Thursday, May 23, 2013
The Chicago Department of Aviation and Boingo, the airports' Wi-Fi provider, have inked a deal that allows free access to more than 30 websites offering news, weather, shopping, banking and travel information. Visitors can access these sites through a "Good Stuff" portal.
Free websites include those for American, United, Delta and Southwest Airlines, but not some international carriers that operate out of O'Hare. Wi-Fi access is free to Chicago-based Orbitz.com but not larger travel site Expedia.com. Popular social media sites such as Facebook or email access are also excluded.
Fliers pay $6.95 a day for full Internet access at both Chicago airports, and the 24-hour pass can be used at select airports in the U.S. and overseas during that period.
U.S. airports are all over the map when on Wi-Fi, with costs and speeds varying widely. Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson airport, the only one in the country busier than O'Hare, has a set-up similar to Chicago's new model. Passengers get handful of sites free and pay $4.95 to get full access.
Airport Internet speeds range from those that allow one to do little more than check email to downloading TV shows or movies. Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie S. Andolino said in a statement that O'Hare and Midway have one of the fastest Wi-Fi networks in the country.
firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @SamWillTravel
Maybe someone should take a closer look at the Boingo contract.