Before flying to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa touted last week the news that Los Angeles International Airport now offers free Wi-Fi service in its terminals.

Morning at the Dublin airport

LAX is the country’s third busiest airport. Photo by Michal Osmenda.

It’s good news for travelers, but LAX is not breaking new ground.

Several large airports around the country already offered free wireless Internet service, including Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport, San Francisco International Airport and Long Beach Airport.

Until last week, visitors to LAX had to pay a fee, starting at $9.99 an hour, to jump on the Web. Now LAX visitors get free Wi-Fi for 45 minutes of regular access, or they can pay $4.95 for an hour of high-speed service or $7.95 for an uninterrupted 24-hour period.

Airport officials acknowledge that LAX _ the nation’s third-busiest airport _ is not the first to jump on the free Wi-Fi train.

“Given passenger expectations and trends at major airports and other public facilities, providing free Wi-Fi service at LAX allows us to meet the demands of today’s travelers,” airport Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey said in a statement.

(c)2012 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by MCT Information Services.