Wi-Fi

Improved, free Wi-Fi for LGA, JFK, EWR Airports

Finally!  Travelers now get unlimited, free, high-speed Wi-Fi at John F. Kennedy International (JFK), Newark Liberty International (EWR), LaGuardia (LGA) and New York Stewart International (SWF) airports.

 

Previously, passengers were limited to 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi via Boingo.

After that, you needed to switch devices to get another free session – or pony up cash.

Now, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey says the new high-speed Wi-Fi service offers  free two-click access to Wi-Fi running a minimum of 20 megabits per second (Mbps) and up to 50 Mbps – in unlimited four-hour sessions.

“While the unprecedented rebuilding of our region’s airports is a multi-year effort, passengers shouldn’t have to wait for better Wi-Fi,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “Simply put, free, reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi has become a bedrock expectation for today’s customers.”

Look for new signage about the enhanced Wi-Fi at the airport terminals and parking garages.  To access the new and improved service, log on to the “Free Wi-Fi”  listed  in the drop-down menus at each airport (i.e. “LGA Wi-Fi,”).

The service is free, but you may need to sit through a short ad before getting your free session.

We can complain all we want about the NY cit -area airports (and now we can complain on better airport Wi-Fi), but the Port Authority seems to be trying to make improvements:

In addition to Wi-Fi, the agency notes that recently-launched mobile-friendly websites give easier access to information such as taxi wait times and lost-and-found info. There are also upgraded restroom facilities in many terminals outfittedwith real-time monitoring of bathroom conditions via customer feedback push-buttons.

Dining options are getting makeovers in many parts of the airports as well.

Longer term:  There’s the $8 billion redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport, which should get its first new gates by the end of the year. Newark Liberty recently broke ground on a $2.7 billion construction of a new Terminal One to replace Terminal A, And a $13 billion plan to transform JFK was just unveiled promising two major new international terminals  at the south and north ends of the airport.

 

Travel Tidbits: free inflight wif + a call for your vacation audio

As we head into the Labor Day holiday, here are some travel tidibts for you.

Free Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi on Labor Day 

Free Wi-FI at airport

Here’s a nice Labor Day perk for anyone flying on a Gogo-equipped domestic flight:

On Monday, Sept 3, you can get 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi, courtesy of T-Mobile. The off is good even if you’re a Verizon or AT&T customer. (T-Mobile customers get a free hour, as always; a great perk!)

Get more details about the free Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi offer from T-Mobile for Labor Day.

 

Heathrow Airport seeking your vacation sounds

Pictures from vacations help us remember a great adventure, but so do sounds.

Studies show that the same part of the brain in charge of processing the senses is also responsible for storing emotional memories. That means sounds, noises and songs you might hear on your trips will be part of travel memories that will be able to transport you back in time.

Think: waves lapping on the beach; the “Mind the Gap” announcement on the London Tube; and that street busker you stopped to listen to in Paris.

Heathrow Airport has decided to capture the essence of great vacations by gathering audio from travelers and commissioning a composer to create a collection of travel mood music and vacation sounds.

Heathrow says submissions sent in by the public will be turned into a “captivating and immersive soundscape” by British Academy Award-winning composer and sound artist Nick Ryan.

“We all record holiday memories with pictures, yet listening to the sound of a voice or a place can trigger far more intense emotions than a photograph on a phone,” Ryan said in a statement.

Travelers are invited to submit their holiday sounds over the next four months as an mp4 clip at soundescapes@heathrow.com. 

Ryan will collection the audio, do this thing with it and release the inaugural Sound Escapes audio installment in January 2019.

What vacation sounds will you send in? 

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.