Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Paying for wi-fi at airports?

The NY Times has an article this morning on what hotels and airports are doing to try to make remote work better for travelers: On the Job, Everywhere:

Still, Kenneth Buchanan, executive vice president for revenue management at Dallas-Fort Worth, said the airport’s research had shown that business travelers are willing to pay for secure, reliable Internet access. (The entire airport has Wi-Fi coverage through a partnership with T-Mobile; logging on costs $9.99 for 24 hours.)

Really, is that true? I know I've started to adjust my travel to go through hubs that offer free wireless whenever possible. I also know that I'm not ever paying $10 (or whatever) for access on a normal trip, i.e. I'm not stranded. I know that I should probably purchase an EVDO card and have access everywhere, but quite honestly I'm already paying over $300/month for connectivity through cable, phone, etc. and it's just too much.

What about you? Do you think Kenneth is telling a whopper about people's willingness to pay for an hour or so of wi-fi access? I can't believe they're making that much money from offering pay-to-connect Internet service.


Patrick Mueller said...

How many of those folks do you think just add it to their travel expense; and their employer picks it up? A bunch. Then factor in the dumbos who actually think it's a good deal. Totally believable that you could make a business on this.

Kevin Gamble said...

Good thought Patrick!

That probably applies to quite a few people. For me it is a pain. It's easy to add it to a hotel stay, but in transit is much more difficult.

I can't even get an EVDO card or a phone through my work. All my telecommunication costs come straight out of pocket.

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

The guy in Dallas is clueless.. they may pay for it, but they hate doing it. For example, the Crown Room now offers free access to the t-mobile network because of the number of complaints they were getting from members. I have clerks say it was they biggest complaint before they started this new program. The reality, is wifi is becoming like the lights.. it is expected by most and when it is not available, they pay.. but they also remember and change their behavior. My best example is I now prefer Hampton and Hilton Garden Inns over the nicer Hilton hotels.. why.. free wifi plus better service.