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Airports have finally realized that flyers will deal better with delays and other shenanigans if the Wi-Fi is fast and free.

Passengers flying to and from Detroit Metropolitan Airport will find the fastest Wi-Fi at any U.S. airport, according to a Wefi report.

The company analyzed data collected from more than 45 million hotspot locations across the country from multiple cable operators, and came up with a ranking of the top 12 U.S. airports for Wi-Fi.

Detroit’s airport boasted speeds of 4.63 megabits per second (mbps) while San Francisco International Airport landed in the 12th spot with 2.29 mbps.

Detroit Metropolitan is one of the nation’s busiest airports, serving more than 30 million passengers each year.

“We’re very pleased with the ranking, and it reflects the work we’ve been doing,” says Brian Lassaline, spokesperson for Detroit Metroplitan Airport. “Since last fall, our technology services department has been doing complete upgrades, and one of the priorities was to create faster, complimentary Wi-Fi.”

“And we’re looking at building on this in the future, with one project being transitioning our terminal directories to digital directories,”  Lassaline says.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the world’s busiest in terms of passenger traffic, came in eighth with 2.66 mbps connectivity speeds after rolling out free Wi-Fi for passengers earlier this year.

Denver International Airport had the second fastest Wi-Fi with 4.33 mbps, and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport had the third-fastest speeds at 3.75 mbps.

Some of the country’s busiest airports, such as JFK in New York and Chicago O’Hare, didn’t even make the top 12 ranking.

While all of the airports in the top 12 have relatively large passenger volumes, some of the busiest airports face considerable challenges in increasing network capacity.

Free Wi-Fi at these airports are more the exception than the rule.

“In our opinion busy airports likely experience more travelers connecting to Wi-Fi, causing slower connection speeds, but we have not verified this as part of this particular research study,” says David Fishman, Wefi’s CMO.

The metrics are based on a 45-day average of Wi-Fi speeds for each location from April 1 to June 15, 2014.

Top Airports with Fastest Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Speeds
Detroit Metropolitan Airport, MI 4.63 mbps
Denver International Airport, CO 4.33 mbps
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, FL 3.74 mbps
Los Angeles International Airport, CA 3.29 mbps
Washington Dulles International Airport, VA 3.09 mbps
Dallas-Ft. Worth International Airport, Texas 2.88 mbps
LaGuardia Airport, NY 2.67 mbps
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, GA 2.66 mbps
Logan International Airport, MA 2.51 mbps
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, MN 2.45 mbps
McCarran International Airport, NV 2.41 mbps
San Francisco International Airport, CA 2.29 mbps
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Tags: detroit, digital, mobile, wi-fi

Photo credit: Detroit Metropolitan Airport has the fastest Wi-Fi in the US, according to new Wefi data. Peter F. / Flickr

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