Wi-Fi updates for O’Hare, Midway & Miami airports

Bucking a very definite trend, Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports, as well as Miami International Airport still charge for Wi-Fi access that would allow you to check email and take care of other business.

But these airports all now offer travelers free access to a wide variety of other on-line destinations.

At Miami International Airport, AWG (Advanced Wireless Group) is now delivering a free live stream of the CNN Airport Network on the wireless system that includes HBO, TBS, TNT and TCM programming as well as sports events and Spanish-language content from CNN Latino.

In Chicago, where Boingo provides the paid Wi-Fi service at O’Hare and Midway, there’s now a free Wi-Fi portal they’re calling “The Good Stuff” that gives travelers free access to about 30 sites for news, weather, shopping, entertainment, banking, travel and tourism, as well as local contact information.

To find “The Good Stuff” at O’Hare or Midway, go to the Boingo Wi-Fi network and click on the “The Good Stuff” panel on the left side on the page. Here’s where you can surf to for free:



Just Plane Fun at PHL; Gospel fest at ORD


Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) kicks off its summer-long Just Plane Fun! customer appreciation program at noon on Friday, June 21 with events and activities including a magic show, refreshments, a Mummers style string band, costumed characters, a pottery demonstration, giveaways and a meet and greet with the famous Tuskegee Airmen.

O'Hare Victory Travelers

Victory Travelers performing at O’Hare in 2010


Friday, June 21, there will also be an afternoon of Gospel music at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway International Airports. The airport performances coincide with this weekend’s Chicago Gospel Music Festival celebration, which runs through Sunday, June 23.

Performances will take place between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

At O’Hare:

The Victory Travelers will perform in Terminal 1 on the lower level near Ciao’s concession. In Terminal 2, past the security checkpoints, look for Wandrayl Booker & Friends performing next to Wicker Park Seafood and Sushi Bar. In Terminal 3: Bryant Jones & Chosen will be past the security near the entrance to Concourse L. And in International Terminal 5, Xavier Williams & Friends will perform on the lower level across from the Information Booth.

At Midway Airport:

Darwin Jackson & Praise Ministry will entertain travelers on the lower level baggage claim area next to the Information Booth.

Travel Tidbits from IAD, ORD and Midway Airports


Indian Classical and Bollywood dance performances from the ARPAN Dance Academy at Dulles Int’l Airport on May 17

Dulles International Airport is marking Asian-Pacific Heritage Month with a series of musical performances and educational events, including girl groups from South Korea, traditional Japanese Taiko drums; Gangnam Style dancing and other traditional Filipino, Afghan and Indian performances.

The full schedule is listed here.

May is also Military Appreciation Month at Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway Airports.

The airports, the United Service Organization (USO) and airport concessionaires are sponsoring events and programs for passengers and special discounts for military personnel and their families.

On Tuesdays donation bins will be set up at USO centers at both airports to accept food items, phone calling cards, video games and personal care items for use by military personnel and their families traveling through Chicago’s airports. There will also be information tables set up where passengers can fill out “Thank A Hero” note cards for those serving in the military. And there will be live entertainment provided by high school drill teams, blues and jazz bands and samba dancers at both airports on Fridays, May 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31 from 2 to 5 p.m.

Free lemonade, parades & other 4th of July fun at airports

Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway International Airports and Miami International Airport are among the airports that have some fun – and free – 4th of July activities planned for passengers this week.

In Chicago, there’s music, free flags and free lemonade:

Passengers traveling through O’Hare and Midway on Tuesday, July 2, will be entertained with a variety of music performances in the terminals from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

At O’Hare, head to Terminal 1 on the lower level near Ciao’s concession; in Terminal 2 go past the security checkpoints next to Wicker Park Seafood and Sushi Bar; and, if you’re in Terminal 3, listen for the local bands just past security near the entrance to Concourse L. There’s also live music planned for the International Terminal, on the lower level next to the News and Gifts Store.

At Midway today (July 2nd) there’s live jazz music from noon to 3 in the Midway Boulevard Food Court. And on Tuesday there will be live music on the lower level baggage claim area next to the Information Booth.
Tuesday, July 3 and Thursday July 5th, Airport Ambassadors will on duty at Midway handing out complimentary lemonade as well.

And if you want a miniature American flag, just ask for one at a Traveler’s Aid booth at either airport.

At Miami International Airport, there’s a DJ playing “patriotic beats,” Wii games and parades that include parade beads and an opportunity to get your photo taken with George Washington. Check here for locations.

Airports go dark for Earth Hour

It’s time once again for Earth Hour, an annual event in which thousands of cities, towns, homes, hotels and landmarks around the world turn off their lights for an hour, at 8:30 p.m. local time, to make a statement about climate change.

Even if you’re not into the “lights out” movement, the idea that places as diverse as casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, the John Hancock Tower in Boston and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. will turn off the lights for an hour is quite impressive.

Some airports will be participating in Earth Hour as well.

For example, at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the 100-foot-tall LAX Gateway pylons at the airport’s entrance will light solid green one hour before Earth Hour on Saturday, March 31. Then, during Earth Hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., the pylons will be turned off.

And in Chicago, O’Hare and Midway Airports will participate in Earth Hour by turning off non-essential lighting in the terminals, airport facilities and office buildings.

If you know of other airports planning to dim the lights on Saturday, please use the comments section to let us know.