German airport WiFi charges are ‘thievery’

German airport WiFi charges are 'thievery'
EU digital commissioner Neelie Kroes. Photo: DPA
The EU's digital commissioner has slammed German airports for charging up to €6 per hour for WiFi, calling the practise 'thievery.'

Internet charges at German airports are daylight robbery, said Dutch politician Neelie Kroes, head of the EU's digital agenda policy flagship, in a rant on Twitter.

People are entitled to expect free internet access in 2014, Kroes tweeted at Düsseldorf Airport on Wednesday, where passengers have to pay €6 an hour to use the WiFi. This made mobile roaming charges look cheap, she said.

Düsseldorf is not the only German airport which charges passengers to connect from the first minute – Bremen, Stuttgart, Berlin (Tegel and Schönefeld) also offer no free surfing time.

Munich and Nuremberg airports are more generous, offering 30 minutes online for free, with Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg giving passengers 60 minutes access before they hit a paywall.

Cologne/Bonn airport offers unlimited free access.

Possibly as a result of Kroes' comments, Düsseldorf is planning to introduce 30 minutes online for free from the beginning of April, an airport spokesman told the Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger newspaper on Thursday.

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