In the first few years of our journey around the world we barely saw the inside of any airports. We were traveling mostly by train or bus overland – 18 months in Asia or 15 months in Latin America. But in the last couple of years, this has changed; we now spend quite a lot of time in airports crisscrossing the globe. And because our work is almost entirely online, wi-fi is one of the key things we look for in airports.
But let’s face it, not all airports are created equal. There are some that are well designed with ample space, art installations, quality food and a bit of local flavor. Then there are other airports where we find ourselves counting down the minutes of a layover. We all have our list of airports we try and avoid – JFK in New York and London Heathrow are at the top of our list.
This is where Boingo can come to the rescue.
Pair the ease of being online thanks to Boingo with finding a relaxing pub away from the crowds and you’ll find yourself almost wishing that your layover wouldn’t end. Almost.
Heathrow Airport (LHR) – London
Each time we go through a transfer at Heathrow we come out of all the identity and security checks frazzled. There’s something about that place that leaves passengers and staff alike feeling – and acting – rushed. But when you get spit out into Terminal 5, there is relief nearby at the Crown Rivers Pub.
Find a comfortable seat and big table (preferably one near a plug), order a British Ale fresh on tap, pop open your laptop, turn on Boingo Wi-Finder, get online and enjoy the tranquility. Getting work done at an airport is rarely this pleasant. You’ll find the frazzle of going through Heathrow melting away and you’ll almost forget that you’re in an airport.
Just be sure you don’t get too relaxed or you’ll miss your flight.
John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) – New York
Each time I think of people visiting the United States getting their first impressions of the country at JFK Airport in New York City, I cringe. It’s not just that the airport is falling apart in certain areas, but it’s that the staff are often less than pleasant as well. Transfers can be painful with long security lines and frazzled passengers hopping around taking shoes on and off for the X-ray machines.
But once you emerge from the craziness of checking in and security, things begin to look up. Each terminal has at least one pub that serves as an oasis with a big booth or table. Beer is certainly not cheap at JFK (around $9 per pint), but when you combine that with being online with Boingo the whole experience becomes worth it for a slice of tranquility and productivity. Taking this approach is much more pleasant than fighting for a seat in the waiting areas.
Of course, if you’ve got an early morning layover you’ll likely not want to hit the beer that early. Just follow the same advice and replace a beer for coffee or tea. The relaxing feel of the pub is still the same without the alcohol.
So while we enjoy Boingo at airports we love like NRT in Tokyo, the service really becomes a lifesaver when we find ourselves with long layovers at airports that are usually a grind. As we go through JFK and LHR often in our travels, finding a spot of quiet, a cold beer, and Boingo really does make these layovers almost fun. Almost.
About the authors/bio: Daniel Noll and Audrey Scott are a husband-and-wife storytelling, blogging and photography team at Uncornered Market. More than six years and 75 countries later, they are still going…and still married. You can follow along with their adventures at Twitter, Facebook or sign up for their newsletter.