The customer rants that drove MSP Airport to offer free WiFi

Runways.jpg
Wikipedia
Runways at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, which is now offering no-charge wireless internet.
SEE ALSO:
--
MSP Airport is the best in the whole country, flyers say

For four to five years, the lack of free wireless access at MSP Airport has been travelers' top complaint. Turns out, they ranted enough that the Metropolitan Airports Commission listened.

On Monday, the commission announced that Advanced Wireless Group will be bringing a no-charge internet connection to MSP. The Miami-based WiFi provider beat out two other companies for the job, one from Minneapolis and one from L.A. By October, travelers will be able to get online after watching a short commercial, no credit card required.

Curious about the internet-deprived flyers who spurred the change, we took a look at some of their complaints. The angry comment-writers call the WiFi charges a "shakedown" and "Minnesota nice," label the airport heads "clowns," rechristen Minnesota the "land of 10,000 taxes," and suggest that MSP "sort your shit out."

Then there's our favorite.

That one, from March, takes the form of a fully thought-out letter, detailing how the writer "contribut[ed] to the local economy in Minneapolis" at the airport, including purchases of a magazine (Sports Illustrated), a book ("John LeCarre's latest... I found it kinda overrated") and food (Quizno's steak sandwich).

Halfway through the paragraph, he takes a sharp turn, writing, "It's nothing but sheer greed" to charge for WiFi. "For that, I say: 'Shame on you.' Actually... let me rephrase that:  'Fuck you. Fuck you hard, you sons of bitches.'"

He concludes, "Next time, I'll fly through Wisconsin."

Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, says, "A major airport is really nothing like a coffee shop when it comes to the WiFi infrastructure needed."

The airport had to determine an affordable plan to make 2 million square-feet of public terminal space wireless, and to accommodate 33 million travelers--potential bandwith-users--per year.

"MSP was one of the early adopters of public WiFi." Hogan says. "At that time, very few airports offered it at all, and I don't know of any major airports that offered it for free."

Now, Advanced Wireless will front the money necessary to install the new system, and then split revenue from the commercials and from a paid, premium service option with the airport.

Check out the best of the complaints on the next page.
My Voice Nation Help
8 comments
LerpDerp
LerpDerp

 (God did not 'gift' us with rights, liberty, or happiness... That's obnoxious and nauseating to read--even on a satirical level, knowing some may actually believe it.)  Other than that, you're mostly correct in your rant of technological use/abuse.

LerpDerp
LerpDerp

You're right--I forgot that NATIONAL AIRPORTS consider purchasing beat up network infrastructure...

Sth1977
Sth1977

My guess, sir, would be that the majority of regular travelers are traveling for work, and as such, need the WiFi for work.  Working to them, like most of us, is not some flashy, cosmopolitan thing.  Rather, they have to travel because of their jobs, losing time with family and friends.  If they can be more efficient in their work while at the airport I don't begrudge them that.  And its simply a good faith move by the airport considering how much we are burdened by air travel these days.

Random Guy
Random Guy

If you like the speed of the free WiFi at the Hennepin county library branches, you'll like the speed at the airport (provided you're not using it at 7:00 a.m. or 7:00 p.m.--then you'll hate it). Me?  I'll continue to pay for fast WiFi because if you're waiting for your $500 flight with your $500 laptop eating your $10 sandwich, $8.95 for 24 hours just isn't a lot of money.

Random Guy
Random Guy

Used wireless equipment = lower performance, faster replacement rates

cool_sunglasses_69
cool_sunglasses_69

this guy is right you guyz, we should tell them we dont want it anymore

DB Cooper
DB Cooper

You are pricing out new equipment.  If they went with previously owned equipment, the costs are around half of that.

Albatross
Albatross

Free wifi means that I'll be happier while the TSA is groping my grandmother and the airlines are boosting my luggage fees and cancelling my flights.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...