Gear and Tech
New York Airports Hope To Provide Better Travel Experience With Free Wi-Fi
By Sharelle Burt
Picture this. You’re in the airport and you just learned that you have a two-hour layover. It’s frustrating, but now you can catch up on some work. The only problem is the airport only allows 30 minutes of free Wi-Fi.
That’s all about to change if you’re traveling from New York. The Big Apple’s airports are now providing free Wi-Fi. With JetBlue’s terminal 5 in John F. Kennedy International Aiport starting the trend, every traveler flying through New York City’s three main airports, including Stewart Airport in Newburgh, will receive access to free Wi-Fi for up to four hours. That’s not all. With a larger bandwidth, this Wi-Fi will also run at a faster rate of up to 50 megabits per second, giving you more than enough space to binge watch your favorite Netflix shows, finish that Excel report or join in on a Google Hangouts call. “Our testing consistently shows speeds that will comfortably allow for that,” said Port Authority’s Chief Technology Officer Robert Galvin.
Between the traffic, continuing construction and just the New York attitude, the state’s airports aren’t on the top of travelers lists when it comes to their favorite. LaGuardia is in the middle stages of an $8 billion makeover, and New York governor Andrew Cuomo revealed details of an expected $13 billion gutting renovation for a big part of JFK. If you add customer service to the list, they may not even make top 10. With the new free Wi-Fi, Port Authority is hoping to smooth things over some and get travelers back on their good side. “Passengers shouldn’t have to wait for better Wi-Fi” as it has evolved from a perk to “a bedrock expectation of today’s customers,” Rick Cotton, Executive Director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey told CN Traveler.
It’s perfect timing. Surveys taken by the airport show free high-speed Wi-Fi was at the top of passengers’ wish lists.