The airport WiFi sweepstake

7 December 2006

It was perhaps the look of resignation in the eyes of the check-in clerk for British Airways that settled the choice of how long I should order for the WiFi connection. Turning up two hours before the flight was due to take off from Lyon Saint-Exupéry, the signs were already showing a delay of one hour. Not a good sign.

Then she said, pointing to the boarding time on the ticket. "At 6:10, if you want to come back here to the check-in desk, we can update you with more information on the flight."

"Is it worth going through through security?" I asked.

She shook her head. No, that was a bad idea. "Aah, right. I see what you mean," I said, adding a quick thank you as I wandered in search of a cafe where I could hold up for a few hours.

Logging on to the airport Wifi, it asked if I wanted 30 minutes - too optimistic by far - an hour for €10, two hours for 50 per cent more or a whole day for double. I thought about it for a minute, did a quick calculation and plumped for the 24-hour pass. I'm not expecting to get out of this airport fast.

Once through the paywall, I saw the story about the North London tornado. Nice weather we're having. It's just tipping it down in southern France.