Can you name 10 major airports that offer travelers free wi-fi internet access? And no, the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport isn’t one of them.
Phoenix, Boston, Tampa. Portland (OR), Charlotte, Orlando. Buffalo, Philadelphia, Oakland, Rochester (NY).
In fact, MSP, often considered in surveys of frequent travelers to be one of the best airports in the country, would be an even better facility if it offered complimentary wi-fi to the nearly 30 million travelers that pass through the facility annually.
Hey, wait a minute you might be thinking. If only 10 airports in the U.S. offer free wi-fi, that means that most airports still have paid wi-fi access. Not true. In fact, more and more airports are changing over to free wi-fi on a regular basis. Two of the most recent are the Raleigh/Durham International Airport and even the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, which just announced that a deal had been struck for AT&T to provide the service on a complimentary basis in each of its five terminals beginning later this year.
San Diego, Kansas City, Indianapolis. Fort Myers, New Orleans, San Antonio. Orange County, Hartford/Springfield, Fargo. And making the free wi-fi list grow to 20 major airports, add Denver International Airport. The Minneapolis/St. Paul to Denver route is number one in terms of passengers, but free wi-fi is only available on the other end.
While charging for internet access is obviously a source of revenue for the airport, it can also be argued that more travelers may choose an airport, and in this case Delta Air Lines, if free wi-fi access is available during their layover at MSP. Additionally, people who utilize their laptop computers often purchase food and/or a beverage to enjoy while they are online. This would provide higher revenues for the MSP airport’s concessions.
If airport internet access is important to you for an upcoming trip, or trips, your best bet is to sign up for an account with Boingo. With more than 400,000 hotspots available worldwide, Boingo costs just $9.95 monthly, and there is no long-term commitment required. A current promotion is offering your first three months at a 50% discount, so there is really no sense in paying the overpriced fee at airports like MSP, especially for single usage.
Some major airports where Boingo is the access point to the internet include: MSP, Detroit, Atlanta, Memphis, Milwaukee, Nashville, Louisville, St. Louis, London Heathrow, JFK, LaGuardia, Newark, Austin, Chicago Midway and O’Hare, Houston Hobby and Intercontinental, Washington National and Dulles, and many more.
Hopefully, the Metropolitan Airports Commission will soon get the message that most people are unwilling to pay for a service that they believe should be offered free-of-charge. Several recent polls of hotel guests have shown exactly this – that FREE wi-fi access is the top service that travelers expect from their hotel. These are the same people who flying from MSP each and every day.