The Best and Worst Airports for Wi-Fi Access

Know before you go. 

Photo by Jin Lee/Bloomberg/Getty Images

This article originally appeared on

Public Wi-Fi has gone from a nice thing to have to a frequent necessity for travelers.

But that doesn’t mean it's easy to come by, and many places where travelers are most in need (like airports) make Wi-Fi into an expensive accessory. So who are the top offenders?

RELATED: The World’s Best Islands

Global Gateway Alliance, an airport advocacy group, rounded up the best and worst spots in the country.

New York’s airports were the worst: Kennedy, LaGuardia and Newark give fliers just 30 minutes of Wi-Fi free — and that’s after watching an advertisement. If you have a delayed flight or arrived early to the airport, you’re looking at $4.95 an hour or $7.95 for the day.

“With customers and security wait times on the rise and delays all too common, 30 minutes of Wi-Fi is not enough,” said Joe Sitt, founder of the Global Gateway Alliance, in a statement.

RELATED: The Best Safari Lodges in Africa

Just behind New York was Miami-Dade, which only provides free access to certain websites, charges $4.95 for the first 30 minutes for more access, and $7.95 for the day. Meanwhile, Chicago O’Hare charges $6.95 for 24 hours.

RELATED: Travel Guide App

But not all airports are on the take. Fifteen of the country’s busiest hubs offer a free connection, and Hartsfield-Jackson, in Atlanta, ranked at the top according to Global Gateway Alliance. Los Angeles International came in at number two with its offer of a free connection with the option to upgrade to faster service for $4.95 an hour, and $7.95 for 24 hours. Minneapolis-St. Paul is also free, but you have to watch an ad every 45 minutes or pay $2.95 for a uninterrupted service.