Google, I salute you (for free airport wifi)

Long-time readers of this blog know that I’m a fan of airports that provide free wifi to travelers. I think wifi should be like air conditioning or rest rooms — part of the convenience infrastructure, not a profit center. Airports can profit from the service in a number of ways: Letting travelers know about the airport shops and restaurants within a few hundred yards of them, for example. Secondly, free wifi allows passengers to go online to self-manage travel changes should bad weather or other factors arise.

Well, I’m getting my wish: At least between today and January 15.

And, as with lots of free stuff I get from the internet, this one comes from Google. As part of a holiday promotion, Google is showering free wifi onto travelers at 45 U.S. airports for the next two months. (Including Nashville.)

Sidenote: The SmallBusiness.com list of airports with free wifi now includes a list of the airports participating in the Google promotion.

Sidenote 2: I’m wondering how long it will take for someone to start complaining that Google is providing free wifi — maybe, Rupert Murdoch. Or that it only covers certain airports. Or that it stops on January 15. When the complaints start, I’ll be reminded of the Louis CK interview on Conan O’Brien’s show.