On Tuesday (three days ago) I hopped a Southwest flight from Midway to Houston.
I arrived at Midway plenty early (via a 45min. #55 ride from Hyde Park), since I figured that I could use the wifi at the airport to blog and call people. Then it turned out that the flight was delayed by a half hour, so I was even earlier yet.
Being there with that much time on my hands allowed me to learn two things: airports don’t have free wifi as I was expecting, and Skype doesn’t work with lots of background noise.
I discovered the first item when only two networks popped up on in Network Connections. One of them was called airport or something, and the other was called “free wifi”, but was a computer-computer network, which seemed shady to me. Once connected to the airport wireless, I couldn’t actually reach any servers. I figured this meant I needed some sort of account, and fortunately the lady next to me told me I needed to go to Boingo.com. So I had to make an account, download a small app, and pay $7 for the pleasure of using their wifi.
Fortunately the connection was fast, but I found this to be a quite unacceptable demand. Internet is quickly becoming one of those things that, like water, is so necessesary to modern living that access should be provided in public spaces for free, IMHO.
After getting logged in, I called up the GF on Skype to let her know I’d be arriving late (she was meeting me in Houston). I could hear everything she said crystal-clear, but she was getting next to nothing of my voice. Skype had popped up a little message saying that there was too much background noise. Lesson learned: no Skyping in noisy places.
I got into Houston after a short, uneventful flight, met my GF and her mother and rode with them back to their house.