Research the airport Wi-Fi, but do not rely on the public network
Even if your airport offers Wi-Fi (free or at a charge), often there are so many people using that network, there’s no chance of logging in or maintaining the connection. Instead, “research on Yelp which airport cafes have Wi-Fi and make that your backup. Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul, for example, does not have Wi-Fi access, but the Starbucks at the very end of the shop area definitely does. Tried and tested,” says Karakashyan. Find out 16 other air travel mistakes to stop making before you next flight.
Have a password handy in advance
Many people are fans of the Wi-Fi Map App, an amazing tool that gives access to millions of Wi-Fi hotspot connections worldwide, everywhere you can imagine. Even better, it’s a community-based app, so if you find one not listed, you can add it and help someone else. This is amazing not only at airports but any city in the world where you don’t want to splurge on a $10 coffee just to check your mail. “The free version only works when you have data, so it’s helpful if you want to switch to Wi-Fi but you need some connection in the first place. If you buy the premium version, you can do offline searches for any area you are in (GPS-detected) so you can find a network anywhere, provided someone graciously shared the password,” says Karakashyan.
Lots of airlines are now offering Wi-Fi onboard, but unfortunately, it’s rarely free. All of Virgin America has Wi-Fi, and many others have a large percentage of their fleet wired thru Gogo, including Delta, Alaska Airlines, American, and United. Gogo is pretty expensive but a little known tip is that if you buy a flight pass before you board your flight, it’s often significantly less expensive, as much as half the price. You can also buy Gogo subscriptions by the month or year and save a fortune, but this is most useful if you frequently travel for business. JetBlue actually offers a free in-flight Wi-Fi option: Fly-Fi with Amazon. You can send and receive emails, browse the Internet, and even stream movies and TV shows on Amazon Video! Other airlines, such as Southwest, offer free Wi-Fi to their most loyal members. Here’s how you can magically connect to Wi-Fi on an airplane in the first place.