(Stephen Parker, Head of Cloud Strategy, NewLease)
I am doing a lot of international travelling at the moment (too much if you ask my family, but that is another story) and I can say with confidence and frustration, that access to the internet in airports (on a global level) is unacceptable. And lets be clear, I am not talking about free public access in overcrowded areas, where to be honest I can understand the payoff between access speed and cost.
I am fortunate, one of the perks of the “too much” travel is that I get to enjoy the frequent traveller lounges. The food is OK and sometimes great (Sydney Qantas First Class as an example) and the staff are normally very helpful. And yet too often I am left feeling that the internet access, a basic requirement for the modern traveller is a long lost after-thought. I can head to my plane having being feed and topped with almost more alcohol that is advisable as part of the “service” and yet I cannot get decent internet access.
The frequent flyer lounges are supposed to be a haven for those who spend too much time travelling and a place to relax before the inevitable next flight. Being out of the office so much makes regular and speedy access to the internet (and hence to the office) a critical part of this “relaxation”. Where this fails it is not just the frustration in the lounge, but the knowledge that the one hours work on the plane that can clear the decks must now be replaced with an hour in the hotel after arrival or worse a hour at home that should spent with the family.
To name and shame I offer you the One World lounge in LAX. After over an hour trying to connect to download a 1MB file, including the help of the staff who tried to log me into non-public networks I left for my LAX-Sydney flight so far from relaxed it is not true (my apologies to the flight crew for my clearly unhappy demeanour upon boarding!!!).
Seriously, airlines around the world, access to the internet is a basic requirement for the modern traveller, you can do better.
(ironic ps – was typing this in an airport lounge and when I tried to post was told that I could not connect to the internet so writing this on the QF1!!!!)