Airports are finally improving their security processing techniques which is giving you more time inside the terminals. What a perfect opportunity to relax, grab a mocha, and hop on the internet using free wireless before your flight or during your lay-over.
Q. I fly frequently and noticed the Wi-Fi at the airports are quite costly. Do any airports off the service free for free? Which service providers do they use? Where can I charge my computer and cell phone while inside the terminal?
A. Only a small number of major airports offer free Wi-Fi, unless you are an elite member of a particular airline and have access to their executive club room. Denver, Las Vegas, and Phoenix do offer free Wi-Fi, while Jet Blue at JFK has it available for their flyers in the terminal. Airports use a third party service provider for Wi-Fi which may cost you $8 or more. Depending on the airports, it could be AT&T, T-Mobile, or any one of many carriers. Be prepared and install free software that will enable your computer to detect Wi-Fi areas. NetStumbler or iStumbler work well. They will scan the areas and do not cost you a dime.
If you have more than an hour before bording, you may want to consider roaming the airport for a hotspot. Check outside the executive/ first class lounges such as United’s Red Carpet Club. Find a seat closeby and connect.
When all else fails, try going to the shopping or dining area of the airport. Places such as a cafe may offer free Wi-Fi to attract customers, or a gift shop using the internet for internal business purposes. Some airports have hotels in the terminals or close by where you can go to the lounge or lobby area to connect.
As for the electrical outlets to charge your components, many have been covered with plates to assist in reducing energy costs. Look for wall posts, vending machines, or even the restroom if you need a quick charge for your phone. It is always best to have fully charged equipment before traveling. Electrical outlets will have two plugs. While one is being used by an airport machine, the other should be free.
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