So airlines and airports have suffered through the economic downturn. And beyond that, they’ve been further punished economically because of companies not doing as many business trips – those higher fare customers have disappeared.
So why is it airports haven’t gotten with the times, to entice business travelers back? For example, Phoenix Sky Harbor airport has free WiFi, but the terminals are outdated; you basically have to sit on the floor if you want to get an electrical outlet. And their WiFi (when it works; lately it’s been working only about 70% of the time) is censored; nothing like trying to get to your corporate email when suddenly a Cisco popup says you can’t get to your email because your domain isn’t one that Cisco approves of.
Some of the best airports are the smaller ones. I remember flying through Albuquerque back in 2006 and they had free WiFi, plus tables with electrical outlets and – get this – chairs! You didn’t have to sit on the ground! Portland International has probably 8 to 10 “business centers” that people can use. And this week I went into the new Terminal 6 at LAX where Alaska Airlines just moved, and saw seats with electrical outlets everywhere. WiFi wasn’t free, but at least paid WiFi isn’t censored WiFi.
So Airports: If you want to win us business travelers over, do something for us! I now know I’ll travel through LAX more often than PHX, just because there are more options for us business travelers.