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This Summer’s Travel Bummer: No Free Hotel Wi-Fi

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Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront is shown Wednesday, April 20, 2011, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo)

Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront is shown Wednesday, April 20, 2011, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo)

(CBS News) – As travelers hit the road this summer, some might be in for a rude surprise when they check into their hotels: no free Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi has become one of those staples, like clean linens and spotless bathrooms, that travelers simply expect when from a hotel, but that’s not always the case. Ironically, the more expensive a hotel is, the less likely it may be to offer free Wi-Fi, which may be because the management feels its better-heeled clientele can afford to pay up for Internet connectivity.

Yet that might be a short-sighted approach to hostelry, based on a May survey from online booking service Hotels.com. The site found complementary Wi-Fi is what more travelers look for than any other feature when booking a leisure stay. Six out of 10 respondents said they wish free Wi-Fi would become standard at all hotels in 2015.

“We know that free Wi-Fi has been the most sought-after amenity since we began doing our annual amenities survey in 2012,” Taylor Cole, a travel expert for Hotels.com, wrote in an email to CBS MoneyWatch. “While the demand for free Wi-Fi remains, it appears that it’s starting to become more of an expected offering than a differentiating benefit.”

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