Wow! How often do I get to write about something in this City that I’m just completely over the moon about? Like, never. Until today! Starting today, the Oakland Airport is going to be offering free wi-fi! Free!
Besides Oakland, the airport I probably spend the most time in is Denver International. Conveniently, Denver International just so happens to be my hands-down favorite airport, for two reasons. One, the smoking lounges. There are (as far as I know) three separate places to smoke at DIA, two after you pass security. Denver isn’t the only airport with a smoking area, but unlike, say, Salt Lake City or Atlanta, it provides pleasant accommodations. Instead of those depressing, ventilation-less glassed-in rooms like most airports have, where you get nauseated just walking in them, Denver has bars where you can smoke! They’re spacious, well-ventilated, and comfortable. And you get table service. It’s great.
Anyway, the other reason I love the Denver airport sooo much is because they have free wi-fi. This is just sooo nice and eliminates one of my most stressful travel dilemmas. Like, if you get to the airport and once you get through security and get settled, you only have like 45 minutes before your plane boards, and you want to get some work done, is it worth paying the $7.95 it costs to get online? Hard to say. Or say you’re at the airport, waiting for your flight, killing time reading Cosmo, and you get a phone call asking if you’ve read a certain local weekly columnist today, because it’s even more ridiculous than usual. If it was enough to warrant a phone call, you figure it must be pretty damn good, but is it good enough to be worth the price of a day pass?
At Denver International, you never have to deal with these little crises. You can use the internet whenever you want. If all you want to do is send one e-mail, no problem! Pop open your laptop and hop online. It’s free! If there was bad traffic on I-70 and you only have a few minutes before your plane leaves, it doesn’t matter. It costs nothing to get online. All you have to do is watch an ad.
Anyway, every single time I find myself in the Denver airport, I say to myself “Denver is so the best airport, what with the smoking lounges and the free wi-fi. The Oakland Airport sucks. Oakland should totally get free wi-fi. And not close all the restaurants at the same time.” And now, part of my wish has come true. I’m so excited!
Oakland is using FreeFi, the same company that provides the awesome service in Denver. FreeFi has a three-year contract and will be using the wireless infrastructure installed by former wifi provider Sprint, and most recently used by Boingo. And this amazing service is only going to cost the Port $34,000 this year (PDF!). So totally worth it.