Travelers in Atlanta and throughout the world have long hoped Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport would offer free Wi-Fi.
Their prayers will finally be answered — but not until autumn 2013. Hartsfield-Jackson announced Wednesday it will first reduce the price of airport wireless Internet access to $4.95 a day effective Thursday, then eliminate the fees entirely next year. Free Wi-Fi has long been one of the most requested amenities at the Atlanta airport.
Hartsfield-Jackson, which has offered Wi-Fi for a fee since 2005, expects the number of travelers using Wi-Fi at the airport to double or even triple once the service is free, said spokeswoman Myrna White. Accordingly, it plans a $1.6 million upgrade of its Wi-Fi system to accommodate higher demand. The airport will also move away from using intermediary Wi-Fi providers, and will instead operate and maintain its own wireless system.
The airport gets about $1.5 million in revenue from its Wi-Fi service and is looking at “several options” to address the loss of revenue, White said.
“This initiative builds upon our commitment to improve the overall airport experience for all customers,” said Hartsfield-Jackson general manager Louis Miller in a written statement. “Free Wi-Fi will make it easier for these passengers to conduct their professional and personal business during their time at the airport.”