(I realize this is a low-level problem compared to much of what graces these pages, but it’s notable, nevertheless.)
In DC’s Nat’l airport where I spend more time than I’d like. Though, truth be told, it’s a well-designed place with pretty smooth systems, including the TSA checkpoints, which usually take no more than a few minutes to get through.
They’ve now added free WiFi here which I think is extremely cool. It’s very spotty–goes down every few minutes–so it needs work. But there are a lot of airports through which I travel that charge you for this (I’m talkin’ to you, O’Hare!!).
As an economist, I have to think about who eats the price, but it is one of those services that is (largely) non-exhaustive–it doesn’t cost more at the margin to add a new user (putting aside bandwidth issues that may not be trivial…). So I’m not saying it’s a free lunch–there’s a user fee somewhere, but even if it’s looking at some ads that popup (whoops–just lost service!), it’s a nice change. (Oh, did I mention I’m plugged in at one of their charging stations…double ka’ching!!)
Of course, flying ain’t what it used to be, if it ever was, although it does provide tons of material for stand-up comics. But amenities like this help.
Update: Go Tampa Int’l! Nice free wifi–less shaky than DC–nice little charging station…and Annie Lenox on the sound system! Of course, the plane’s delayed, but whaddya gonna do?