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Ever been stuck in an airport without internet? It’s the worst! Though that’s not as bad as airports with “free” internet, which is very s-l-o-w!
Luckily, lots of airports now offer free, unlimited high-speed internet. So you can get your social media fix or catch up on the latest episode of Game of Thrones…even while waiting at your departure gate. 😉
I’ll share which airport has the best free (no watching ads or any of that nonsense to get online) Wi-Fi in my experience. And I’ll show you other ways you can get free internet while you’re on the go.
Free High-Speed Internet at the Airport
Many of the major airports in the US have unlimited free high-speed Wi-Fi, including:
- San Francisco
This isn’t a full list, but you can check the airport’s website before your flight to see if it’s offered.
Accessing the internet in these spots should be pretty simple. Usually, you have to agree to the terms of service, and sometimes you’ll need to enter an email address. But that process only takes a minute or two.
At Newark and New York (JFK), you can get 30 minutes of free Boingo wireless internet. But it’s only available in certain terminals, and you’ll have to pay for hourly or daily access.
Although in JetBlue’s New York (JFK) Terminal 5 you get unlimited free Wi-Fi.
In other airports, like Detroit, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis, you can get a certain amount of free Wi-Fi (30 minutes to 2 hours), but you’ll have to watch an ad, pay a fee, or log-in over and over for faster or unlimited access.
That can be a pain, especially if you’re trying to get work done. Because it stinks being booted offline in the middle of something important.
In my experience, I’ve had the best luck with the free internet at the San Jose International Airport. Maybe that’s because it’s so close to Silicon Valley! 😉
Other Ways to Get Internet Access at Airports
If you’re traveling through an airport that doesn’t offer free Wi-Fi, or you travel a lot and always need internet access, you could consider signing-up for Boingo.
Boingo Airport Wi-Fi
Boingo offers Wi-Fi at ~125 airports in North America and at ~225 airports worldwide. Plus at over 1 million spots around the world, like office buildings, restaurants, and retail stores.
You can subscribe to plans that cost between ~$10 and ~$39 per month. Or consider getting a credit card that comes with Boingo access, like:
- The Platinum Card® from American Express
- The Enhanced Business Platinum Card® from American Express OPEN
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express
- Starwood Preferred Guest® Business Credit Card from American Express
Mobile Hot Spot Wi-Fi
Depending on your data plan, using your phone as a hot spot is sometimes a good option.
Million Mile Secrets team member Scott has found it easy and fast to use his T-Mobile phone to connect his laptop to the internet while in airports in the US, Canada, and Mexico.
And his plan has unlimited streaming for things like watching Netflix on the phone or listening to Amazon Prime music.
Airport Lounge Wi-Fi
You also have access to free internet at airport lounges.
Check out my post about low-cost ways to earn lounge access, with cards like the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, AMEX Delta Reserve, and United MileagePlus Card.
Have you ever been impressed by an airport’s free Wi-Fi? Tell me about it in the comments!