USA Today reports on a bunch of small airports that offer Wi-Fi for free: Some of them, including Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, Ky., offer it for free because the airport is close enough to other airports that it competes with them for business. When airfares are comparable at any of the nearby airports, some customers may choose to fly from Blue Grass because they can use the free Wi-Fi as they wait for their flights to take off, says an airport spokesperson. The network is pretty extensive too, covering enough area outside of the terminals that fliers can use the network while sitting on the plane on the tarmac during long delays.
I was surprised to see how many other small airports offer free Wi-Fi. Some of the airports cater to business people from nearby big companies, such as the Tri-Cities Regional Airport in Blountville, Tenn., which attracts workers from Eastman Chemical Company. The article notes Pittsburgh as one of the only big airports in the country with free Wi-Fi for all.
Currently there are so many different models for Wi-Fi at airports that it will be interesting to see which work out in the future. We see airlines, third parties, and airports hosting the service, which comes for free or a fee.