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Airports still stingy with their wireless internet

The Local · 17 Jan 2012, 09:19

Published: 17 Jan 2012 09:19 GMT+01:00

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That is in stark contrast to much of the rest of the world, including the United States, Austria and Australia where airports sometimes use the free internet access they offer as promotion for their facilities.

The Handelsblatt newspaper, which listed a run-down of the situation in Germany this week, said airports here often allow passengers to go online at no cost for a short period, but charge them to continue.

Munich airport has been doing this since January 10 and Frankfurt am Main’s airport since last December – both offer the first 30 minutes of internet access free, but then charge €4.95 an hour.

Another idea being tested in Hamburg is providing free wireless in specific parts of the airport – sponsored by companies.

Some mobile phone customers may also be able to get online for free through arrangements with their mobile phone provider.

Düsseldorf and Nuremberg airports told Handelsblatt they were looking to switch to the models Munich and Frankfurt currently use, but other airports, like Stuttgart, have no plans to do so.

Berlin's new airport being opened this summer will have wireless internet, although no decision has been made on whether to charge for it, the newspaper reported.

Story continues below…

It’s not just German airports that are viewed as stingy with wireless internet, however. International travellers, like this man, have found that the country is not always a paradise for surfers.

The Local/mdm

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Your comments about this article

10:30 January 17, 2012 by kohcherp
"Berlin's new airport being opened this summer will have wireless internet, although no decision has been made on weather to charge for it, the newspaper reported."

what has the weather to do with charging?
10:33 January 17, 2012 by pepsionice
If you did some checking...you'd find few places in any major Germany city to link up free. You might find the American-style coffee shops, and maybe some libraries, but that's virtually it. It's not a German habit to offer anything free (even plastic bags at grocery stores).
10:44 January 17, 2012 by freechoice
if Doha International Airport can give free Wifi access, surely Frankfurt can too!
11:40 January 17, 2012 by wood artist
Within the US there are all sorts of models to look at. In Portland, Oregon there is free WiFi and many places with plugs and tables for free use. In Seattle, Washington the WiFi is free, but you'll be damned if you can find a single outlet...in the whole North Terminal there is exactly one! In Chicago, the WiFi is free...once you get past all the commercials...but again, very few outlets for power.

Although I've not spent enough time "waiting" in German airports, free WiFi is becoming the norm. Even economy grade hotels such as etap make it available at no charge.

11:43 January 17, 2012 by The-ex-pat
10:44 January 17, 2012 by freechoice

if Doha International Airport can give free Wifi access, surely Frankfurt can too! --------

No will not work here. You have got something for free and the Finanzamt will not like missing it's cut. They just love taxing perks and this is one.
14:19 January 17, 2012 by pixel_pear
We give free wifi to our customers at Druckstatt (with the purchase or a drink;) and people are always a little surprised. I don't know why more places don't do it. People stay longer and order more drinks, etc. I don't see it as loosing money that someone might have paid for internet access. It's rewarding the people that keep my shop open.
16:06 January 17, 2012 by Bravo2
It is mind-boggling that a country that is famous for being on the cutting-edge of innovation can be so behind the rest of the world in the most basic ammenities and comforts of modern life offers. It is a fact that Germans hate change and abhor to break with tradition. What is incredible is how deeply-ingrained this stubborness is in the national psyche. Free internet is the future but Germans are as always suspicious. That's bad enough, but how about water fountains and free toilets. Those haven't caught on here either. The same goes for the basic idea that the customer is always right. The point is that this innate fear of the new keeps this country from being a truly welcoming place for visitors.
16:28 January 17, 2012 by McM
Free WiFi is a modern concept. Germany is certainly not innovative or a leading technological country. It is traditionally a follower culture and usually very slow to take up new IT concepts. When you travel in Asia Australia America Middle East or even the holiday hotels in Spain free WiFi is a given. It will come to airports here but begrudgingly with password commercial providers,tax,and provider hooks attached like everything else.
16:44 January 17, 2012 by raandy
Expat, how true about the finance amt.

Germany is not a free giving place. You have to pay for ketchup at Mick D''s and there is no soda fountain for an extra drink., no free second cup of coffee,anywhere I have been.

I doubt seriously you will see free wifi at the new Berlin airport.
16:57 January 17, 2012 by Wrench
Even the hotels charge for internet....and it ain't cheap.
17:53 January 17, 2012 by Jonathan Fox
I was featured in the German article having flown through Frankfurt last week. I couldn't get connected on the way in or out of Frankfurt. The journalist contacted Frankfurt airport and in true Germanic "the customer is always wrong" style said that International users use the wifi without any problem. well this is not the case. I know this is Germany but their wifi setup is only in German. Not a problem for me but maybe it is for someone from China say who only learnt English.

They only offer T-mobile access at Frankfurt and after entering my phone number many times it would not accept it as I am not on the T-mobile network. This is not the first time I have had problems with T-mobile. The same network is in use on Virgin trains in the UK and it's the same story. They do not like "02" or "Drei / 3" phones. My suspicious mind says this is anti competitive.

I tried numerous combinations of 0044 +44 44 and nothing would work. On my return I found a Mcdonald's in terminal 3 and thought I would have better luck as most McDonalds just require that you accept their terms and conditions and login for free. But again it was run by T-mobile and would not work.

If traditional old Austria can offer free wifi in the centre of their cities and airports why can't the German cities? Their stubbornness and intransigence is only hurting business because in future I will travel direct to Austria or Via France or Switzerland and bypass Germany altogether if I cannot work on the web en route to my destination.
19:47 January 17, 2012 by mikel taylor
I was in Munich in May, June and again October 2011 and to my surprise Free WiFi and not an issue with language the carrier ask what language I wanted and connected me.

I don't think I would do sensitive banking or enter any credit card info there, but I was very happy with the changes from previous trips. My experience in the states has been you have to accept some info sharing to be connected at airports, LAX Newark, Phoenix etc. For Americans traveling in German, Austria, Italy I was very happy to note that restaurants and hotels gave me the access code just by asking, using an American provider in Europe is VERY expensive unless you are connected by WiFi.

currently the only American providers handys that work in the EU are ATT and T Mobile (Deutsch Telecom) plus you can always go to Starbucks where it's always free
21:47 January 17, 2012 by Jonathan Fox
@#13 The Brits are 99.9% German but like two squabbling siblings they'd never admit it :o)
01:21 January 18, 2012 by lenny van
Having lived in America, and Germany, I find the British attitude towards money is very good. The Americans and the Germans are bith very materialistic, but in a different way. The Americans are obsessed by the things they can buy with money and it's kindf of fun. The Germans are obsessed just by accumulating money hoasrd it. They will lie and steal to get it if they are sure they won't get caught. The Brits are not obseesed by money, preferring to enjoy life.
08:17 January 18, 2012 by Englishted
@Jonathan Fox

Yes we see ourselves as the wiser old brother ,trying to help the new little sister to adjust to her new surroundings. :-)
09:24 January 18, 2012 by wood artist
Last spring I stayed in a small hotel in Dresden for a few days. Part of the reason I picked the place was that it included free WiFi, or so that information online stated. When I discovered I didn't have WiFi in my room, I asked. I was told that they had it, but that it didn't work in the building I was in. I could, however, connect in the lobby, which wasn't open very often. Just for grins, I asked how many rooms they had, and how many were in my building as opposed to the one where the lobby was. My building had 19, and the other building 5. I'm thinking free WiFi was probably pretty much a lie.

17:13 January 18, 2012 by Anth2305
@Jonathan Fox. "The Brits are 99.9% German but like two squabbling siblings they'd never admit it :o)"

Can't disagree with that, it's such a shame that centuries of fairly harmonious existence between the two countries were destroyed by what can only be described as 'a couple of brief periods of insanity' during the 20th century, unfortunately people's attitudes in the UK haven't been helped by the postwar media, especially some tabloid newspapers.

A typical example from the Daily Mail, which caught my eye few weeks ago..

"Now Germany bids to seize our skies as it puts in offer for air traffic control"

"The Luftwaffe never managed it during the Second World War thanks to the heroism of The Few!. Now, seven decades on, Germany is once again plotting to take control of the skies over Britain… by the altogether more peaceful means of buying our air traffic control service".

19:14 January 19, 2012 by shahislam
Don't let it be like Heateow! Be Generous.

Religiously blind guys in any modern autrority is dangerous now. Look at Bangladesh.

Wise guys like Writer Gorbachev is now needed in Russia again. And Bangladesh need one too.

Billionairs, oil rich bullying thugs, even guys like Rupert Murdoch, just like Ahmadinejad should learn what is generosity.

Old days politics by controlled medias are vanishing!

They - the dumb heads can't see the light!

Misc. positive thoughts of tomorrow's reality. USA as viewed from global perspective:

Religiously blind minded guys in new world's politis are now more dangerous than ever.

The good news is: Never US will be a terrorist country under truly honourable and personally honest Mr. Barack Obama who DO not Have and will never have any personal gain from oil business. He has honest earnings from mankind benefiting books of good political knowledge.

New world politics would be free of old religious dogmas and blind-beliefs.

Leave religions at home. Biological brother is more important than religious brother. To your brother: Ahmedinajad, respect Obama and try to learn about greatness of leadership from him and send those toy-drones as smaller version to Israeli businessmen and scientists that wants to kill your scientists! No dumb head is now capable of making the real big ones, as they failed to kill single heads like Saddam, Gaddafi, Laden etc.

The better part of lesson is here:

In the Cosmos nothing changes but power and monetary greed of few guys on earth have created a artificial reality, therefore, global public, all you need is have fun watching dumb operators of Governments except current US administration and do not worry at all!

It's your understanding and awareness of facts that will make the difference. One major fact is: when North and South -America will increase its oil and natural gas productions to a level- only to export (not importing one drop of oil) and Middle Eastern thugs can no longer control oil production, oil price will drop. The more we burn oil and other energy sources, the more nature will produce those under and above surface but the artificially controlled and maintained crisis is caused only by greed blind rulers of hereditary styled ownership of lands.
19:31 January 19, 2012 by raandy
wood artist , now that was a real tear jerker , lighten up my man.
00:23 January 20, 2012 by Swag2TZ
too funny. No free WIFI...........schade.
15:16 January 21, 2012 by storymann
shahislam I am a little peeved with myself for wasting time trying to understand your remark, sorry but it makes little to no sense.
22:07 January 22, 2012 by dirving71
No surprise here. Germans would squeeze blood from a turnip if it were possible.
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