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Google smothers stranded US holiday travellers with Wi-Fi

Merry Googlemas to one and all

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US travellers forced to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas in airport lounges will be able to send apologetic emails to their families for free, after Google declared it will sponsor free Wi-Fi at the nation's airports.

The search monolith has made a "holiday gift" of free Wi-Fi access at 47 US airports from Thanksgiving through to New Year.

Marissa Mayer, the ad broker's VP of user experience and officially certified glamourpuss, said "We're very happy to extend our Holiday Wi-Fi gift to the millions of people who will spend time in airports over the next few months.

"We know that this is a very hectic travel season for people, and we hope that free Wi-Fi will make both traveling and connecting with friends and family a little bit easier."

Apparently, airport passengers are typically stuck with extra time on their hands "due to bad weather and other extenuating circumstances". We know that cos we read it on Google.

"Having an Internet connection during this time can make a difference," said Google. Of course, they could use iPhones or mobile broadband, but where's the holiday spirit, and brand opportunity, in that?

Google will leverage the hapless travellers' gratitude to spread even more joy, by presenting them with a screen when they log on, which offers them the opportunity to contribute to Engineers Without Borders, the One Economy Corporation or the Climate Savers Computing Initiative.

Google will match the donations up to a max of $250,000, which doesn't sound a lot considering the number of Americans who endeavour to be home for the holidays.

One might ask whether a suggestion that the passenger stayed at home might have been even better for the environment. But once again, where's the fun and branding opportunity in that? ®

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