Nine Reasons Why Airports Should Offer Free Wireless


…or at least dirt-freaking-cheap wireless that doesn’t require you to pay for twenty-four hours of service when you’re only going to use, at most, a few hours…

With all my airport problems over the weekend, I figure this is a most fitting list to place here. I wrote it while in the airport (or in the plane) and had it sitting in my blog folder on my desktop for a few days. Here goes:

  1. Airline tickets ain’t cheap
    I mean, I know the recession has dropped ticket costs some in the last few months, but it still costs an arm and a leg to fly from the U.S. to any major western country. I only have two arms and two legs. I can’t keep lending them to the airlines only to have to trade them for pieces of my soul later on. And have you tried to walk in any major airport without a leg? Not fun.
    I think wireless should come with the cost of the ticket. Free of charge.
  2. Security in the U.S. blows
    If you’ve flown anywhere recently you’ll have had the distinct pleasure of experiencing the crapfest that is the security line. Now, Manchester International Airport (not in the U.S., but necessary here for comparison purposes) has become an enormous efficient airport, with what look like busy days being reduced to the business of dead days (it took me all of five minutes to get through security there).
    The U.S., however, is completely and utterly disorganized. The lines are long, you never know which one you’re supposed to get into, the people in the line smell, the machines are (with exception to SFO) antiquated monstrosities from some far-gone era of pre-9/11 crappiness, and, well, they just suck.
    Just for that, we should be handed free wireless like candy. Or they could hand out chocolate bars or something. That would be a nice start to repaying us for having to sit through that crap.
  3. Airline stores are expensive for no reason
    And those stores make a lot of money, by the way. It’s not like they’re concerned about business. But we’re still forced to pay ungodly amounts of money for stuff we could get for pennies on the dollar in the real world. That wouldn’t be a problem if it was easy to head off into the real world and buy some cheap burgers, but since we can’t, it sucks. The least these damned companies could do is offer an hour of free wireless for a purchase. Coffee shops do that. Seems only fair, right?
  4. Wireless is cheap
    I mean, come on, it’s not like having a couple wireless routers in an freaking airport is going to cost them mass amounts of money, right? The wireless they do offer charges you outrageous prices for service you can’t really use anyway (cause who spends 24 hours in a freaking airport anyway?). Why couldn’t they just offer cheap wireless instead of this expensive crap? At least then I wouldn’t have much to complain about.
  5. I’m awesome and deserve it
    Enough said.
  6. Airplanes suck
    They’re frequently uncomfortable, loud, cold, stuffy, hot, and full of screaming children. It’s bad enough to deal with that kind of crap for an hour or two, but when you’re flying to Europe from the West Coast it’s like putting your head through a salt grinder. The least the airlines could do is appease you with free wireless while you sit through the gruesome waits for boarding, the screaming children, and the exceedingly old people who stink up the plain with their elderly farts…
  7. Delayed flights and other airport/airline evils
    Nothing worse than missing a connection because your flight was delayed. Okay, so Hitler and people who think vampires actually exist are worse than that, but delayed flights and missed connections are certainly in the top five hundred worst things ever…
    I’ll say no more on this subject, since the next one is directly related.
  8. Stupid people run airports
    There is some exception to Philly, I think, and SFO (to some degree, at least), but in writing up this post for WISB I experienced the full brunt of airport stupidity. Newark International Airport decided, on the day of my domestic flight back to San Francisco (on a Sunday), that it would change it’s procedures for arriving and departing airplanes. I suspect it had something to do with making the airport more efficient in getting planes up and down (it’s an enormous airport that puts through a lot of planes and people).
    Well, unfortunately the folks who run Newark are about as intelligent and George W. Bush. Their new-fangled system not only didn’t work, but it blocked up all the runways to the point where they could no longer let planes come in or leave…period. I’m currently sitting in the plane, in the queue, waiting for the airport to tell us we can leave…only we don’t know when that will be. For all we know it could be next Thursday.
    Now, I’m not sure why this turned out like it did. You would think that such a large airport would have used some sort of simulator for such a change in the system. Apparently not. I definitely think wireless should be given for this…not cool at all.
  9. Because it’s stupid not to
    I mean, come on, you’re a freaking airport, the one place where people of almost every culture are forced to intermingle and never communicate with one another. Airports are supposed to be relatively high tech, fun, and exciting, right? Or is that an illusion from my childhood? Give us the wireless! We wants it! We needs it!

With that, I’ll ask you what reasons you think airports should offer free wireless. Leave a comment or send me an email!

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Digital Rhetoric and Writing at Bemidji State University. He received his PhD in English from the University of Florida and studies science fiction, postcolonialism, digital fan cultures, and digital rhetoric.

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