless transition from either the home or office environment, with the quality and security one can expect from such a trusted partner.’

The offer is available at properties, including Bloomsbury Park, A Thistle Associate Hotel, Thistle City Barbican, The Kingsley by Thistle, Thistle Kensington Gardens, London, and Thistle Euston.

Complimentary hotel Wi-Fi connectivity often decides the choice of hotels for travellers these days. A survey conducted earlier by Hotels.com, a US-based travel company and a part of Expedia group, indicated that many more travellers are opting for hotels with Wi-Fi connectivity.

The hotel booking website has indicated that around 38 percent of people surveyed had decided on hotels based on complimentary Wi-Fi availability as the most important hotel amenity, while 31 percent of travellers have expressed a wish to have all hotels Wi-Fi enabled, so that they can remain connected even while on vacation and business travel.

 

Airports under pressure to offer more amenities to travellers

Airports in the US are under pressure to offer more amenities to customers.

In the past decade, as security measures have gained more and more importance over basic traveller amenities, passengers have found it increasingly tedious to spend time at airports, especially when delayed flights require them to be there for long periods.

Now, a US airport, BWI Thurgood Marshall International, and Airmall USA, its developer of retail, food and beverage operations, are trying to offer better amenities to customers with a range of services at the airport. The airport now has spas and an airline club to entertain travellers who are forced to spend time there with little else to entertain them. The airport has also launched free wireless Internet connectivity, known as BWI-WiFi, to cater to the needs of customers that prefer to go online and find their own source of entertainment.

A spokesperson for the airport said that its primary aim was to offer a variety of services, especially if customers have a long time to wait.

BWI is not the only airport in the US that is adopting new measures to keep customers entertained. In Oregon, Portland Airport offers kiosks that passengers can use to download movies and videos. Similarly, Miami International Airport offers pet relief areas with grass and a fire hydrant. San Francisco International Airport even has a yoga room that allows customers to unwind and ease their tensions.

Airport officials said that customers were seeking more from airports, especially as their travel routines have become more constrained. As the time spent travelling has increased for many executives, they expect airports to provide more services and leisure facilities.

BWI’s Concourse D features the Airspace Lounge. Passengers pay USD17.50 to access its power outlets, onsite computers, meals and bar. The spa Be Relax has locations on concourses A and D. Travellers can receive massages, manicures and pedicures, as well as skin care treatments.

 

Westminster City Council Offers Complimentary Wi-Fi in London

Westminster City Council, a local authority for the City of Westminster in Greater London, England, is offering complimentary Wi-Fi services in areas under council control.

The complimentary Wi-Fi has been launched to facilitate the huge number of visitors expected in the city of London and its surrounding areas for the 2012 Olympics Games, commencing this Friday, July 27.

The Wi-Fi may be accessed by anyone using a smartphone or a tablet device, allowing them to stay connected, and search for information on all aspects of travel and business.

The free Wi-Fi will be initially available in the areas of Oxford Street; Regent Street; Trafalgar Square; Leicester Square; Piccadilly Circus; and Parliament Square, in Westminster, London.

The council is partnering with service provider, O2, to offer the Wi-Fi connectivity, which people can access by adding O2 to their list of available networks for their devices, and following easy steps for registration. Once registered, the device will be automatically hooked up to the nearest Wi-Fi hotspot. The council stated that those accessing the connections need not be O2 customers, and they will continue to offer the service even after the Olympic Games have finished.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said, ‘With millions of extra people coming to town for the Games, we want to ensure we showcase the capital as the best city in the world to work and visit, and the addition of free Wi-Fi to some of our most popular landmarks is crucial in helping to maintaining that reputation.’

Cllr Philippa Roe, the spokesperson for Westminster City Council, said, ‘This is a fantastic success for Westminster’s residents, businesses and the thousands of visitors we welcome daily. With London playing host to the greatest show on earth, O2 Wi-Fi is not only a valuable service for those who want to share photos, keep in touch and celebrate in the city, but rather a long term project to help make London one of the most technology friendly cities in the world.’

 

Kyoto offers business travellers free Wi-Fi

The Japanese city of Kyoto is to offer business travellers free Wi-Fi access.

Business visitors will be able to access the Internet using free Wi-Fi services available throughout the city. The scheme, considered to be the largest municipal scheme in Japan, is being launched to satisfy the needs of business customers who use smart phones and tablet computers. The service is expected to be a boon to business travellers who visit the city to attend conferences and meetings, as it will allow visitors to have seamless Internet connectivity in the city and will do away with the need for them to search for connectivity.

The project, which has placed routers across Kyoto, will allow users to tap the services of 630 Wi-Fi hotspots. Visitors can enjoy up to three hours of Internet connection for free. The programme, now being implemented as a pilot project, could be expanded to more users if initial results are encouraging.

In a statement, the international marketing manager for the Kyoto Convention Bureau, James Kent, said, ‘The installation of Wi-Fi routers across Kyoto offers big benefits to business visitors. It will meet their growing demands for Internet access by providing them with excellent communication channels in the meeting and events environment. It means they can access online resources throughout Kyoto without gaps in connection, whilst being safe in the knowledge that the connection is secure. Free Wi-Fi access will only enhance delegate experience as on the move applications and the use of mobile devices is playing a more central role in meetings and conferences.’

Northern Ireland Railways Offers Complimentary Wi-Fi on Trains

Translink, the railway company operated by Northern Ireland’s state-owned rail operator, Northern Ireland Transport Holding Company, has announced the introduction of complimentary Internet services for its passengers on its NI Railways trains.

NI Railways is offering complimentary broadband Internet as part of its improved customer service, for around 10 million passengers that it transports every year. The company intends to offer passengers a better mode of transportation on its routes than travelling by private car.

David Lowry, the senior technical engineer for Translink NI Railways, said, ‘Free WiFi is an added extra to travel on trains. More and more people are using their train commute to access their emails or catch up on social media, allowing them to make more of their time. This new free WiFI facility will add value and make it even easier for our passengers to stay in touch.

The project requires a quick turnaround and Nomad is helping us keep on top of deadlines, with much to look forward to in future.’

Nomad Digital, a UK-based company offering wireless solutions to the transportation sector, has installed passenger WiFi services on all 47 trains in the fleet. The service will also be implemented on the, cross border, Belfast to Dublin route.

Lowry said that Internet connectivity also offers additional scope for the company, with the possibility of introducing real-time connectivity so that passengers can see where the train is at any time.

Alexander Eriksen, the chief executive officer of Nomad Digital, said, ‘We’re delighted to help connect yet another UK transport company with internet on-board services, paving the way for a host of add-on benefits in future.’

Hotel Guests Love Free Wi-Fi

More and more travellers are opting for hotels with Wi-Fi connectivity, says a survey done by Hotels.com, a US-based travel company and a part of the Expedia group.

The hotel booking website has indicated that around 38 percent of people surveyed decide on hotels based on the availability of complimentary Wi-Fi as the most important hotel amenity, while 31 percent of travellers have expressed a wish to have all hotels Wi-Fi enabled, so that they can remain connected even when on vacation or business travel.

Travellers have also voted in favour of complimentary breakfast (25 percent) and complimentary parking (18 percent) as their most favourite hotel amenities, after complimentary Wi-Fi. While hotels are constantly offering new amenities involving leisure and relaxation, spa services were found to be of least importance, with only 1 percent voting for them.

Taylor L Cole, APR, the company director of public relations and social media, said, ‘Given the explosion of mobile use in the past few years, it is no surprise that travellers are requiring free and fast Wi-Fi. Many guests never travel without their tablets, smart phones and laptops. It’s as intuitive as packing a toothbrush. Guests use these items in their rooms to plan activities for the next day. We are also seeing an up-tick in mobile booking the day of a stay. Guests are creating their trips while on-the-go with Tonight’s Local Deals on our site and the hotels.com mobile apps, which feature exclusive mobile deals – it is only natural that they’d want to stay connected while in their hotel rooms.’