London's Heathrow Airport gets free wi-fi (well, for 45 minutes)

By David Flynn, May 31 2013
London's Heathrow Airport gets free wi-fi (well, for 45 minutes)

Travellers passing through London's Heathrow Airport from this weekend will find free wi-fi flowing across all five terminals.

That's the good news. And let's face it, free wi-fi is always good news, especially at the beginning or end of a long flight.

Not-so-good news is that each user is limited to 45 minutes per day. That's up from the current but seemingly little-known daily dose of 15 minutes, and hopefully it'll be all you need unless you have access to an airport lounge.

Want more time on the clock? Sign up for the airport's Heathrow Rewards loyalty scheme (it's free) and your session is doubled to 90 minutes.

Once you've passed the daily limit the only way to stay connected is to select from of a range of pay-as-you-go options (or to log back in using a different email address and perhaps clear your web browser's cookie cache, if you're so inclined).

Meanwhile, the UK's Telegraph reports that only four of Britain's 25 largest airports offer free unlimited wi-fi access, including London City and Edinburgh.

Britain's two busiest hubs – Gatwick and Heathrow – both charge £3.95 per hour or £9.95 for a whole day once your allocated free session has expired.

"If McDonalds and Starbucks can offer free Wi-Fi to their customers, who might spend just £2 or less on a coffee, why can’t airports do the same?" poses Telegraph travel writer Nick Trend.

"Passengers are already paying to use the airport when they buy a flight ticket, and then pay over the odds for food and drinks while they are there – having to pay again to check your email will leave them feeling understandably frustrated.”

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David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Dec 2012

Total posts 170

I was there on Friday a week ago and the free 45 minutes came in very handy when my flight was cancelled and I wanted to search the web for other options!

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