SALT LAKE – 5:30 p.m. August 10, 2006
Dateline Salt Lake City International Airport. Sometimes I think it’s a shame we live in a capitalist nation. The fact that wireless internet access is so cheap to offer makes it perfectly suited to offering at a ridiculous cost ($10 per day in this airport… at that rate, my home internet would cost over 300 bucks a month). The ISPs are cashing in.
Of course, it goes without saying that the people who travel and use laptops in airports are the same people who can afford to pay ten bucks for a brief internet connection. So I should be able to afford to pay to send the emails sitting in my inbox right now. But I don’t want to. That’s my point. I don’t think I should have to, especially in an airport.
I think it should be part of the deal. Part of the ticket price, maybe. The airlines could easily afford to shell out a few bucks out of the millions of tickets they sell each year to provide free wi-fi in all airports in which they provide commercial service. It would be a welcome and inexpensive perk that many travelers would enjoy. It’s not like it would be a cost-intensive build-out, the bandwidth is already in place, serving te ticketing and reservation systems and the countless other IT services provided to the airport’s permanent customers.
For those of us who pass through and have time on our hands, it would be nice to just turn on the computer and send some email without having to line the pockets of the monopolizing ISPs.