In a major improvement from past practice, Port Authority airports will now provide passengers with free, unlimited access to high-speed Wi-Fi. The airports newly providing access to free high speed Wi-Fi are John F. Kennedy International (JFK), Newark Liberty International (EWR), LaGuardia (LGA) and New York Stewart International (SWF) airports – part of the Port Authority’s ongoing and renewed commitment to improved customer service and amenities for air travelers at a time when the airports continue to experience record passenger volumes.
The new high-speed Wi-Fi service offers faster speeds – a minimum of 20 megabits per second (Mbps) and up to 50 Mbps – and now available with easy two-click access. Passengers will be able to enjoy unlimited four-hour sessions of free high-speed Wi-Fi access.
“The Port Authority has a goal to develop world-class airports and operate them at the highest level of service and quality,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “With trending passenger growth across our airports, connecting to a free Wi-Fi network is not just an enhancement in customer service, but also an improvement in efficiency for our business and leisure travelers.”
“While the unprecedented rebuilding of our region’s airports is a multi-year effort, passengers shouldn’t have to wait for better Wi-Fi,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “Simply put, free, reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi has become a bedrock expectation for today’s customers. This step represents one of many that will seek to lift NY & NJ airports from the bottom rung of customer experience surveys up the curve toward greatly improved levels of customer service.”
“Whether you’re looking to stream Netflix, conduct an important video conference call, or simply download a large file before you board your flight, our testing consistently showed speeds that will comfortably allow for that,” said Robert Galvin, the Port Authority’s Chief Technology Officer.
“As we enter the peak holiday travel season, in which we anticipate 7.5 million passengers to pass through our airports, it’s imperative that they have easy access to fast, high-speed Wi-Fi that will elevate their airport experience,” said Port Authority Aviation Director Huntley Lawrence.
“With New York City’s metropolitan airports serving as gateways to the world, offering enhanced Wi-Fi for travelers is another indispensable amenity that the Port Authority is offering its customers, making for a more productive and memorable visit,” said Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company. “We applaud the agency for this and other upgrades to customer amenities.”
Passengers will see signage at the airports, throughout the terminals and in the parking garages, describing an easy two-step process to access the airport’s Wi-Fi quickly and seamlessly. Customers select the wireless network at their respective airport, such as “_Free LGA Wi-Fi,” and then hit “Select Free Unlimited Wi-Fi.” A short ad may play before the four-hour browsing session begins.
Port Authority customer surveys have continually put free high-speed Wi-Fi high on the lists of what passengers seek in terms of improved airport amenities, and it comes at a time of record-setting passenger numbers. In the first six months of 2018, more than 66.5 million flyers passed through Port Authority airports, the highest six-month period on record and a 4.3 percent increase over the same period in 2017.
The Wi-Fi rollout is one of several updated customer service amenities the agency is bringing to travelers at each of its airports. The agency recently launched mobile-friendly websites to provide easier access to information such as taxi wait times, enhanced lost-and-found access with improved technology on airport websites and coordination between airport partners, and has made a number of onsite improvements, including upgraded restroom facilities and real-time monitoring of bathroom conditions via a Feedback Now customer push-button. Additionally, the airports are offering an array of new dining options, as well as technology that allows customers to order food directly from the gate.
Providing world-class customer service amenities is a vital part of the ongoing Port Authority effort to modernize each of its airports and transform them into true 21st century regional gateways. The $8 billion wholesale redevelopment of LaGuardia Airport will see its first new gates open by the end of the year, Newark Liberty recently broke ground on a $2.7 billion construction of a new Terminal One that will replace the severely outdated Terminal A, and earlier this month the $13 billion plan to transform JFK was unveiled featuring two major new international terminals that will anchor the south and north ends of the airport.