Wi-Fi

Travel Tidbits: Airport Restaurant Month + WiFi on Spirit

It’s back. And its yummy.

HMSHost is smack dab in the middle of its Restaurant Month celebration, offering special meals at more than 80 restaurants in about 50 airports throughout North America.

Menus vary by restaurant, but at many of the participating restaurants you’ll find these featured dishes:

* Avocado Banh Mi with cucumber, carrot, cilantro, mint, and lime
* Roasted Salmon with avocado, sautéed mushroom, arugula, and a Sriracha aioli
* Pulled Pork Tacos with avocado, radish, and lime
* Grilled Chicken Breast with smoky tomato sauce, caramelized onions, and avocado

Look here for a list of participating restaurants and airport, and some sample menus.

 

Also: Spirit Airlines, known for offering low fares but upcharging for everything from a water to printing out a boarding pass for you, has announced that it will be installing Wi-Fi on its planes by summer 2019.

Pricing will be available “starting with an average price of $6.50, with a cost range expected to be lower or higher based on the route and demand,” the airline said in a statement. We bet on “higher.”

Finally! Unlimited free Wi-Fi now at O’Hare and Midway Airports

Free Wi-FI at airport

They’re late the party, but last week the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) announced that unlimited free Wi-Fi from Boingo Wirelss is now available at O’Hare International and Midway International Airports.

Until now, free Wi-Fi at these airports was offered for just 30-minutes, but the system is now upgraded to a free, unlimited service that offers streaming capability, courtesy of advertisements that show up every 45 minutes.

Passengers still have the option of buying faster, ad-free Wi-Fi by buying a one-day pass or using a Boingo subscription.

More free Wi-Fi at London Heathrow

WIFI logo

Last time I visited Heathrow Airport there was a short time limit on the free WiFi. Now it looks like that limit has been broadened to a more useful chunk of time.

According to the Heathrow website those who register to use the Wi-Fi service will get four free Wi-Fi hours.

Want more – and faster – Wi-Fi at Heathrow? Join their Heathrow Rewards shopping program – it’s free – and you’ll get four more free hours.

Wi-Fi at JFK, EWR & LGA Airports? Sort of.

Free Wi-FI at airport

We all want unlimited free Wi-Fi at the airport and, increasingly, we’re getting it.

But not in the New York City-area at JFK, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International Airports.

Back in June 2014 the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey announced its intention to provide complimentary 30-minute Wi-Fi sessions throughout JFK, Newark and LaGuardia airports by the fall of 2014.

Some progress was made, but the deadline to complete the project got pushed back to March 2015 and today there are still major holes in the promised Wi-Fi coverage at these airports.

The official websites for JFK, LaGuardia and Newark still say Wi-Fi is provided everywhere on a pay-as-you-go basis. But the promised 30 minutes of complimentary Wi-Fi is available in some terminals all the time and in others on an occasional basis.

Six terminals now have the 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi offer in place and Port Authority says it is “working with Boingo to help expedite the placement of the service in the remaining terminals.”

For the terminals where the project is not yet completed, Boingo offers 20- or 30-minute complimentary Wi-Fi sessions, but only when sponsorships are available.

So when and where are complimentary Wi-Fi sessions offered?

Terminals currently offering 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi include:

• Newark: Terminals B and C
• JFK: Terminals 4 and 8
• LaGuardia: Terminal A and B

Terminals pending conversion, but where sponsored sessions are offered 50% of the time include:

• Newark: Terminal A
• JFK: Terminals 1, 2 and 7
• LaGuardia: Terminals C and D

Elsewhere, though, JetBlue independently provides unlimited free Wi-Fi in Terminal 5 at JFK and OTG offers unlimited complimentary web browsing on more than 3,000 fixed iPads in some gate areas and restaurants in Newark, JFK and LaGuardia.

Good enough?

“The Port Authority’s announcement of free WiFi in June was a major win for passengers, and the right thing to do,” said Joe Stitt, Chairman and Founder of the advocacy group Global Gateway Alliance, “But the agency now needs to honor that commitment and bring true free WiFi to every terminal at our airports for all 112 million New York-New Jersey passengers.”

Neither Boingo nor the Port Authority responded to requests for a new target date for the completion of the project.

Gadget glitch at ORD Airport? The Geek Squad is there.

geek squad at ORD

Pretty much everyone travels with an electronic gadget -or three – these days, and sometimes those gadgets get finicky.

If that’s what’s happening when you’re at Chicago O’Hare International Airport from now through December 23rd, there’s free help at the ready.

Best Buy Geek Squad Agents are stationed in O’Hare’s Concourse H from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST daily offering free tech tips and gadget advice, complimentary service on handheld devices, charging stations and tablets and desktop workstations for surfing the web, playing games or shopping for last-minute gifts.

geek squad

Not near Concourse H? Don’t fret. The Geek Squad is sending agents out into the terminals will backpack charging stations and advice.

Got a gadget glitch at the ORD Shoe Hospital, the airport’s aeroponic garden or while waiting for your meal at Tortas Frontera? Tweet to @GeekSquad with #MissionORD in the message and they’ll come to you.