Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Survey Finds Airport Wi-Fi More Important Than Food

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the you-can-go-days-without-food dept.

Networking 247

Ninjakicks writes "For the business traveler (and the traveler in general, really), Wi-Fi is important — crucial, even. But more important than sustenance? That's exactly what was found in a recent survey by American Airlines and HP, where some 47% of business travelers responded that Wi-Fi was the most important airport amenity, outscoring basic travels needs such as food by nearly 30 percent."

cancel ×

247 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Well Duh (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083619)

I wonder who conducted the survey really.

Next survey: BEER is more important than airport (2, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084997)

It's like those studies that found out that, under the right circumstances, EVERYTHING causes cancer in lab rats.

All the airport food is going to do (by its' high price and low quality) is remind you that you're STUCK IN A DAMN AIRPORT.

In a related survey - "70% of people surveyed prefered New Coke - the other 30% chose airport food, broken glass, or suicide." It all depends on how you ask the question.

Not surprising (4, Insightful)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083623)

Airport food is expensive and usually bad. It's much easier to pack a lunch or just eat when you arrive then it is to pack a WiFi base station.

Re:Not surprising (5, Insightful)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083725)

I disagree. Airport food is usually pretty good, although it is way too expensive. Also, trying to get a nice meal (which, for me, usually includes drinks and sauces or yogurt) through security is not that easy.

I think this has more to do with a pyramid of needs. Once you have enough sleep, you think about water. Once you have enough water, you think about nutrition. Once you have enough nutrition, you think about the food tasting good, and so on.

What this survey means is that airports are meeting those basic needs well enough that people can think about things that are higher up on the pyramid but not adequately provided, not that those things lower on the pyramid are actually that important.

Imagine for a moment that airports suddenly removed all of the bathrooms. Where do you think Wifi would rank on the next survey?

Re:Not surprising (5, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083763)

The history of every major galactic civilisation has passed through three distinct and recognisable phases: those of survival, inquiry, and sophistication. Otherwise known as the 'How', 'Why', and 'Where' phases.

For instance, the first phase is characterised by the question: "How can we eat?" The second by the question: "Why do we eat?" And the third by the question: "Where should we have lunch?"

Re:Not surprising (3, Informative)

WSOGMM (1460481) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084673)

A very relevant day to post this. Don't forget your towel. :D

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084149)

"Airport food is usually pretty good"

Apologies from those who don't consider sub-par restaurant franchises "good".

Re:Not surprising (1)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084371)

What do you want, The Fat Duck? You can get decent food in any of the dozen or so airports that I go to regularly, though apparently YMMV. You just have to look around a bit to find the places that are selling fresh food, and there always are some. I am a vegetarian and pretty picky even within that already limited range of food, yet I always find a place that caters to what I like.

If you pick the franchises like MacDonalds or just go to the first place you see, that is your own fault; realize that you are voting with your money.

Of course, the gp is absolutely right that airport food costs way too much. This has more to do with the airports than the restaurants, though, since they charge an arm and a leg for retail space. The exception in my experience is Barcelona: food costs the same in town as at the airport.

Re:Not surprising (4, Funny)

contrapunctus (907549) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084503)

I think this has more to do with a pyramid of needs. Once you have enough sleep, you think about water. Once you have enough water, you think about nutrition. Once you have enough nutrition, you think about the food tasting good, and so on.

Is this Maslow? Are you trying to push your pyramid of needs again?

(dear mods, this is a joke, feel free to look it up)

Re:Not surprising (1)

rubah (1197475) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084711)

Not hard to imagine an airport with no bathrooms. Go to Charles de Gaulle with no loose change.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084971)

That's France, though. Step out of the airport and check out some of the miserable cafes and bars and laugh at the 'hole in the floor' toilets you thought you left behind when you left Asia...

Re:Not surprising (1)

Krneki (1192201) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085153)

Not the Airport food is bad, unhealthy and expensive. I'm sorry to tell you, but you should really start to eat some proper food.

Fast food and shit will shorten your life. Next time you get a chance try some Mediterranean diet or at least try a genuine Italian restaurant. Yes it will take you 1 hour to eat, but this is because we care when it comes to food.

Re:Not surprising (4, Insightful)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083747)

Also travellers are used to being burned by airports without Wifi but they've never seen an airport without something to eat. It's natural that they'd complain about the former.

Re:Not surprising (1)

qortra (591818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083809)

Airport food is expensive and usually bad.

In my experience, one can also say this of wifi at many airports. For example, the last time I flew into DFW (about a year ago), they used T-Mobile for wifi. It cost $10 a day for bandwidth that was none too awesome.

then it is to pack a WiFi base station

I'm sure you're just making a joke here, but an access point is actually quite easy to pack. The hard part is getting it to work without an upstream connection to the internet.

Re:Not surprising (5, Interesting)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084015)

It cost $10 a day for bandwidth that was none too awesome.

Wifi at airports is free. If you are paying for it, you're doing it wrong.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Start tcpdump -en
  2. Carefully note Ip addresses and corresponding mac addresses that fly by
  3. ifconfig wlan0 hw ether macAddress
  4. ifconfig wlan0 ip netmask netmask
  5. route add default gw router (router's ip can usually be guessed from IP)
  6. enjoy your free connectivity!

Re:Not surprising (1)

Slartibartfass (1131161) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084197)

Yeah I tried this last year, with wireshark instead of tcpdump, but there was _no one_ connected to that damn network. Basel Euroairport, that was.

Re:Not surprising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084627)

includes a free trip to salt mines...

Re:Not surprising (2, Insightful)

gilbert644 (1515625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084877)

That's called stealing.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085007)

tcpdump doesn't work for me (command not found). Perhaps this is a Linux thing. Is there a page on the net where this technique ('stealing' or not) is explained?

Re:Not surprising (2, Funny)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085131)

sudo apt-get install tcpdump

Do this before you leave for the airport.

Re:Not surprising (0)

perryizgr8 (1370173) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084059)

The hard part is getting it to work without an upstream connection to the internet.

that's some huge understatement. it's not hard, it's impossible.

Re:Not surprising (1)

noundi (1044080) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083819)

Period. Seriously now, the article was asking a retarded question (why people strangely enough choose to have global communication for a couple of horribly boring hours over a shitty meal not even worth the plastic plate it comes in), the parent answered and there's nothing more to it, except punching the author in the face for acting surprised.

Re:Not surprising (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083881)

It's much easier to pack a lunch or just eat when you arrive

Not if you want to clear security and/or customs preclearance before grabbing a bite to eat.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083941)

Airport wifi is usually bad and expensive too. I wonder what this results really shows. I think wifi where I have to enter a credit card number to get a connexion is completely useless while a free wifi access is a very appreciated commodity.

Re:Not surprising (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084319)

I had the same reaction. When sitting in the airport you want something to occupy your time. WiFi lets you work.

obviously (1)

lamadude (1270542) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083633)

Seems pretty normal to me, you don't need to eat on a plane, you can do that before or after the flight, but wifi will keep you entertained during the flight. If they had asked "what is more important in life: wifi or food?" I'm sure the answers would have been different.

Re:obviously (1)

piripiri (1476949) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083875)

Except TFA tells about airport convenience, not airplanes.

restrooms ? (4, Insightful)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083647)

restrooms would be my number one airport amenity ..

Re:restrooms ? (4, Funny)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083815)

You can make do without restrooms but hiding behind large objects doesn't get you wifi access.

Re:restrooms ? (1)

Dolphinzilla (199489) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083925)

and it could get you detained by you friendly TSA dude

Re:restrooms ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084121)

You can rest in the hall. Oh wait, silly me, you meant toilets.

Not more important than (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28083653)

Cuntwaffles.

Or hookers.

Or goatse [goatse.fr] .

Lunch vs Cabling (5, Funny)

saterdaies (842986) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083671)

Personally, I find it easier to pack food to bring with me than an ethernet cord long enough to get from my cable modem to the airport.

But that's just me.

I can bring food (1, Redundant)

daffmeister (602502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083683)

The reason is simple, I can bring food, and get fed on the airline (usually). I can't bring wifi.

(wireless modems excepted)

Re:I can bring food (2, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083807)

You usually can't get food past security... And you certainly don't want to have any left when you land in a foreign country or you could face stiff fines for illegally importing food.
This is also why the food is overpriced, since you have no other alternative.

Re:I can bring food (1)

busman (136696) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083963)

What food can't you bring thru' security? The last time I flew I brought some nice roast beef sandwiches with me :-)

Re:I can bring food (2, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084141)

You might be smuggling in poisonous sandwiches [wikipedia.org] . Everybody remain seated, I'm hijacking this plane. I warn you, if you resist I'll throw a poisonous sandwich at you.

Re:I can bring food (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084439)

Take this plane to Cuba, or its kebab-meat and chips for you!

Re:I can bring food (1)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084887)

Anyvon who dreams to poison precious sandvich, perpare to meet Sascha.

Re:I can bring food (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084339)

You can't bring any food that the security guard like the look of (presuming they're hungry). It'll just get arbitrarily confiscated, without any appeal, receipt, review or reason needed.

Re:I can bring food (2, Informative)

flithm (756019) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084099)

You usually can't get food past security... And you certainly don't want to have any left when you land in a foreign country or you could face stiff fines for illegally importing food.
This is also why the food is overpriced, since you have no other alternative.

Not sure what countries you are flying to and from, but I've done a fair bit of air travel in my life to varying countries around the world, and I've never once had a problem bringing my own food.

Of course you can't bring your own water (that must be purchased after the security check point), but as long as you're okay with your food being pelted with x-rays (which is undoubtedly healthier than the food typically sold in most airports), you should be fine.

Of course there are restrictions on certain types of edibles, mostly fresh fruit and other things with seeds. Just pre-package a meal with your fruits in it all cut up, and they won't say anything.

Re:I can bring food (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084271)

Water is essential to life. Not allowing you to bring your own is preposterous. Make the owner bring it in a clear bottle and drink some before the flight if you are paranoid. It's simple economic protectionism.

Re:I can bring food (1)

jonbryce (703250) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085177)

But water is apparently a highly explosive substance that can be used to bring a plane down.

It isn't known exactly how this might be carried out, but apparently it was discussed on some Islamic internet site.

Re:I can bring food (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084175)

Just hide the food in your stomach.

Works for me.

Re:I can bring food (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084303)

But you can also bring a magazine or something else to read, if you need to relieve your boredom. There are other ways of passing your time than goofing around on the internet.

It's not as if you can do any high-quality work at an airport: surrounded by screaming children, incoherent announcements and people overflowing their seats and squeezing into your space,

common sense, really (1)

avm (660) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083695)

I'd rate wifi above food. I'll eat before or after. Give me a bathroom, accessible AC outlets and wifi and I can sit in an airport for 24 hours straight. Of course after that I may want to foray out for food, but any less and I'm good.

Re:common sense, really (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084075)

Give me a bathroom, accessible AC outlets and wifi and I can sit in an airport for 24 hours straight.

Somewhat tricky. Usually mens' and ladies' rooms are separate. It's much easier to sit 24 hours gay...

People care about what has given them trouble (5, Insightful)

SirLoadALot (991302) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083713)

The people answering the survey recognize -- apparently better than the people who looked at the results -- that every airport has some food in it, but not every airport has acceptable Wi-Fi. No one answering the survey was thinking "I'd rather starve on the net than feast without it!"

Re:People care about what has given them trouble (2, Insightful)

greed (112493) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083743)

If I'm on the 'net, I can order food....

Re:People care about what has given them trouble (1)

SirLoadALot (991302) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083823)

Best of luck getting Pizza Hut to deliver past security.

Re:People care about what has given them trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084567)

There probably is a Youtube video of a prank caller trying to order pizza past security. If there isn't, there soon will be.

Re:People care about what has given them trouble (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083969)

    That's exactly my thought.

    In any airport you can buy food from the mini-resturants, snacks and drinks in the stores, and on the flights they provide at least peanuts and soda for free, or will sell you beer, mixed drinks, and sometimes more food.

    When I step off a plane for a layover, I have my list of priorities.

    1) restroom. After 3 or 4 mixed drinks, I gotta pee.
    2) smoking lounge. Some airports are good about these. Some have them few and far between. Some you have to go outside, and then make your way back in.
    3) cell phone reception. People know I'm flying, and yet always leave voicemails. I may need to find power, depending on the phone's charge state when I left. If I got on the flight at the end of a long work day in a colo, I may have an almost dead battery, and need to return a dozen emergency phone calls.
    4) Airport bar. After the first three, I've probably sobered up, and need another drink.
    4) Wifi? Well, if it's free, which at most airports I've been in, it isn't. Otherwise, why do I want to pay for really slow crappy service? The decent alternative is to travel with an EVDO card. Even then, sometimes I have to find somewhere in the terminal with decent cell reception, and power.

    I looked a bit weird at one airport. My first flight had been overbooked, and then canceled due to mechanical problems. The next flight they could put me on was 6 hours later. I found a smoking lounge with available power outlets, with a restroom and bar close by, but there were no flights going through that end of the terminal at the time. I set up camp, answering calls, checking my email, and walking over to the bar picking up more drinks. The only other people in the smoking lounge were airport employees and TSA agents. After a little chitchat, they were perfectly happy to watch my gear while I went for bathroom breaks and more drinks.

    Once good and intoxicated, airplane seats get quite a bit more comfortable, and I can usually sleep for the whole flight. I prefer to go to sleep before they push back, and wake up when it touches down.

Re:People care about what has given them trouble (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084459)

More to the point, neither linked article seems to touch is how the question was asked. Multiple choice or open answer changes things dramatically: If I'm asked what's the most important amenity in an airport, I'm unlikely to even say "clean restrooms", I'll take that for granted. If I'm given a list and that pops up in there, I'll decidedly think "yeah, that's more important than wireless".

A cure for Airport Boredom (1)

Celeste R (1002377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083787)

WIFI in airports would mean different things to different people: it would give the serious businessman a chance to catch up on his work, it would give the budget traveler free entertainment, and it would give the average person something to ease the boredom.

Eat a big meal beforehand, and a big meal after the fact, and maybe - just maybe splurge on a small snack between long connecting flights. $10 for a meal is a bit much for fast food.

Boredom is by far harder to cure (especially in a fast-paced society) than a hungry tummy. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has skipped a meal just because.

Could we get a "duh" tag? (2, Informative)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083793)

First, food in airports is notoriously bad, stale and generally nothing you'd want to eat, even when coming back from a famine-struck land. My personal theory is that this is the crap that they salvage from planes after the flight, the gunk not even the sardines-in-a-can class dwellers could stomach.

So what does the knowledgeable traveller do? Right. He brings his own food.

It's kinda hard, though, to bring your own WiFi AP with you...

Re:Could we get a "duh" tag? (5, Informative)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083977)

In my experience (generally 20+ business trips per year) there is usually a decent restaurant or two somewhere in most airports - especially the newer ones. Of course sometimes the "good" restaurant is in a completely different concourse from where your flight is departing, and the prices tend to be pretty high.

Case in point: the new Indianapolis airport. I was pleasantly surprised at the food quality in the 500 Grill, where I had a tuna steak cooked to order on a bed of greens ... and incidentally Indy airport has free wifi but it's pretty slow.

Re:Could we get a "duh" tag? (1)

GCsoftware (68281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084277)

If you ever need to eat something in London Heathrow, head for the Prunier Caviar House Seafood Bar. Absolutely wonderful - a plate of Kamchatka King Crab with a glass of Chablis makes the whole Heathrow experience tolerable.

Re:Could we get a "duh" tag? (1)

funkatron (912521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084431)

Do they accept cash or just bullion?

Re:Could we get a "duh" tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084039)

It's kinda hard, though, to bring your own WiFi AP with you...

Speak for yourself. Not only do I get email on my blackberry bold, but it's trivial to tether to my laptop and get internet access on the laptop using the 3G blackberry connection.

Many other phones can do this too. But if you have an iphone, you're SOL because Apple hates you and doesn't want you to do that.

Re:Could we get a "duh" tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084063)

Have you ever actually been to an airport?
Last year I flew roughly 130k miles and touched down in ~20 airports.
The worst of them had fresh toasties and fresh juice at 5:30am (tiny regional airport, two gates).

All the bigger ones have your standard fastfood joints plus two to five decent/good restaurants (overpriced though they may be) per terminal.

Re:Could we get a "duh" tag? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084467)

As a former worker for this industry (year and a half was more than long enough), I feel obligated to correct this personal theory, and toss in a few anecdotes.

The food that goes onto the planes has nothing to do with the food served in the restaurants inside the airport. The food on the planes, which comes out of the carts rolled around by attendants on the plane, is prepared by catering companies located somewhere on or near the airport premises at the point of departure for the flight. The unused food is disposed of at the point of arrival, at the catering company's local facility. Unopened soft drinks or alcohol containers are often reshelved for later use, though.

The food served by conventional food service establishments inside the airport is better compared to a spectrum between mall food (terrible) and chain sit-down diner food (often still MSG-laden, sometimes better than mall food overall).

Note that these aircraft food service carts are also regularly used for smuggling of contraband. Which is another reason the current airport security theatre is such a joke - back end ramp workers are exempt and can move @CONTROLLED_SUBSTANCES almost at will given presence of various mafia organizations at many airport servicing locations (only one mafia per establishment, obviously). If you are not in 'the organization' you are not driving one of the trucks on the ramp. The carts go straight from warehouses into special lift-equipped trucks into planes, then from planes into trucks back into warehouses, with a stop at the loading dock to divert anything that needs to be diverted to a personal vehicle, with no external security inspections at any point (A guard waving the familiar truck through does not count). Posting AC for obvious reasons, etc.

Depends (2, Interesting)

SolarStorm (991940) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083845)

If I answered the survey while on a business trip, my answer would have been WiFi. If I was on vacation, that last thing that I want is WiFi, (A good supply of beer would be a better choice) The fact that we now live in a connected world cannot be ignored. Ask people if they would prefer WiFi or power stations to charge thier DVD's and see what answer you get. Most of the people using their computer (that I see are using it to watch a movie). Wifi is simply there for entertainment for a number of people. But as far as expenses go, it would probably be expensive for the airports, and more and more people are getting their own connection through their Cell phone etc. If my company requires I need internet away from the office, there are too many solutions now available. I would rather see airports spend money on efficiency, ease of travel, REAL security, maintenance.

Gotta love surveys (5, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083849)

"a recent survey by American Airlines and HP"....

I bet "a recent survey by American Airlines and Pizza Hut" would have come to the opposite conclusion.

Re:Gotta love surveys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28083939)

We should study that.

The public WLAN window is closing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28083859)

UMTS (G3) data access is becoming affordable and ubiquitous, so there is limited use for spotty network access through WLAN access points. WLANs could have played a much more important role if venues had not tried to milk a simple convenience service like a product in its own right. The future of WLAN access is "free, just works" or just for home use.

Re:The public WLAN window is closing (1)

Philip_the_physicist (1536015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084665)

But WLAN is free, which is pretty helpful with some demographics. Furthermore, it is relatively simple to make your internet connection switch to WLAN or wired Ethernet when present, and fall back to UMTS if necessary. i have seen plenty of setups where this happens transparently to applications, and with only a user notification when switching from free to charged connections.

Who doesnt have a tethering phone by now? (4, Interesting)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083927)

I stopped caring about airport wi-fi the day I gave up the iphone for the Blackberry Storm. I know a lot of people dont like the Storm, but it tethers like nobodys business.

My next toy will be to setup Microsoft's Direct Access replacement for VPN's and I will never be disconnected from my network. When more people become aware of Direct Access, that is going to put a dent in those who say they cant innovate in Redmond. This is some bad-ass technology.

Re:Who doesnt have a tethering phone by now? (1)

Tranzistors (1180307) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084451)

How is this Direct Access different from auto-connecting VPN client?

Re:Who doesnt have a tethering phone by now? (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084733)

Direct Access uses IPv6, requires no configuration after initial setup, no DHCP issues to deal with either. No worries about a VPN router's config or available connections, etc. Check it out.

Re:Who doesnt have a tethering phone by now? (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084613)

Since IPSEC and SSL VPNs have been around for years, and MS is just coming up with Direct Access, it DOES mean that they can't innovate. Once again, trailing behind.

Re:Who doesnt have a tethering phone by now? (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084767)

Really?

So, who has already done this? Tell me where you can have this setup over any other OS, TODAY?

Dont be blinded by MS hatred. This is a serious advance over SSL VPNs and you know it. I dont know anyone anywhere leveraging IPv6 in this fashion.

Hahahah .. "serious advance" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084879)

Jezus. IPv6 is cool and all, but it is hardly a SERIOUS ADVANCE over traditional and SSL VPNs. It's more like a dead obvious extension that nobody bothered with earlier because the OS support remained a moving target.

Re:Who doesnt have a tethering phone by now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28085001)

We were doing this in 2003, and when we did it there was already a best practices document from a German university (I think it was German) who'd been doing it for a while.

Yes, there has been innovation at Microsoft, no this isn't much of an example (and most examples don't make it into Microsoft's actual products)

Re:Who doesnt have a tethering phone by now? (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084871)

But WiMAX is cheaper, faster and it just bloody works.

Wifi should be 100% free in airports. (5, Interesting)

Jason Quinn (1281884) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083937)

I absolutely hate how many US airports don't provide free Wifi for travelers (free Wifi seems to be more common abroad). For a minuscule fraction of their budget, airports could provide an invaluable service. It must change.

Re:Wifi should be 100% free in airports. (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084097)

It is... [slashdot.org]

Re:Wifi should be 100% free in airports. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084115)

Agree wholeheartedly. I frequently travel out of Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson (dubbed the "world's busiest airport") and they want something like 10 bucks for a day pass. It annoys me to no end, and I find it amusing that they have the gall to do this since there are several wireless networks capable of internet (including WiMax) that have the airport in their coverage area.

Selling WiFi in airports. (1)

Nick Driver (238034) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084151)

If they price it the way they price airport food, they won't be getting many customers. Airport WiFi pretty much only flourishes in places when its free. Airport food is usually stupidly overpriced since they think they've got a captive audience, then when they don't sell enough food to pay for running the business, they stupidly raise the prices even more in a vain attempt to stay fiscally afloat.

Re:Wifi should be 100% free in airports. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084179)

I have to question the whole premise of the survey: What does important mean? Will you drive to another airport if the one closest to you doesn't have Wifi or food?

Re:Wifi should be 100% free in airports. (1)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084255)

What possible incentive would they have for giving up a revenue stream? It's not as if you'll decide to not fly somewhere, or use another airport. They have you by the @@lls and are happy to charge you whatever they can get away with.

As it is, taking money from people whe choose to use the internet at airports is fine by me, as if reduces the other incidental costs I'd otherwise have to stump-up. Thanks for the subsidy!

Re:Wifi should be 100% free in airports. (1)

nathan.fulton (1160807) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084417)

If you travel, and ATT Uverse is in your area, get the service. You get your TV and home internet connnection, and also free access at airport, starbucks, and mcdonalds hotspots.

Re:Wifi should be 100% free in airports. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084495)

> It must change.

Why?

Re:Wifi should be 100% free in airports. (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085067)

You obviously haven't been taking advantage of all of the "Free Public WiFi" locations at airports these days. It is rare not to find several of these everywhere.

Of course, it is a fake, but it works for harnessing the rubes.

Yes, but was alcohol on that survey? (2, Funny)

Mad-Bassist (944409) | more than 5 years ago | (#28083957)

Hey, it's important to me!

Most people I know (1)

Shaltenn (1031884) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084067)

Including myself actually, don't even like to eat before flights. I must have a weak stomach because I can't stand eating before going on a flight - my stomach gets tied in knots! Drinking is ok though.

Wifi though, if it's cheap (or even better, free) I'll be a happy camper.

These people are dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084101)

If Internet access is that important, get a broadband wireless card for your laptop or a cell phone you can tether. My Verizon EV-DO card is more reliable and typically provides better bandwidth than whatever Internet access is available in airports or hotels (especially in the evening when everyone is stuck in their rooms being bored).

Airport food sucks (3, Insightful)

Vinegar Joe (998110) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084123)

In almost all western counties.........but check out Changi in Singapore. A GREAT airport. You don't get ripped off the food is fantastic!

http://www.changiairport.com/changi/en/index.html [changiairport.com]

iggy (1)

iggy96 (1560925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084189)

to this article i say: why is Wi-Fi becoming a necessity in our modern day life? If someone were to take away computers you (the readers) and I both know that people would have to go back into the dark ages. Think about it computers run our world. Don't live life on a keyboard it does things to ya.

Sign of internet addiction? (5, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084209)

Surely it's possible for an individual to spend a few hours away from an internet connection?

Even for a "business" user, you should be well enough organised that your employer can afford to be out of touch with you for a short period, without suffering catastrophic business failure (if not, they should fire you immediately as you are obviously a single point of failure and as such a total liability to the organisation).

If you do suffer symptoms of stress or anxiety when disconnected from the 'net this sounds a lot like a personality disorder - even if you do use the old line: "No, really, I just like the internet. I could give up any time".

Re:Sign of internet addiction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084643)

You're an idiot. Airports are boring. Net access makes them less so. Why is this difficult to understand?

Re:Sign of internet addiction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084697)

It's called boredom. There is plenty of time when you have nothing to do at an airport. You can't spend two hours eating (and I don't like to eat before getting on a plane, aeroplane bathrooms are extremely uncomfortable, and I'm as skinny as humans come).

Re:Sign of internet addiction? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28084969)

People in airports are stuck in one place with nothing to do but wait. An Internet connection is a great way to pass the time. Sure, you can say "surely you can do without the Internet for a few hours", but that's not really the point, is it? The point is that those hours have to be filled somehow, and of the few options available, the Internet is the best for many people - it has nothing to do with not wanting to be away from the Internet.

Re:Sign of internet addiction? (2, Insightful)

AxeMan15 (451684) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085043)

It is not about need but about choice.

Being in an airport is not like hanging out at the local park. There are no birds singing or fresh gentle breezes caressing your face. It's many people milling about with the accompanying background noise, Homeland Security Threat Level "Orange" (has this ever changed?) and passenger Thelma Jones, get to your flight or you are S.O.L.

I fly once every 3 weeks or so and I carry only my laptop, my book and a magazine. I find it difficult to read for pleasure within the airport. With an Internet connection, I can get some things done like pay bills, email Mom, view Slashdot or see if my epic item sold at the AH :)

Yes, I could wait. I could sit at an airport and watch CNN while little Jimmy round around his exhausted parents, waiting for my delayed by 2hrs connecting flight.

I prefer something else.

Re:Sign of internet addiction? (1)

pz (113803) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085095)

Surely it's possible for an individual to spend a few hours away from an internet connection?

Even for a "business" user, you should be well enough organised that your employer can afford to be out of touch with you for a short period, without suffering catastrophic business failure (if not, they should fire you immediately as you are obviously a single point of failure and as such a total liability to the organisation).

If you do suffer symptoms of stress or anxiety when disconnected from the 'net this sounds a lot like a personality disorder - even if you do use the old line: "No, really, I just like the internet. I could give up any time".

Sometimes, you just don't have a choice as to whether you need to take a trip, and whether you need to have a deliverable (report, email, presentation) delivered. Or, sometimes, you find that on the first leg of your N leg outbound journey that you've been able to make room for Important Graph 14 in your presentation, or you call your assistant back in the office and they've been able to dig up Important Table 3. These are just a couple of scenarios where, between flights, connectivity is, in fact, important.

The idea that there's any idle time left at all in the business day is archaic. Lean staffing means everyone is carrying two or three times the normal workload, and, in turn, that means that any available moment needs to be used to advantage, including the ability to connect to the net for 5 to 10 minutes before, between, or after, flights. This is one of the primary reasons airlines are eyeing in-flight connectivity --- although personally, I relish the imposed isolation on airplanes.

My business travel includes about 10 trips per year. More than most of the flying public but definitely not as much as many of the frequent flyers I meet, and not as many as the people in the study who traveled 20 more more trips per year (if you don't travel much, that is A LOT of travel; these are road warriors). I don't always need airport internet connectivity, but I use it on nearly every trip. Then again, if all of the airport televisions in the world were to inexplicably vanish, I'd applaud the event.

Getting back to the parent post: the idea that an organization should fire someone because they're a single point of failure is self-defeating. It not so much guarantees failure as causes it. The appropriate reaction for a company when a single point of failure is recognzied is to plan for multiple support paths where resources allow. For a small company, though, just about everyone becomes a single point of failure. That's the nature of efficient allocation of resources and the resultant concentration of skill.

But, the parent also is missing the point that many other posters have brought up: food is generally available at airports (as are bathrooms, ticket counters, etc.) and you rarely have to search very hard for it. We don't think about food at airports very much. Until network access is similarly omnipresent, it will be more important. In addition, many -- definitely not all -- business travelers are treading a path that's slightly different than the general public, one that often includes airport lounges or upgraded seating in the planes. These often come with better-than-usual food options.

That said, the real issue here is that the study was done by American Airlines and HP. Does, perchance, AA offer in-flight internet access on US domestic flights? You betcha. Does, perhaps HP offer business connectivity solutions? Yep. Think it was really news? The source article is from PR News Wire -- it's a frelling PRESS RELEASE. The chances that this was a carefully constructed, objective study are quite small indeed.

True. (1)

d0n0vAn (1382471) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084353)

Yes, a working connection is more important than food, and on par with beer.

Find the airline "club"... (2, Informative)

dh0dges (910735) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084441)

Find the airline "club" and free wifi usually leaks out...

Electrical outlets (4, Insightful)

Vadim Makarov (529622) | more than 5 years ago | (#28084795)

is the second most important thing. I'd even say it's the first one: I can live without internet, but to work offline I need to charge the laptop.

At most airoports a few outlets in the waiting areas are at best inconveniently located (being designed for plugging cleaning machines rather than for traveller's use), and at worst unavailable. I've spent more than a few strolls down the halls trying to find a free outlet and a seat withing the reach of it.

Re:Electrical outlets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28085023)

There are these sweet seats that I found recently at RDU, very comfy and they all had electrical outlets on the front by your knees. I almost didn't notice the outlet but now that I know I will be on the lookout for these at other airports.

Also PDX has reasonably priced good food because the restaurants are required to be cost competitive with the rest of town. I am talking about 3 dollar microbrews during happy hour because that is what the brewery does at their in town locations, plus free wifi in the whole airport. Too bad Portland isn't a hub.

Re:Electrical outlets (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085163)

is the second most important thing. I'd even say it's the first one: I can live without internet, but to work offline I need to charge the laptop.

Amen, brother! At big airports it's comical to see guys clustered around poles or walking around with their laptop and adapter in hand like circling vultures, waiting for a free outlet.

It's really pathetic that airports don't have more places to charge. Every seat should have one. For that matter, so should every seat on a plane...

Re:Electrical outlets (2, Interesting)

eggman9713 (714915) | more than 5 years ago | (#28085169)

That's not as bad as the last time I was in the Las Vegas airport a couple of years ago, but I actually found that most if not all of the outlets in the passenger gate areas did not function. I guess they turn off the breakers except when needed to keep people from stealing their power.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>