Free wifi -finally- at Austin Bergstrom International Airport

Back in 2000, Austin was a very high-tech place and the Austin Bergstrom International Airport was perhaps the first airport to have Wi-Fi available in the terminal.

The service wasn’t free, but least it was there.

Free Wi-FI at airport

Now, of course, pretty much every airport is wired and, increasingly, the service is offered for free.

For some reason, Austin’s airport has been a free Wi-Fi holdout.

Not anymore: the Austin airport has worked out a deal with Boingo Wireless to offer complimentary Wi-Fi service. But it’s a hybrid system:

Travelers will only get one complimentary Wi-Fi session each 24 hours, so if you’re doing more than just sending a quick email, you’ll have to pony up and pay for additional, more robust, service.

There are however, some free internet access kiosks at Gates 5, 8, 11, 15, 21 and in baggage claim.

Paid options include: $4.95 for one hour, $7.95 for a day pass, or $9.95 for a month of unlimited access at all of Boingo’s North and South America hotspot locations. If you’re working on an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, you can buy one-hour Boingo credits for $1.99 at the iTunes Store.

And if you do find yourself stuck at Austin-Bergstrom Airport, there are plenty of reasons not to spend all your time on the computer.

Austin’s airport has a great deal of art and an ambitious Music in the Air concert series that includes close to a dozen live in-terminal concerts a week.


Tidbits for travelers: Free Wi-Fi, Olympic travel tips, and in-flight body-mass tax

We want Wi-Fi

Slowly but surely airports large and small are getting with the program and making free wireless Internet access available in the terminals.

The latest major airport to join the party: Boston Logan International Airport (BOS).


Packing tips from Olympic athletes

Curious about what some Olympic athletes do when they’re traveling – or getting ready to travel? Them you may in interested in the video clips the folks at VISA (a 2010 Olympics sponsor) have posted of athletes talking about what they pack, how they prep for a trip, how skier Ryan St. Onge just had to have an airport burrito, and what Olympic Hockey player Angela Ruggiero packs in her carry-on.

Just as interesting, is the fact that the credit card company is giving away a trip to the Olympics – for life. To enter, you just need to charge something on a VISA card.

Seat tax on Air France for Seatmates of Size

And, just a day after announcing that it was introducing “the lightest and most comfortable short-haul seat in the world,” on some of its planes, Air France announced that passengers who cannot fit into a single seat (on any Air France flight) will have to pay for a second seat – at 75% of the cost of the first seat.

The new policy applies to tickets purchased beginning February 1st for flights April 1st and beyond.

Think the new rules may apply to you? Here’s the policy for Passengers with High Body Mass.

What do you think? Should seatmates of size be asked to pay for more than one seat?