Free Airport Wi-Fi? ---- Don't Count on It in Europe (Update on 08/25/2013)

I was traveling in Europe last week. While I enjoyed the history, culture and food very much, I was not a big fan of the airports. Like many people, I would like to stay connected most of the time, at least be able to access my emails and the Web from time to time (say every 2-3 hours). Unfortunately, passing through the following three airports in Europe is almost like returning back to stone age, in  terms of connectivities.


Initially, I thought that CDG was pretty bad --- it does have free Wifi, but only for 15 minutes. Then I have to buy Wifi Access. However, at least I was able to browse the airport website for free. 

Then MAD really made me a bit mad ---- no any sort of Wifi whatsoever available, free or not!

Now, FRA does provide 30 minutes free Wi-Fi. That's better, right? However, then you need to be able to receive text on your cell phone to get the pin.  Some genius obviously believes that everyone visiting FRA has a cell phone and every cell phone has service in FRA. Unfortunately, my cell phone does not work here; so no luck for me. :(  

Of course, I can always spend a few Euro to buy Wi-Fi access.  However, free Wi-Fi in airports is almost a norm in today's world, isn't it? Even in developing countries such as El Salvador has free Wi-Fi in its airports.  Unfortunately, I don't really see the situation will likely to improve in the near future. This note is just a reminder to myself to load up my laptop and iPhone with things that I can work/read while in the airports off the grid.

Update on 08/25/2013:------------------------------------------------
It turns out that not all European airports are that bad. During my recent trips to Europe, I have discovered that SOF (Sofia airport in Bulgaria) provides unlimited free Wi-Fi. MUC (Munich airport) provides 30 minutes free Wi-Fi and requires only an email address. Even FRA seems to have updated their genious approach of providing free Wi-Fi as well and requires only an email address now. Things are looking up!

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Nice place