How To Get Wireless Passwords At Airports When They Don’t Have Free Wifi
Arriving at an airport without free wireless – or the even more frustrating free-if-you’ve-got-a-local-number and email access (no I don’t, I’m traveling dammit!) – makes it seem like you’re flying around the world in 1999. First, avoid the initial shock of being subjected to a layover without wifi by checking whether or not your connecting airports offer free wireless. Now that you know, for better or for worse, it’s time to prepare yourself digitally and physical to get online on your down time.
Use Foursquare Tips
The popular location-based social network foursquare (where you can find me as well) is primarily used through its mobile app, however the web-based version is full of searchable tips from users. To track down a wireless password of an airport, Google something like “foursquare Ataturk Airport.” On the resulting page, scroll down and do a quick search for “wireless” or similar terms. That should give you a list of any wireless passwords in the airport and exactly where to find them.
- Get Password Tips On Your Phone – Both the free 4sqwifi (iOS) and Venue Spot (Android) apps filter foursquare wifi-related tips automatically based on your location.
Similarly, laptop and tablet users can try WeFi’s hotspot maps to track down any open connections in an airport – or anywhere else for that matter.
Some Airport Wireless And Lounge Passwords Provided By You (Updated Regularly)
When I asked on Facebook and Twitter what passwords have your picked up at airports around the world on your travels, several of you happily emailed me how you recently got online at these locations.
- Amsterdam Schiphol (AMS) Airport – To turn 1 hour free wireless into unlimited access, Melvin suggests sitting near the KLM lounge and tweaking this password with the current date: KLM110613 (i.e. KLMDDMMYY).
- Frankfurt (FRA) Airport – Unless you’re sitting right outside of the Lufthansa lounge near gate B5, you’ll be paying for Internet access. (Thanks Kira!)
- Istanbul Ataturk (IST) Airport – Sit next to the Turkish Airlines lounge and try the username “thy” password “adana2014″. Also, Kimi can direct you to this cafe and its wireless password near the entrance of the International Departure hall. Next to the food court downstairs, to the right: network name: palmiyeturizm password: phone-card [UPDATED: Nov 2014]
Those of you who happen to come across any other airport or lounge wifi passwords, I would appreciate you leaving them in the comments below or emailing me with the information. I’ll update this list and you’ll be earning Internet karma from all of the other travelers you helped get online.
Some Low-Tech Hacks
As many of the passwords and tips above suggest, in airports without free wireless for the public, sitting right outside of the airline lounge doors are a good bet for finding an open connection. Lounge signals tend not to extend far beyond the walls so you should increase your wireless range by sitting in the ideal spot for reception.
- Cultural Commonalities Of Common Wireless Passwords – Our human preferences for default passwords tend to be regional, so you may be able to guess a password simply by staying aware of continent you’re in.
Although there are more involved ways to hack airport wireless networks, before you get your hands dirty you can attempt to weave your ways around pay-walls like Boingo with a simple URL hack.
Try adding “?.jpg” at the end of any web address you want to access; if it works and you’ll be at that airport again, download the Firefox extension Greasemonkey, load this script, and your web browser will automatically add ?.jpg to the end of all URLs.
These are just some ways to get online at airports lacking free wireless – have any other creative ways to get wifi at airports around the world? Let me know in the comments below!