In October, the Pittsburgh airport launched a Wi-Fi network covering its food court: For now at least, accessing the network is free, which is unusual for an airport. The airport plans to extend the coverage throughout the concourses and hopes to keep access free until it can't afford to support the network without charging for it. Airport managers say that the goodwill that comes from offering free Wi-Fi boosts the airport's reputation for service and may also help passengers linger, when they may spend more time in shops.
I think it's great to offer free Wi-Fi and I agree that there's only a small population willing to pay the current fees for access in other airports but the reasons given here for offering it free in Pittsburgh are funny. Personally, no amount of free Wi-Fi would make me hang out any longer than absolutely necessary in an airport, and I doubt I'm alone thinking that. Also, improving the reputation of the airport isn't really critical--it's not like people have a choice of airports. Silly reasoning aside, however, I'd love to see free Wi-Fi in more airports.