Remember the days without the internet? Yes it was indeed possible to go days or weeks without speaking to someone while you were away for business or on holiday and it was special treat to receive a call from someone while they were overseas. Thanks to astronomical costs when using calling cards and hotel phone calls (not mention dial up internet!) thankfully those days are well behind us.
Wi-Fi is probably the most important thing for traveller’s right around the world, for not only keeping in touch regularly but also the ability to work and communicate from all corners of the globe whether by social media, work portals or email.
Airport lay-overs, transit between flights and flight disruptions or just to contact home, mean that more and more people need free Wi-Fi while at an airport; and not all those passengers have access to the free Wi-Fi normally found in loyalty program lounges. So which airport’s around the world offer the best free Wi-Fi?
In Europe, Helsinki Airport is one of the best. Wi-Fi is free and requires a single click to access. It was also upgraded in 2011.
Singapore’s Changi Airport has offered free, unlimited Wi-Fi to fliers since 2002. More than 37,000 passengers use the network every day which is not surprising considering Changi is consistently voted the world’s best airport.
Seoul’s Incheon Airport and Amsterdam Schiphol are also popular for airport Wi-Fi quality, which again is easy to use.
In Ireland, Dublin airport offers passengers free and unlimited Wi-Fi. Major UK airports are less generous, though do better than the European average. London Gatwick offers 45 free minutes before charging. At London Heathrow, the first 90 minutes are free, after which it costs £5 for three hours or £9 a day. Birmingham, Edinburgh and London City airports all provide free Wi-Fi for travellers.
In the U.S the major airports in Anchorage, Boston, Dallas or Fort Lauderdale offer unlimited free Wi-Fi, while New York City-based airports (John F. Kennedy International, La Guardia and Newark) charge $4.95 an hour.
Doha International Airport offers free Wi-Fi but personally have had very slow connection speeds especially when using Skype or Facetime to make calls.
Closer to home Sydney airport free Wi-Fi has become much improved over the last few years and was the first major Australian airport to offer it in both T1 and T2.
Single click access is quite rare with most free airport Wi-Fi. From experience to connect in places like Rome, Paris, Bangkok and a few others you need to have a number to register to receive an SMS code, register an email address or buy something to give you a code. It’s doable but when you want to connect quickly it’s a pain to have to go through registering.
Here’s a good chart from Skyscanner which shows the Wi-Fi availability in Europe and the U.K
What is your pick for the best airport Free Wi-Fi?