Google smothers stranded US holiday travellers with Wi-Fi
Merry Googlemas to one and all
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? ®
"I'm sorry you missed your connection sir, but the next flight to Podunk, US isn't for another 6 hours"
The difference between getting online with a phone verus a laptop with Wifi is similar, in magnitude, to that between being a bit annoyed at the delay and RAGING to the point that they have to close down the airport.
Ripe for abuse
This is ripe for abuse. One crooked person could just put up a few google logos, google wifi.. freee and set up their own man in the middle wireless ap ssid freegooglewifi and just start sniffing sessions.
I just used this in San Jose CA. It was really useful. Yes Google will own the whole world soon - but it least it will work