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Wendy is an IFE Agent responsible for aggregating airline news specifically related to Inflight entertainment. She compiles stories relevant to business travelers, airline industry folks, marketers and tech geeks. IFE News doesn't create original content, but rather posts compelling editorial from global media outlets.

Free Wi-Fi Coming soon to an airport near you

Dec 10th 2012, 10:53 by N.B. | WASHINGTON, D.C.

FOLLOWING on the heels of the news—highlighted by my colleague—that airlines are ditching back-of-the-seat television screens in favour of Wi-Fi-based entertainment comes a report that airports are increasingly choosing to offer travellers free Wi-FiTime notes that just a few years ago, officials at Minneapolis-St Paul international airport (MSP) were claiming that “there is no such thing as free airport Wi-Fi.” But the airport will now offer free Wi-Fi before the end of 2012. 

Many other large American airports already offer free Wi-Fi (you often have to watch a short advertisement before you use the service), and the momentum of charge-for-access services seems to have slowed or even reversed. The reason, as most business travellers know, is that paying $7.95 or $9.99 airport Wi-Fi is really annoying. Most of the time, you just need the access for a minute or two, to check emails or download a presentation. Paying ten dollars for that irritates many travellers—and that’s not just anecdotal. For years, the paid-for Wi-Fi service led travellers’ list of complaints about MSP.

The best way to avoid paying for airport Wi-Fi, of course, is to use a smartphone to check your email. Smartphones are increasingly capable of doing almost everything your laptop can do—and in a pinch, many of them can also serve as a wireless hot-spot, too. Gulliver has long maintained that business travellers who can afford it should pay for broadband modems. (These days, I actually travel with both a wireless modem and my hot-spot-enabled smartphone.) But if you can’t afford the data plan or tethering service, airports like MSP moving towards free Wi-Fi has to be good news.

Original Post: http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2012/12/free-wi-fi

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