You might think finding wireless access at German airports is a simple task. But it’s not quite that easy.
Twice a year, passing between Europe and the US, I travel through four airports—one in Germany, one in the Netherlands and two in the US. Three out of four have free wireless Internet access for travelers. I’ve used it to check and send messages before departure or upon arrival, as well as call my family using VoIP to let them know that flights are taking off as planned or have been delayed. It’s a valuable tool in a traveler’s arsenal when your foreign cell phone can’t connect. Only the largest of these four destinations—my beloved Berlin—doesn’t offer travelers even a free 15 minutes on their wireless network. You have to pay to surf.
But while Berlin may not make it cheap to connect, other German destinations do provide free Wi-Fi while you wait to board your plane.
Skyscanner has a very detailed rundown (in German) of the options available at every airport in Germany—most of which are paid. That said, there are several German airports that won’t charge you to get online. We’ve translated the details, and if you’re lucky enough to be traveling through any of the following airports, you can plan on the following free minimum use:
Cologne-Bonn: unlimited with registration
Dresden: 30 minutes
Frankfurt: 60 minutes
Hamburg: 60 minutes
Lübeck: unlimited with registration
Munich: 30 minutes
Zweibrücken: unlimited with access code from information booth
Tip for getting extra time: Remember that each mobile device will have its own 30- or 60-minute window, so if you’ve got a laptop, tablet or Kindle and a smartphone at your disposal, you can double or even triple the amount of time allowed simply by switching devices.
Do you have any tricks to scoring free Wi-Fi when traveling through airports? Let us know! And let’s hope Berlin adds free Wi-Fi when they finally open their brand new hub in 2016.