PCWorld magazine conducted a survey at the 40 busiest airports in the United States to test the viability of the various tech amenities offered, including electrical outlets, USB ports, charging stations, Internet kiosks and work desks. They also tested the airports’ Wi-Fi speed and cellular services in order to come up with a list of 20 airports that provide the most and best tech services for customers. Below is a list of the top five airports based on PCWorld’s rankings.
1. Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport (DFW) – This airport ranked near the top of all airports with six of the eight tech amenities that PC World measured. It has provided older Ethernet port installations before and now has Wi-Fi access points and cellular amplifiers. Their paid Wi-Fi service is through T-Mobile and produces speeds on average of 2.73 mbps for downloads throughout the airport. The airport has also partnered with Samsung, who has provided 64 charging stations, seven “mobile travel lounges”, work stations with power outlets, and large flat-screen TVs, as well as more electrical outlets and USB ports per gate.
2. New York JFK International (JFK) – The airport has added more amenities in the past few years, with the most work surfaces, electrical outlets, and free Wi-Fi available in Terminals 2, 3 and 5. The new Terminal 5 houses JetBlue and also provides upscale restaurants and shops. Delta and its restaurant management partner OTG installed a series of iPad kiosks where customers can check email, surf the Web and order food. There are also electrical outlets with USB ports for charging near the kiosks as well.
3. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) – Atlanta is the busiest and largest airport in the United States and thus providing technical services at all of the gates is an involved process. The airport ranked high with its number of passenger-facing outlets at the gates and a lot of credit for the amount of available tech goes to Delta. Atlanta is a major hub for Delta and they have installed multiple freestanding charging stations in most of the terminals. There are “recharge stations”, cubicle desks with power outlets, at 19 locations throughout the airport. The airport is also trying to start a mobile rewards program, where customers can scan QR codes and receive discounts from restaurants and shops at the airport.
4. Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) – The three-year-old North Terminal was built with the idea of wiring each gate area with a number of power outlets. Southwest Airlines has installed charging stations with an electrical outlet and two USB ports near their gates in the North Terminal. Delta has also installed Delta-branded charging stations that each come with three electrical outlets and two USB ports. The Wi-Fi service, provided by Boingo, has average download speeds of 2.5 mbps and there are data ports with hourly, daily or monthly rates as well.
5. Sacramento International Airport (SMF) – The new Terminal B houses more than 140 triangle-shaped tables, each with a two-plug outlet and two USB ports at the corners. There are 647 outlets and 912 USB ports in Terminal B and the airport has offered free Wi-Fi at Terminals A and B since 2006. It is the only airport that has wireless charging surfaces, where travelers can charge their devices by placing them on that specific surface. In addition, the airport also has fee-based Internet kiosks and rapid-charging stations.