Paying for Wifi?

I recently traveled from Seattle to the Bay Area (SeaTac to OAK on Alaskan Air). I got the SeaTac early (because I could get a free ride) and figured that I would be able to find an internet hotspot there. Low and Behold, between a Starbucks and some other Coffee Company, I was told that I could connect to the internet. The service, provided by Cingular required what at first just appeared to be registration, or maybe activication if you had a Cingular account, but no! It required a payment! $10 for 24 hours at that particular location! I was in a bind and needed to get online, so I paid it, but it felt so dirty! Paying for WiFi! Shouldn’t that be a standard amenity in airports? How long are these companies going to be able to get people to pay? I would venture to guess that you could have an advertising supported WiFi service in airports that would pay for itself rather quickly.

You would think that the Airports and Airlines would cover the cost of the Wifi as it gets business travelers (or rather allows them) to come to the airport earlier so that they are, in turn, ready to get on the plane and get the plane to depart on time.

On landing in Oakland, I saw a sign for terminal wide wifi, “Score!” I thought. Figuring that on my return I would be able to avail myself of the Wifi. WRONG! Another service requiring payment, this time run by SprintPCS. I wasn;t about to fork over another $10 for an hour or two of wifi.

Is JetBlue the only company that gets it? (they have free wifi in many of their terminals)

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