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On the Fly

Wi-Fi at the Airport, in the Air and on Land

Flight delayed? On a layover? Want to post your most recent pictures to Facebook? When you’re traveling, you don’t have to automatically assume you’ll incur data charges.

At the Airport

If you know you have a long layover, check the airport’s website for Wi-Fi information to determine where Wi-Fi is offered and for how much. Many airports offer free Wi-Fi in certain spots, for specific allotments of time or to set customers.

For example, Time Warner Cable offers its customers free access to Boingo Hotspots in 25 airports. If you’re not a Time Warner customer, don’t worry; there are still plenty of spots to tap into the web for free. Check out for a directory of U.S. and international airport listings. The website relies on crowdsourcing to stay up to date.

In the Air

Depending on your carrier and your route, Wi-Fi may be an option onboard your aircraft. If it is, again, check your other carriers to determine if you qualify for free perks. For example, one free hour of Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi is available for T-Mobile smartphone customers.

Other considerations are how long you will be traveling and how frequently. Wi-Fi providers offer a variety of passes through different airlines.

With Gogo, which is available on aircraft of 16 airlines, if you want Wi-Fi for only an hour on domestic flights within the U.S., you can pay $7. A 24-hour pass is $19. If you are traveling multiple times in one month, it might be worth your while to purchase a month-long pass for $49.95.

Once You Land

Bookmark The HotSpot Haven, a website where you can enter your city or ZIP code and then specify whether you’re looking for Wi-Fi offered for free, through a certain carrier and so forth. Simply click “enter” and all available locations within your area that meet your criteria will appear.

Also, if you’re traveling internationally, consider downloading WhatsApp, an app that allows you to send text messages and make phone calls for free when connected to Wi-Fi.

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