Europe’s best airports for the tech hungry traveller

Think Progress Team

Thursday 17 September 2015

The dreaded spinning pinwheel is the last thing you want to be staring at when you’re sat in Departures. In a recent Skyscanner survey, 71 per cent of European travellers said free airport WiFi was important or extremely important to them. So, tech-wise, which airports are leading the way?

Air travel is a productivity killer: not just the time spent stuck in a plane cut off from the internet, but also the time spent commuting to airports and waiting around for flights, particularly international ones. Despite the fact that 96 per cent of European travellers believe airports should offer free WiFi, according to Skyscanner, less than half of Europe’s top 50 airports actually do so.

Flying from an airport that offers free WiFi is all the more critical if you don’t have data roaming. We’ve picked five of the best airports in Europe where you can get online easily and get some work done.

Munich Airport

Voted the Best Airport in Europe at the 2014 World Airport Awards, Munich is the seventh busiest airport in Europe. The Munich Airport Centre (MAC) is a shopping, business and recreation area that connects the two terminals.

WiFi – Free unlimited wireless LAN, plus computers with broadband rentable by the hour

Ease of work – power points available throughout the airport for charging devices

Bonus features – sleep pods that you can rent by the hour

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

The Netherlands’ main international airport and a past winner of the World Airport Awards, Amsterdam’s Schiphol has been voted Best Airport in Europe by Business Traveller magazine for 25 years in a row.

WiFi – Free unlimited WiFi, plus high-speed paid Premium WiFi

Ease of work – the Airport Business Point is a waiting lounge at Schiphol Plaza with a “quiet and serene” environment where you can work or hold meetings

Bonus features – reclining chairs to sleep on, shrink-wrap luggage service

Helsinki Airport

Finland’s main airport and the fourth largest in the Nordic countries, Helsinki is undergoing expansion and recently introduced the world’s first passenger tracking system to automatically monitor crowd congestion and prevent bottlenecks. It also has the Kainuu lounge, a free “everyman’s lounge” with ergonomic chairs, free WiFi and “forest sounds”

WiFi – Free unlimited and testing at up to 20 Mbps, plus internet kiosks for €0.20/min

Ease of work – Borrow or buy PowerKiss rings to wirelessly charge your mobile devices throughout the airport, plus Fortum recharging units at many departure gates

Bonus features – book swapping station, art galleries, a Moomin store

Copenhagen Airport

The largest airport in the Nordic countries, Copenhagen recently announced plans to nearly double its capacity to 40 million passengers per year.

WiFi – Free unlimited WiFi available for members of the CPH Advantage program, which you can join for free or pay for 11 Mbps access by the hour with a credit card

Ease of work – lots of seating allowing you to work, lots of places to recharge devices

Bonus features – for DKK 169 you can visit the CPH Lounge which has free WiFi, food and drink, computers, recharging and printing facilities

Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport

One of the world’s top airports and the busiest on mainland Europe, Paris CDG – also known as Roissy Airport – is linked by France’s high-speed TGV railway and also has a free shuttle railway linking its three terminals. It is vast, so arrive in good time to find your way around.

WiFi – Free unlimited WiFi, upgrade to WiFi Faster or WiFi Stronger for a faster, ad-free connection

Ease of work – lots of cafés where you can work, plenty of electrical outlets for recharging, Atlanteam internet and multimedia stations with printing

Bonus features – free art museum, gaming console and movie booths, lounge chairs in departure gates

What are your favourite airports when travelling through Europe? Got any insider tips to share? Let us know.

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