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Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Pittsburgh Airport Wi-Fi Free, For Now (also Columbia SC)

Saw this and thought I would add that Columbia, SC also has free Wi-Fi that reaches virtually all of the airport.  At least from the waiting area (outside of security) and all of the terminal area. I hope that more airports start doing this as it makes it much easier for the business traveler to stay in touch.  They don’t have to clog around the pay phones and such.

In October, the Pittsburgh airport launched a Wi-Fi network covering its food court: For now at least, accessing the network is free, which is unusual for an airport. The airport plans to extend the coverage throughout the concourses and hopes to keep access free until it can't afford to support the network without charging for it. Airport managers say that the goodwill that comes from offering free Wi-Fi boosts the airport's reputation for service and may also help passengers linger, when they may spend more time in shops. I think it's great to offer free Wi-Fi and I agree that there's only a small population willing to pay the current fees for access in other airports but the reasons given here for offering it free in Pittsburgh are funny. Personally, no amount of free Wi-Fi would make me hang out any longer than absolutely necessary in an airport, and I doubt I'm alone thinking that. Also, improving the reputation of the airport isn't really critical--it's not like people have a choice of airports. Silly reasoning aside, however, I'd love to see free Wi-Fi in more airports....
[Wi-Fi Networking News]