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Best Airports for Tech Travelers

The PC World story on the Best Airports for Tech Travelers reveals a few things:

1. The hub airports are provided the best experince. This is logical as those airports have the most traffic which means they have the highest revenues from passenger facilities charges. That gives those airports the funding levels to provide for better experiences.

2. Airports that build new terminals rank higher. This makes sense because the cost to retrofit a terminal to bring in essentails like power outlets, run ethernet cable or even install Wi-Fi isn't as cheap to do as it is to start from the ground up.

3. Contracts-the story fails to take into consideration that some airports had previously assigned rights for telecom services to various third parties years ago. That included things like cellular radios, phone booths and yes Internet too. While some did make the efforts to bring Wi-Fi into the terminals, there was a limit to how much they wanted to do, and since telecom wasn't always their business the passengers suffered.

4. Airlines vs. Airports-while the airline clubs can often brought in their own WiFi, at the gates it was a matter of who had which rights to do what. This ties to the agreements in place but over time the airport authorities have been taking the telecom rights back and realizing that they need to make up the revenue lost from the lack of calls over payphones. All those "I've landed calls" are now made on a mobile phone so finding ways to make money from Wi-FI (and selling advertising to offset access isn't it).

As for the results PC World found, I would tend to mostly agree with them on what the experiences are like. But, and this is a big but, the last few years have been lighter for the air travel industry. That means the results are based on lower passenger levels. For the results to matter the airports will need to maintain service levels and that is the key to the whole ball game.

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