Within the past week, three more airports have announced free wireless Internet throughout all terminals and public areas.
Passengers traveling through DC-area airports Reagan National and Washington Dulles can now permanently skip the “pay for the day” service, and on a temporary basis through the holiday season, passengers at Honolulu International Airport will also get free wifi.
While some airports still remain tied to pay-as-you-go wireless — including Miami International, BWI in Baltimore, DFW in Dallas, San Francisco International, and the nation’s busiest airport, Atlanta’s Hartsfield — a bevy of other locations have already kicked off successful free wifi partnerships to entertain travelers.
Who can forget the fanfare when Jet Blue opened its splashy, high-tech T5 terminal in New York, complete with free wifi throughout and an abundance of plugs for charging laptops and other devices?
Slowly but surely, more airports are following that lead. In Houston, travelers can hop on to free wifi at both George Bush Intercontinental and Hobby airports. Free wifi access is available at Denver International, Oakland International, John Wayne Airport in Orange County, San Diego International, and LAX in Los Angeles. Across the nation, Boston’s Logan Airport offers travelers the same amenity. In Florida, free wifi is available in all public areas at the Orlando, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, and Tampa airports.
While some call free wifi at the airport a perk, others call it a problem, as it often serves as a hotspot for phantom wifi scams and hackers. And as the list of free wifi continues to grow at large and small airports around the country, both analysts and consumers worry that this security problem is only just beginning. This is a topic we will be exploring in more detail in future posts, and we invite your comments and questions related to airport wifi safety, accessing wireless while traveling, and related hotspot issues.