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.
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.
Ease of work – power points available throughout the airport for charging devices
Bonus features – sleep pods that you can rent by the hour
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
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”
Bonus features – book swapping station, art galleries, a Moomin store
The largest airport in the Nordic countries, Copenhagen recently announced plans to nearly double its capacity to 40 million passengers per year.
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
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.