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TripAdvisor is trying to solve a pain point by offering information about Wi-Fi and roaming charges for travelers on mobile devices. It also not-so-coincidentally solves a pain point for TripAdvisor in that more travelers would get to use its apps and sites once they get connected.
TripAdvisor’s updated hotels and flights apps now provide information about Wi-Fi and roaming charges for downtown areas and airports in 21 cities around the world.
Wandering through JFK or heading over there and want to gauge the Wi-Fi scene?
TripAdvisor lets you know that JetBlue’s terminal 6 has free Wi-Fi, and elsewhere in the airport you can do Pay-As-You-Go for $4.95 per hour, or $7.95 for 24 hours.
If you are traveling into Singapore and interested in island-wide coverage, the TripAdvisor apps points out that Rentafi offers a Mi-Fi device with 4G speed and unlimited data. Rentafi delivers these devices to your hotel for “a small fee,” TripAdvisor says. (The fee is $10.)
TripAdvisor spokesperson Kevin Carter calls the Wi-Fi and roaming information, available in English-only for new for cities from New York to London and Singapore, an “experimental new feature.”
The information comes from “a number of online sources, including our own TripAdvisor forums,” Carter says.
A TripAdvisor survey last year found that 12% of U.S. travelers do not use mobile devices abroad, and a third of these indicated that fear of data roaming charges was the reason.
You can access the Wi-Fi and roaming charges information by selecting a city in the TripAdvisor flights and hotels app, and then tapping WiFi and Roaming.
The screen you’ll see isn’t very pretty: It’s basically a big block of text, but it is indeed informational for travelers on the go, and using a mobile device.
The cities covered in the new TripAdvisor Wi-Fi feature include London, Paris, Barcelona, Rome, Berlin, Prague, Madrid, New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai, Seoul, Kuala Lampur and Tapei.
You can expect that TripAdvisor will increase the number of cities that it covers with the Wi-Fi information feature.