Does airport wi-fi need to be invested in?

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In my last blog post on the site, I looked at which particular airlines offered wi-fi services on board and how much the charge was.

It seems more and more airlines are investing in providing internet access to their customers. Is it about time that airports should try to make internet more inclusive for its users?

This view is supported by Simon Calder, travel editor at the Independent. When he spoke to the BBC , he spoke of the convenience of sitting in an airport and being able to use it while waiting:

If investment is needed, it should be taking place in the airport where internet access is often terrible, expensive or complicated. Most people would find airport wi-fi more useful than being able to send emails on a plane.

I would have to agree with the view of Calder from my own experiences. Although after researching the services available today these services are improving since I last visited them.

My last five airports I have been to include London Gatwick, London Stansted, Berlin Schönefeld, Amsterdam Schiphol and La Palma.

The one that has made the biggest upgrade is Schipol. When I last visited in 2015, the airport offered 30 minutes free which was still an impressive amount compared to other international airports. Wi-fi used to be a service only available to those relaxing in a premium lounge prior to flying. Now the Dutch airport is one of the first in the world to offer free unlimited wi-fi across the entire airport. I’m hoping that most airports follow this model with most failing to catch up.

At the other end of the spectrum, La Palma was one of the most exclusive having a 30 minutes free if you signed in with your email. A long process and the wi-fi remained slow, making it difficult to even sign in. Slightly inconvenient when looking at updates for our next mode of transport when we arrive back in the UK.

The remainder of airports on the list haven’t changed their accessibility to internet since my last visit. Gatwick offers 90 minutes which practically covers your entire wait for a flight but it was difficult to connect in the gates prior to flight. Stansted and Schönefeld offered an hour apiece with it sounding like there’s no plan to extend there service in the near future.

An airport’s wi-fi isn’t going to change where people fly to. However it might make organising holiday plans at the last minute easier.

Posted by Matthew Weston

Matt is a Freelance Writer and Travel Blogger. He also creates editorial and video content for UNILAD. Previously worked for the International Business Times and the BBC's Newsnight.

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