All you need to know about free and paid Wi-Fi access at the airport you’re flying from. We reveal the best and not so great offerings from the UK’s major airports
From keeping the kids occupied to fitting in some last-minute work before your flight, airport Wi-Fi is an essential service to keep our trip on track as we wait to board. Follow this guide to make the most of what’s offered at your airport…
WiFI costs and free time at UK airports
We’ve compiled a list of all major UK airports and how much free WiFi is available at each. You’ll also find how much it’ll cost you to buy extra time.
|Airport||Free period||How long||Additional costs|
|Birmingham||Yes||1hr||£5 for 3hrs|
|Bournemouth||Yes||1hr||£5.00 per hr|
|Bristol||Yes||2hr||£5 for 3hrs|
|Cardiff||Yes||30mins||£3 per hr|
|Doncaster||Yes||30mins||£3 per hr|
|Durham Tees||Yes||30mins||£3 per hr|
|East Midlands||Yes||1hr||£5 per hr|
|Exeter||Yes||1hr||£3 per hr|
|Gatwick||Yes||1.5hrs||£9.95 per month|
|Glasgow||Yes||1hr||£5 for 3hrs|
|Liverpool||Yes||30mins||£5 per hr|
|Luton||Yes||4hrs||£3 per hr|
|Manchester||Yes||1hr||£5 per hr|
|Prestwick||Yes||2hrs||£3 per hr|
|Southampton||Yes||4hrs||£3 per hr|
|Stansted||Yes||4hr||£9 per day|
Choose your airport here
Use the following links to go directly to Wi-Fi information in your departures lounge.
At-a-glance-guide to free and paid Wi-Fi at UK airports
Find how much free access you’ll receive at Brit Airports, and how much you’ll pay once the complimentary period expires. Scroll down below infographic for detailed connection instructions.
Costs for Airport Wi-Fi
See how much free WiFi is offered at your airport – and how much it’ll cost to buy more when it runs out…
How much: Free
Instructions: When logging on, Aberdeen Airport provides the following instructions to help you get online.
1) Turn on your wireless-enabled device.
2) When prompted to choose a Wi-Fi network, select ‘BT Openzone’.
3) Select ‘Access Free wi-fi’.
4) First time users may be asked to register some information. This will only happen once, and thereafter your individual device will be recognised.
5) You will now be connected to the Aberdeen International Airport free wi-fi service.
Name: Access Free wi-fi
How much: Passengers travelling through this south coast airport will receive 60 minutes of free access to Wi-Fi. Once this time is up, users will need to pay the following charges to remain connected:
£5.00 per hour
£10.00 per day
£30.00 per month
Instructions: Search for available Wi-Fi networks then select ‘BOH Public Wifi’
Name: BOH Public Wifi
How much: Glasgow Airport offers one hour of free Wi-Fi access, after which the following charges apply for extended coverage:
3 hours: £5
24 hours: £9
Instructions: Simply search for the network named below, then connect using either the free or paid-for option.
Name: Glasgow Airport
How much: Free
Instructions: Simply search for the network, as follows, then connect.
If you’re having trouble connecting, navigate to http://aplogin2.com and follow the instructions.
Name: Newcastle Airport Wireless
How much: Free – for as long as you need it.
Instructions: Simply login and your details will be saved for future visits.
Name:Search at airport
How much: Wi-Fi is free for the first 30 minutes at Durham Tees, with extended access available at the following rates:
£3 for the first hour after free period
£5 for the next 3 hours after free period
£9 for the next 24 hours after the free period
£70 for 6 months
£130 for 12 months
Instructions: Simply select the network ID (see below) from your device and follow the step-by-step instructions.
How much: Wi-Fi is free to travellers for the duration of their time at Heathrow Airport.
Instructions: Simply search for the _Heathrow Wi-Fi network then follow the on-screen instructions to get connected across all terminals.
Name: _Heathrow Wi-Fi
How much: Travellers using Prestwick Airport get two hours of free Wi-Fi, with an additional hour available for a payment of £3.
Instructions: Simply search for Wi-Fi networks in the terminal and select “Free Airport Wi-Fi”. Then follow on-screen instructions to start your free browsing.
Name: Free Airport Wi-Fi
How much: East Midlands Airport has recently doubled the free Wi-Fi access from a rather modest starting point of 30 minutes to 60 1 hour. Buying additional time is charged at the following rates.
£5.00 per hour
£10.00 per day
£30.00 per month
Instructions: Simply select ‘EMA Public Wifi’ and follow on-screen instructions
Name: EMA Public Wifi
How much: Leeds Bradford Airport kindly provides travellers with unlimited free Wi-Fi access.
Instructions: Select the airport’s network (see below) then log on for the first time by entering your name and email address.
How much: Travellers using Southampton Airport enjoy four hours of free Wi-Fi throughout the terminal building. Those needing more than this can buy extra time at the following rates:
£3 for one hour after the free period expires
£5 for three additional hours
£9 for 24 hours’ access
£70 for six months use
£130 for 12 months’ access
These fees are payable using debit/credit card or PayPal.
Instructions: Simply select “_Free SOU Airport” then follow on-screen instructions.
Name: _Free SOU Airport
How much: Users of Bristol Airport now get two hours free Wi-Fi access – but once that’s gone, it’s £5 for a further 3 hours’ data munching.
Instructions: Log on then select the “free Airport WiFi” network name and follow on-screen instructions.
Name: free Airport WiFi
How much: The helpful folks at Edinburgh Airport offer two hours of free Wi-Fi access per day and per device. There’s no system for buying more time, but according to the airport’s customer service line, you should be able simply disconnect then log-in for a new two-hour stint.
Instructions: Simply log on, select “Edinburgh Airport network” then follow the on-screen instructions to set-up your account.
Name: Edinburgh Airport network
How much: You’ll get 30 minutes of free access, after which you’ll need to pay. The airport could only tell us to use the free minutes then the provider would then reveal how much to buy more – not ideal.
Instructions: Log on and look for the ‘Airport Free Wi-Fi.
Name: Look for ‘Airport Free Wi-Fi
How much: Cardiff Airport provides free wi-fi access throughout the terminal for the first 30 minutes of your visit. You will then be charged £3 an hour thereafter.
Instructions: Simply open your wi-fi and select the “_AIRPORT WIFI” network, then follow on-screen instructions to claim your free 30 minutes of access.
Name: _AIRPORT WIFI
How much: Free Wi-Fi access has doubled from 30 to 60 minutes, with subsequent usage chargeable at £3 an hour or £5 for a further three hours’ connection.
Instructions: Log on to your device’s browser, then follow the on-screen instructions.
Name: Look out for an Arqiva network covering Exeter Airport.
How much: The first 4 hours of Wi-Fi access is ‘on’ Luton Airport, after which you’ll have to pay from £3 per hour to remain connected. Buying additional time can be completed using credit/debit car or PayPal.
Instructions: Select Wi-Fi in settings then search and connect with ‘LLA WIFI’ to get online.
Name: LLA WIFI
How much: WI-FI is unlimited and free
Instructions: Simply search for networks, connect to Southend Airport and enter your email to register.
Name: Not available
How much: If you need to be connected, Doncaster Robin Hood Airport offers free Wi-Fi for a period of 30 minutes. Extending your connection will cost £3 for one hour through to £9 for 24 hours.
Instructions: Simply select ‘_AirportWiFi’ and follow on-screen instructions.
How much: Passengers using Gatwick’s terminals receive 90 minutes’ free Wi-Fi access, which is provided in two chunks of 45 mins. This means you’ll need to log in again after your first session ends. Once your 90 minutes expires, you’ll need to purchase a package from Boingo Wi-fi. The provider’s ‘Boingo UK’ package will give access at a cost £9.95, according to the company’s website.
Instructions: Here’s how to get online with Gatwick Airport’s Wi-Fi:
1) Navigate to the list of available wireless networks.
2) Click on the ‘get online now’ button and select ‘Gatwick Free wi-fi’.
3) Log into your myGatwick account.
4) Click on the pink ‘Get online’ button for 45 minutes free wi-fi.
5 )Once that session is finished, repeat steps 2, 3 and 4 for a further 45 minutes.
Name: Gatwick Free wi-fi
How much: Manchester Airport has doubled the amount of free Wi-Fi it offers from 30 to 60 minutes. Once you’ve munched your way through that, you’ll need to pay for more time at the following rates:
£5.00 per hour
£10.00 per day
£30.00 per month
Instructions: When in the airport, simply select either an SSID called ‘spectrum’ or ‘MAG Airports WiFi’.
Name: spectrum or MAG Airports WiFi
How much: Free Wi-Fi is available for 4 hours for each user who registers, per device, per day. If you need more time before your flight, you will need to pay at the following rates:
24 hours £9
6 months £70
12 months £130
Instructions: When prompted choose wi-fi network ‘_stanstedairport’ and follow on-screen instructions
WiFi on APH buses
Travellers using buses from APH Gatwick, APH Manchester and APH Birmingham can take advantage of the free WiFi on the transfer buses from the car park to the terminals. Simply jump on the bus and connect free of charge.
Averaging at 15.94 Mbps our bus WiFi is considerably faster than all London Airports’ internet WiFi.
Wi-Fi enabling apps…
Check out these apps that can help enhance your Wi-Fi experience once you reach your destination.
What is it: FLIO lets you dodge the tedium of signing up for airport Wi-Fi each time you arrive in a new location. Simply save your details and the app will do all the dull stuff behind the scenes – leaving you free to get browsing. On top of this, the app will also provide any discounts on food, drinks or shopping in the airport. You’ll also have an instant guide to where to find facilities within the terminal. Another great feature is a live link to all flight information. It’s just been upgraded to work with Android devices, too.
Where to get it: Find more information and download here
What is it: This website lets you check your flight – or prospective flight – for details such as whether the plane will offer Wi-Fi and other essentials such as in-flight entertainment etc. The site will also give each a flight a ‘happiness’ rating. Certainly worth looking at for long-haul flights where you need to stay connected with terra firma.
Where to get it: Simply log on to Routehappy.com here
Free Wi-Fi Hotspots
What is it: Thes app will help you find Wi-Fi hotspots near you. Great for cities and towns when on your hols – and it works offline by using native GPS.
Where to get it:
Apple: Find it here
Android: Find it here
What is it: Among other things, Open Signal will help locate your nearest cell tower and use a compass to point you in the right direction. Simply walk, or drive towards it to get a signal or improve a weak one. It also helps you locate free local Wi-Fi networks.
Get it here:
Android: Download Open Signal
Apple: Download Open Signal