How to hunt down free airport Wi-Fi
By Jason Buckland, Sympatico / MSN Finance
If you’ve ever bummed it in Europe, your Visa takes some incredible hits.
My own recent trip provided some noteworthy examples of misspending, like staying in Venice for more than 45 minutes and splurging for undercooked Santorini swordfish that would later evacuate my entire body faster than a fire drill at Usain Bolt’s house.
But of all the unnecessary charges I levied upon myself, few compared to the bucks I was laying down for airport Wi-Fi.
See, I’m not very smart. I planned my trip on the go, which constituted a lot of surfing for flights and lodging while I waited in the nearest terminal.
And as you might have heard, wireless Internet inside the world’s major airports can cost you as much as $20 an hour to use.
The gang over at Wisebread think they’ve got a fix for this problem, though, and it goes something like this:
A good chunk of international airports offer Wi-Fi through a provider called Boingo, which operates everywhere from Munich and Hong Kong to Cancun and New York.
When you try to log into Boingo, there’s a slot to enter a promotional code. According to Wisebread, you can find the digits to bypass the pricey login fee by doing one of two things.
First – Wisebread says – many gift shops offer coupons for 15 minutes of free Wi-Fi, but if that doesn’t work, apparently any call to the Boingo customer service line (toll-free, 1-800-880-4117) will land you a complimentary code to get you online without charge.
The Boingo plan sounds pretty good, I have to say, yet I did some more digging and it turns out you might be able to get free airport Wi-Fi at a lot more locales without having to dial into a customer service line.
Sites like Wi-Fi Freespot and Travelpost give you a pretty comprehensive list of which areas in what airports you can land a free connection without being an airline VIP.
While you might have to resort to the Boingo trick in some of the bigger international airports, there are some surprising spots to keep an eye out for in, say, Canada.
At Halifax International, for example, you should be able to get online for free in the Air Terminal centre court area and between gates 15-20 on the departures level. At Pearson, in Toronto, the Expedia Restaurant in the Air Canada terminal reportedly gives away the goods, too.
In any case, if you’re bringing a computer with you abroad and have some time to kill, keep those sites in mind, especially Travelpost.
Could save you a good chunk of change in the long run. Or, in my case, several, several litres of bodily fluids.
Posted by: John Smith | Jul 28, 2021 1:32:50 AM
I am able to use the wi fi log in information from the Starbucks I was at in Puerto Vallarta while I'm sitting here in Dallas Fort Worth Airport using the prodigy network. I'm glad I kept my starbucks receipt
Posted by: Peter Robbins | Jul 28, 2021 7:53:52 AM
Free wii fii is always good, i just try to find it in a place that isn't too loud and then i usually log on to http://www.chimpout.com/forum
Posted by: Kelly J Tucker | Jul 28, 2021 10:44:35 AM
Can’t something stay free??? Can’t corporations in the travel business just pick up one small cost and tag it on the vacation package???? I will not pay for WiFi at anytime and I will stop supporting (purchases) from companies that can’t give a customer a tip for the funds I have done and (may) spend. By the way I travel a lot and my lap-top uses a sat-link and any window looking south works for me. No I won’t share who provides this service because some corporation will buy it and then there will be a cost for this service. One day money will loss it popularity then we can enjoy activities other then earning money.
Posted by: J Steed | Jul 28, 2021 12:20:07 PM
I am always able to access free WiFi at airports. Sit near the Club lounges. I also get free WiFi anywhere I go (unless it is in some back woods location). It's amazing how many people leave their networks open!
Posted by: Angela | Jul 28, 2021 6:57:31 PM
The sitting near the lounge area is a cool tip but just keep in mind that you might be subject to a scam. I saw on show highlighting some of the best cons where a guy walks into an airport lounge and sets up a free wifi network through the one offered by the lounge that has a name that sounds official. Visitors arrive and find his network with a strong signal and start browsing. However, he is actually tracking all information being sent through his laptop and when the traveller leaves to get on their flight, the scammer uses information for banks, credit cards, accounts for his own use. It's ok to use a free wifi service if you verify that it is the official wifi service offered by the location but if in doubt, make sure you don't send any personal information through that can be misused.
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