LAX

Those of you that have to travel through LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) will be happy to know that you will soon be able to use free Wi-Fi, but there will be a small catch.

While many airports around the country have been offering free Wi-Fi connectivity, LAX has been a hold out and has continued to offer sessions for $9.95 per day via T-Mobile.  If you’re there on a layover, or simply waiting for your flight to board, that is far more than most people are willing to pay.  Through a new agreement with Advanced Wireless Group LLC, the new deal will see you enjoying up to 45 minutes of free Wi-Fi.  After that time period you will need to opt into a 24-hour pass, but no price has not been announced for that as of yet.

Having spent numerous hours in airports here or there, I’d definitely be willing to pony up some cash to block out the world around me.

LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT TO PROVIDE PASSENGERS FREE WI-FI SERVICE BEGINNING AS SOON AS SUMMER 2012

Meeting one of the top demands by passengers for improved customer service at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners today approved a $663,333 two-year concession agreement plus a one-year extension option with Advanced Wireless Group LLC (AWG) to provide free Wi-Fi service to travelers.  The free service could begin as early as this summer.  Passengers will be able to use Wi-Fi basic services for free for sessions lasting less than 45 minutes.  Passengers also will be able to opt to pay for premium and uninterrupted Wi-Fi service for a 24-hour period.

The agreement also calls for AWG to upgrade, operate, and maintain the public wireless Internet system at the airport for minimum annual guaranteed revenues to Los Angeles World Airports of $283,333 in the first year, $380,000 in the second year, and $420,000 in the third option year, if exercised.

“I am very pleased that Los Angeles World Airports will soon be providing residents and visitors to Los Angeles with free Wi-Fi service while they are at LAX,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa.  “This builds on our LA Wi-Fi Initiative to provide free or low-cost Internet services throughout the city and to connect all of Los Angeles to the global community and global economy.”

“A major focus of our customer service improvements is to create a cohesive, memorable and positive experience for travelers at LAX,” said LAWA Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey.  “Given passenger expectations and trends at major airports and other public facilities, providing free Wi-Fi service at LAX will allow us to meet the demands of today’s travelers and to continue our commitment to excellent customer service.”

LAX currently offers Wi-Fi service on a payment basis only, at a cost of $9.99 per session with T-Mobile USA.  Since T-Mobile does not provide free Wi-Fi and has reported to LAWA that it will no longer provide Internet services as part of its business model, airport officials consider today’s concession agreement as an interim bridge from the current for-pay service to a better, longer-term solution involving a distributed antenna system (DAS), which requires time to undertake a competitive contracting process and a significant investment in infrastructure by the winning proposer.

About Advanced Wireless Group, LLC

Founded in 2004 and headquartered in Miami, Florida, Advanced Wireless Group, LLC, installs, manages and integrates wireless Internet networks at airports, municipalities, colleges and other large venues.

About Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

LAX is the sixth busiest airport in the world and third in the United States, offering more than 600 daily flights to 91 domestic cities and more than 1,000 weekly nonstop flights to 58 cities in 32 countries on nearly 75 air carriers.  It ranks 13th in the world in air cargo tonnage processed.  In 2011, LAX served more than 61 million passengers, processed over 1.8 million tons of air cargo valued at nearly $84.6 billion, and handled 603,912 aircraft operations (landings and takeoffs).  LAX is part of a system of three Southern California airports – along with LA/Ontario International and Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.

For more information about LAX, please visit www.lawa.aero/lax or follow us on Twitter @LAX_Official, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LAInternationalAirport and on YouTube at www.YouTube.com/laxairport1 .