Should wifi and power be mandatory at all airports?

JR Train/Sky Access Line (Travel Shin-okubo to Narita Airport) Japan

Dallas Fort Worth offers free wifiI travel quite a lot, particularly with work, but also because I do a lot of media/press trips (after all, the vast majority of my blog is focused on my travel writing). I almost always have to download and upload thousands of photos, and other online material at airports, as I have another professional life that does not include writing about my travel. Thus, I am always on the look for spots that offer free internet access via wireless (free wifi). Fortunately for me, many of the international airports, including Vancouver International Airport (YVR, for more than a decade my home airport), and several domestic ones (such as Kelowna) do offer free access to wireless. But this is not always the case, as my tweet indicates.

I have to say that I find it a little bit bewildering why airports wouldn’t offer free wifi. Even more amazing, Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW) offers free internet connection via ethernet cable, and free power charging for Apple products such as an iPod, iPhone or a MacBook Pro, as can be seen on my photo below. This, of course, in addition to free wifi.

airport chargers

So my question to you, my dear readers is… do you think airports should have free wifi? Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Atlanta doesn’t have it, but it says that it is slowly moving in that direction (and given that I travel with Delta Airlines quite a lot, an airline that has Atlanta as one of their major hubs), I hope they do move soon in that direction.

Related posts:

  1. Flying with Delta Airlines
  2. Travelling to Japan
  3. Should coffee (or coffee makers) be mandatory in hotel rooms?
  4. Montreal Airport Marriott Hotel (Montreal, QC)
  5. Petition: JJ Beans *should* have WiFi

Comments (1)

JenJune 27th, 2013 at 12:12 pm

I don’t think so. Then again, I don’t think flights need to offer free meals, or that coffee should be mandatory in hotel rooms (taking that one from the ‘related posts’ above). If I find something valuable enough, I’ll pay for it. Sometimes this means I’ll pay for WiFi, or a better flight, or a better hotel.

From a marketing standpoint, it would probably be good for these airports, as I won’t go out of my way to avoid them if I have a flight, or won’t fret as much about arriving early if I do need to be there (making me much more amenable to spending money in other areas of the airport).

But if the majority of travel through an area is tourist travel (who aren’t carrying smartphones or laptops that they want wifi for), or there is already a culture of paying for the service, or implementing free WiFi is cost-prohibitive for the amount of use it would get (because bad, free service, is worse than no free service), then maybe it’s not worth it for that particular airport.

I suspect the airports aren’t being quite that sophisticated with their decision-making, but I can hope.

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