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Want free WiFi? Prove your loyalty

Another major hotel chain is planning to eliminate wireless Internet charges, but only for guests who join its loyalty rewards program.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., with more than 1,200 properties including the brands W, Westin, Sheraton, Four Points and St. Regis, announced last week that standard in-room Internet will be free to all Starwood Preferred Guest members starting Feb. 2.

The move mirrors a decision announced last month by Marriott International to offer free standard Wi-Fi to members of its loyalty rewards program, starting in January.

With the Starwood offer, loyalty reward members get the Wi-Fi if they book through Starwood’s online sites or the SPG app. Without a loyalty membership, guests pay up to $20 a day for basic Wi-Fi service, with even higher prices for Internet with premium speeds.

Guests pay nothing to join the Starwood rewards program. Industry experts say hotel companies value loyalty membership because it allows the hotels to pepper guests with offers and shower them with perks to keep them loyal.

Most air travelers want wait-time warnings

The biggest travel headache is getting stuck in a long airport line, and travelers think it’s time airports do something about it.

In a survey of more than 2,000 travelers, 93 percent said they want airports to warn them about delays and wait times at gates, security checkpoints and customs and passport lines.

More than half of the travelers surveyed (53 percent) said they would even allow airports to anonymously track their mobile device to give them alerts about wait times they face as they walk through the facility, according to the survey by FlightView, a website that provides real-time flight information.

The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport became among the nation’s first this year to install the technology to track smartphones and other electronic devices to gauge and display airport gridlock. About 90 percent of the world’s airports expect to install similar technology by 2017, according to a study by an airline technology company.

Keep watchful eye on 2015 travel deals

If you’ve got plans to travel in the new year, we have been seeing some amazing deals that will have you breaking out the bubbly.

These deals are available for travel until early March, when prices increase because of spring break and Easter. We should see more good deals for travel April 21 through early June, but these fares will probably not be as cheap as winter fares.

Includes reporting by Tom Parsons of the Dallas Morning News.