Free airport WiFi for Nintendo 3DS users from Boingo Wireless

Boingo Wireless and Nintendo have teamed up to bring Nintendo 3DS owners free airport WiFi access in 42 airports across the United States, including Chicago O’Hare, New York JFK, and Houston George Bush Intercontinental.

The Nintendo 3DS is already a great travel companion, with its open-source Internet browser and built-in camera, not to mention a catalog of hundreds of addictive games featuring real 3D graphics. This new feature is one of several included in a system update that became available for download yesterday.

“Nintendo 3DS is our most connected device ever, and this agreement will allow people to stay entertained while they’re on the go,” said Zach Fountain, Nintendo of America’s Director of Strategic Partnerships. “Whether it’s accessing special offers and content, downloading items from the Nintendo eShop, receiving surprise SpotPass content, or automatically receiving 3D videos from the Nintendo Video service, there have never been more reasons to connect.”

Free airport WiFi from Boingo will also include access to Nintendo’s SpotPass feature, which allows the system to detect wireless hotspots and download special content from Nintendo, including exclusive promotions, 3D videos, and add-on game content.

Boingo manages wireless access in more than 400,000 locations around the world, including airports, hotel chains, cafes, restaurants, convention centers, and metropolitan hot zones. Their service generally costs $7.95 per 24 hour period in the United States, with monthly unlimited plans starting at $9.95.

Wi-Fi usage at Boston’s Logan Airport jumps 412% after going free

If there ever was an arguement for the positive effects of free airport Wi-Fi, this is it. The Massachusetts Port Authority Board says the number of passengers using its free wireless service to access the Internet at Boston’s Logan International Airport jumped by 412% last year. More than 1.4 million sessions were logged on its Wi-Fi network in 2010, compared with just over 349,300 in 2009.

That represents more than half of the more than 2.2 million sessions since Wi-Fi was first available at the airport in June 2004.

The free system was unveiled in January 2010 and is supported by advertising that users must view before accessing the Internet.

Having benefitted from Logan’s free Wi-Fi on numerous occassions, we can only hope that this is a movement other airports consider.

The arguement from a traveler’s perspective is simple – free Wi-Fi is available almost everywhere else … so why should we pay for it at airports? Anything that makes our air travel experience more pleasurable is something we’ll continue to champion.

[Flickr via Gurretto]