Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association

June 30 2014

Airports making a shift to free Wi-Fi

By Jack Euritt

Over the past few years, Wi-Fi has become one of the most prevalent pieces of technology in the world. With the increase in smart phone and technological devices, Wi-Fi has become almost a necessity. Prior to 2007, only 9 of the major airports in the United States offered Wi-Fi, at a cost. Now in 2014, up to 12 of the 30 major airports in the United States offer free Wi-Fi to their customers.

In an effort to improve customer satisfaction there has been a large push to increase the amount of free Wi-Fi in airports.  

Though free Wi-Fi is just starting to blossom, many of the country’s largest airports have already made it available. Airports located in Dallas, Indianapolis, New Orleans, and Orlando are a few of the airports which are offering free Wi-Fi.

Surveys have shown that the absence of free Wi-Fi inside airports is a primary complaint among travelers. Below is a chart of all the airports in the United States that offer Wi-Fi.

SEE ALSO: Airport Wi-Fi access chart

The impacts of a switch to free Wi-Fi airports is beneficial to both customers and the airport. Customers will have availability to internet while they wait for their flights. Also, in these free Wi-Fi airports, a customer will not need to worry about the extra fees and terms involved in purchasing a Wi-Fi package. The upside may seem limited strictly to the consumer as free Wi-Fi spots are reportedly causing a loss of nearly 1.5 million dollars annually. At the same time the free Wi-Fi is bringing more attention to airports and increasing traffic.

The promise of free Wi-Fi is a tactic airports are using to create a move enjoyable travel experience. While issues still remain, like over connectivity and slow networks solutions are being explored and the future is bright.

This is just the beginning of a trend that will strike airports throughout the United States. Free Wi-Fi is a new transition that will soon catch in many airports across the country.

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