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There are three things we care about in airports, alcohol obviously excepted. They are, in genuinely no particular order: a working electrical outlet, free airport wifi, and a comfortable chair. At any given time in Budapest's terminal 2B¡the half of the international terminal that serves EU countriesyou can get two out of the three. Never all three. Sometimes only one. Usually two out of three. But never all three.
We were actually pretty psyched to roll into the airport recently, where Jaunted's Airport WiFi Map correctly promised we would get free wireless. It turns out that using the wireless can be a challenge because the signal is sometimes uneven inside the terminal and, of course, because computer batteries only last so long. The root of the problem lies in BUD's decor, which is this kind of haphazard and postmodern "maybe we'll put cushions on our uncomfortable metal benches and maybe we won't" arrangement.
Benches are molded four seats at a time, with accompanying green cushions glued in - or not - in seemingly random order. Where there are no cushions the seats are painfully uncomfortable. When there are cushions there are almost never four in a row, which makes using the benches as makeshift overnight beds impossible. Take a look:
Airport WiFi / Free WiFi / WiFi / Holiday Travel / Airports / Airport News / Google / → All Tags
Flying for the holidays and intrigued by the possible availability of free In-Flight WiFI? How about free WiFi in airports as well?
You may be entitled to a Christmas, Hannukah or Kwanzaa gift, compliments of Google. The multi-billion dollar corporation is bucking up and plans to help soften the blow of flight delays this holiday season by offering free wifi at select airports all over the country. This promotion begins November 17 and will run through January 15, 2010 at 47 airports nationwide. Some of the airports that will offer free wifi with your delays include Miami, Las Vegas, Houston, Boston, Seattle, and even little terminals like Toledo and Central Wisconsin.
Unfortunately, this "B-list" of airports excludes "A-list" hubs like Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and Dallas. Either way, we are thankful for any freebies this holiday season. For the complete list of airports, check out Google's cute little holiday WiFi website here.
· Google Free Holiday Airport WiFi [Official SIte]
· Google and Microsoft Battling To See Who Can Provide More Free Holiday WiFi [Jaunted]
· Delta Gives Free In-Flight WiFi For The Holidays To Trick You Into Shopping eBay [Jaunted]
· In-Flight WiFi coverage [Jaunted]
Free WiFi / Airports / Airport News / WiFi / Technology / Airport WiFi / In-Flight WiFi / Bing / Google / → All Tags
When the tech world's two major borgs square off for travelers' time and attention, that can only be good news for the rest of us. Google had already arranged for free WiFi on Virgin America flights andas of this morningthey're also giving it away at more than 40 airports across the country. But that's small time compared to the deal Microsoft just struck to promote their search engine Bing.
Bing has worked out an arrangement with WiFi provider JiWire which will allow users to get free Internet in exchange for doing just one search on Bing. This is a campaign that will reach all of JiWire's hotspots which, more or less, amounts to just about everywhere:
Airport-WiFi-Map / Airport WiFi / DTW / Detroit Travel / Delta / Boingo / → All Tags
Update: Ok fine, so as the DTW rep points out in the comments, Boingo is available in both terminals. But our own experience convinced us otherwise, and we recommend checking out the Airport WiFi map (click the icon to the right) to note that most airports tagged have free Wifi; something DTW should think about if they can afford the snazziness evident elsewhere.
We may have told you time and time again about the wonders of Detroit's Wayne Country Airport, but despite the very cool in-terminal monorail and relaxing LED light tunnel, Detroit is not as down with technology as you think.
In particular we refer to their Airport WiFi situation, which is sad to say the least. They've had internet in their Smith terminal since 2004, but with that terminal currently sitting empty Detroit has had to equip the rest of the airport. These days, you can log into the 'net from Delta/Northwest's McNamara Terminal only, and it's a Boingo frontier there.
UPDATE: We were able to find Free WiFi in the departures terminal where Mexicana is located. Chili's has a free WiFi network. We also found out that Boingo Hotspot (which was still incredibly slow to load) was $7.95 USD per day.)
Yesterday, we landed at Aeropuerto Internacionale de Guadalajara in Mexico. While waiting for our transportation to our hotel, we sat down in front of the Starbucks just outside the baggage claim. There were plenty of seats and it was right across from a Burger King. The Whopper Doble con queso y tocino was might tempting at this point.
However, we were focused on what the internet offerings were like in the airport. We selected the network Prodigy Movil from our network options and we were taken to a page that allowed Infinitum users to connect for free. All they have to do is sign in with their username and password. But we don't have an account so we selected the Hotspot directory to see what our options were.
We've sung the praises of the free airport WiFi at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas before but now that we're sitting pretty in the airport's B Terminal surfing the incredibly fast network, we realize just how much this service means to us.
We spent the past two nights at Encore Las Vegas where, despite the use of a Verizon Wireless Card, we found our signal extremely slow in the rooms. We were able to find a great place to work in the hotel's Lobby Bar and Cafe but the whole point of working from a hotel during a trip is to be able to hide away in your pajamas while you work.
So today, we're extremely grateful that McCarran has continued to offer free WiFi. This new B terminal also rocks. It's bright, airy, clean and has plenty of Wheel of Fortune slots. There's also a 360 Burritto shop, a Fox Sports Bar and a Starbucks. Kinda makes the inevitable Leaving Las Vegas hangover a little more bearable.
It's too bad that travelers need another memo on this, but apparently that expression about the demographics of suckers contains more than a grain of truth. Apparently people have been carelessly logging onto insecure wireless networks, only to have their personal information and web history found out, of course.
[Silicon Valley-based AirTight Networks] checked the Wi-Fi networks at 27 airports — 20 in the U.S., five in Asia and two in Europe — and the results were not good... Everywhere they looked, they found fake Wi-Fi hot spots set up by hackers phishing for suckers — and there were plenty of suckers to be had. 'We found a lot of people using insecure Wi-Fi,' says AirTight investigator Rick Farina, 'and people engaged in all sort of dangerous activity — checking their e-mail, doing their banking, buying stock. These are not the kinds of thing you want to be doing on public Wi-Fi.'
The study even found that people were logging up into fake peer-to-peer networks that aren't hotspots at all, which is some seriously risky behavior typical of those desperate to logon.
Nothing's better than getting some sweet, sweet Airport WiFi tips in our inbox, and thanks to an eagle-eyed (or rather, eagle-laptoped?) reader, we can add San Diego International to our growing list of WiFi-equipped airports.
It doesn't stop at simply providing a signal however, since San Diego goes all the way and gives their travelers Free WiFi in all terminals. This is well and good, but don't expect to download much or visit flash-heavy sites since the connection is rumored to be weak and, depending on how busy the airport is, approaching low dial-up speeds.
Still, any internet is better than no internet and free internet is better than pay internet, so San Diego beats most other airports in our books.
Death to $7.95-an-hour airport WiFi! After five years of ponying up more than $1 for every ten minutes online at Salt Lake City's airport, the airport itself has finally come to its senses will go free from July 1.
The beginning of free WiFi airport access at SLC in July shows that not only does passenger complaining work, but that it can help bring an airport up to date in keeping people connected. With their Boingo contract set to expire, Salt Lake had to make a choice, and for once it wasn't in favor of the nearly $100,000 in revenue that they got from the Boingo plan.
Now if only the masses who use major hubs like JFK, Las Vegas, LAX and Denver can have the same affect so that they too will make the decision to switch to free WiFi. Do we need to organize a picket line?
· Salt Lake City airport to offer free WiFi starting July 1 [Salt Lake Tribune]
· Airport WiFi Coverage [Jaunted]
[SLC waiting area photo: stewf]
Last week Baltimore celebrated the unveiling of the first TSA checkpoint in the country -- and by celebrated, we assume they mean "did nothing whatsoever to mark the occasion." What they should have done was sprayed it with some ceremonial Purel, since the first cases of swine flu were also officially announced last week, but that might have caused more panic than it was worth.
If you failed to get that first special checkpoint a present -- perhaps, a 3.3-ounce bottle of poison -- you still have time to send it a proper e-card, but you'll have to pony up $7.95 for WiFi access in the terminal. If only the TSA would pony up for that.
So what's your favorite TSA checkpoint? Sarcasm fully installed, tell us what airport has the best or worst wireless access. No one has to know it was you.
· TSA Announces Successful Implementation Of Federal Passenger Screeners At BWI’s Piers A and B Security Check Points [TSA via the Internet Wayback Machine]
· 6 likely cases of swine flu in Maryland [Baltimore Sun]
· Airport WiFi Map [Jaunted]t
Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter decided to switch parties this week. A moderate, idiosyncratic Republican at best, Specter said he'd grown disillusioned from the core of the party and will be moving his desk over to the other side of the aisle -- conveniently, with plenty of time to spare before what would have been a fierce primary challenge for his seat in 2010.
Arlen Specter probably got an even exchange of cheers to jeers from his constituents and fellow representatives this week, but he shouldn't read them till Saturday: That's when Philadelphia Airport offers free WiFi to passengers, every weekend. The good news is, the most toxic responses can be neutralized by his interns, who if they happen to be college students can get free WiFi all week. Connections soared after the airport instituted this plan in early 2008, but they're taking that as a good sign to continue to dangle that freebie at travelers. Monday through Friday, it's Boingo all the way.
Even if you didn't make a major job change this week, we'd love to hear about the airport where you're reading this.
· U.S. Senator Switches Parties [WSJ]
· 2008: Logging On Is Soaring At Philadelphia International Airport [PHL.org]
· Airport WiFi Map [Jaunted]
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Spring is finally coming to the Midwest, and now former governor Rod Blagojevich will get to enjoy the whole thing: A court officially blocked the allegedly bribe-accepting guv from heading to Costa Rica to appear on the NBC reality show "I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!"
It's too bad Rod will be too busy preparing for trial to hang out with, and we are not making any of these names up, "American Idol"'s Sanjaya Malakar, Dog the Bounty Hunter and (of course) Heidi and Spencer. But maybe he'd like to take a trip closer to home instead. Local reader Robert tipped us off this week that both Chicago Rockford International Airport and Decatur Airport offer free WiFi in the terminals. To quote Blago, WiFi is "a [censored] valuable thing," but you can give it away -- and we love it when you do.
Going from town to town to get our kids out of the pool hall? Don't forget to write us from the airport.
· Blagojevich Costa Rica Trip Nixed [TIME]
· Sanjaya Signs On For "I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!" [Access Hollywood]
· Airport WiFi Map [Jaunted]