WHERE TO FIND THE FASTEST AIRPORT WI-FI IN THE U.S. AND CANADA IN 2019
We’re back with our annual survey of the fastest airport Wi-Fi in the U.S. and Canada. This year we’re sharing data on twice as many airports, as well as looking at which non-airport-sponsored SSIDs are your fastest choice. Whether you’re taking one last summer vacation or booking business trips for the fall, this guide should help you find the fastest airport internet connections.
Our analysis is based on Speedtest IntelligenceTM data from 51 of the largest airports in the U.S. and Canada during Q1-Q2 2019.
Fastest airport Wi-Fi
We looked first at mean download and upload speeds over the airport’s Wi-Fi SSID to see which airports are prioritizing fast speeds.
Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye International Airport makes its debut on the list this year at the very top of the rankings. With a mean download speed of 145.12 Mbps, Honolulu’s Wi-Fi was 37.5% faster than second-place Chicago Midway (which was also new to the list). These two airports unseated Sea-Tac, last year’s winner for fastest airport Wi-Fi. Ranking third, Sea-Tac’s mean download speed over Wi-Fi actually fell 4.4% since our last analysis. Nashville International and Phoenix Sky Harbor rounded out the top five.
Calgary placed 17th overall but showed the fastest airport Wi-Fi of the five Canadian airports we examined. Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport had the slowest Wi-Fi among Canadian airports again this year, but their mean download speed jumped 154.4% since our last analysis.
We were excited to see that while we more than doubled the number of airports on the list this year, the number with Wi-Fi download speeds less than 10 Mbps fell. The airport with the slowest Wi-Fi was Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, followed by Salt Lake City International Airport, Houston’s William P. Hobby Airport, Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Meyers, and Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport.
Both Denver and San Francisco split their Wi-Fi between two separate SSIDs that appear to cater individually to 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz devices. In both of these cases we’ve chosen to list the faster of the two SSIDs. Fort Lauderdale has four different Wi-Fi SSIDs for four different terminals. We aggregated the speeds from those SSIDs to report a mean.
Comparing speeds on other Wi-Fi SSIDs at major airports
Airport-provided Wi-Fi is not always your fastest option. This year we also looked for alternate Wi-Fi SSIDs to see which is fastest at each airport. Access to some of these SSIDs may require memberships or day passes, so you can use the information below to decide whether or not to make that investment.
|Airport||Fastest SSID||Mean Download (Mbps)||% Faster than Airport SSID|
|Austin–Bergstrom International Airport||Boingo Hotspot||80.99||0.2%|
|Baltimore–Washington International Airport||Boingo Hotspot||81.91||1.7%|
|Calgary International Airport||YYC-Free-WiFi||69.22||—|
|Charlotte Douglas International Airport||CLT Free WiFi||47.68||—|
|Chicago Midway International Airport||_Free_MDW_Wi-Fi||105.51||—|
|Chicago O’Hare International Airport||united_club||124.96||93.9%|
|Cleveland Hopkins International Airport||CLE-GUEST||52.88||—|
|Dallas Love Field||DAL Free WiFi||43.56||—|
|Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport||TheCenturionLounge||70.29||28.8%|
|Daniel K. Inouye International Airport||HNL Free WiFi||145.12||—|
|Denver International Airport||– DEN Airport Free WiFi||88.47||—|
|Detroit Metropolitan Airport||Boingo Hotspot||62.28||0.2%|
|Edmonton International Airport||EIA_FREE_WIFI||51.44||—|
|Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport||MedallionNet||41.98||237.5%|
|George Bush Intercontinental Airport||united_club||156.73||1117.8%|
|Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport||DeltaSkyClub||111.89||69.8%|
|Indianapolis International Airport||IND PUBLIC WiFi||71.14||—|
|John F. Kennedy International Airport||TWA||161.66||221.5%|
|John Wayne Airport||JWAFREEWIFI||79.91||—|
|Kansas City International Airport||KCI_FREE_WiFi||38.28||—|
|LaGuardia Airport||_Free LGA Wi-Fi||79.40||—|
|Logan International Airport||Passpoint Secure||58.64||26.8%|
|Los Angeles International Airport||united_club||156.91||122.3%|
|Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport||#MSY-Free_Wifi||4.42||337.6%|
|McCarran International Airport||McCarran WiFi||44.56||—|
|Miami International Airport||Avianca_VIP||55.58||55.4%|
|Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport||Boingo Hotspot||82.11||34.8%|
|Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport||VIP||44.37||172.0%|
|Nashville International Airport||Boingo Hotspot||100.42||3.6%|
|Newark Liberty International Airport||united_club||120.31||133.0%|
|Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport||XFINITY||26.81||208.2%|
|Oakland International Airport||OAK Free WiFi||90.95||—|
|Orlando International Airport||skyclub||63.06||47.1%|
|Philadelphia International Airport||American Airlines lounge Wi-Fi||79.37||73.3%|
|Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport||Free PHX Boingo WiFi||93.47||—|
|Portland International Airport||flypdx||38.47||—|
|Raleigh–Durham International Airport||RDU Free WiFi||24.80||—|
|Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport||FlyReagan||81.72||—|
|Sacramento International Airport||flysacramento||37.26||—|
|Salt Lake City International Airport||DeltaSkyClub||18.70||699.1%|
|San Antonio International Airport||SAFreeWiFi||47.83||—|
|San Diego International Airport||#SANfreewifi||85.30||—|
|San Francisco International Airport||united_club||151.10||175.3%|
|Seattle–Tacoma International Airport||Alaska Lounge||102.26||3.6%|
|Southwest Florida International Airport||RSWiFly||7.51||—|
|St. Louis Lambert International Airport||*STL_FREE_WIFI||60.20||—|
|Tampa International Airport||TPA||19.50||—|
|Toronto Pearson International Airport||Plaza Premium Lounge||38.52||25.3%|
|Vancouver International Airport||@yvrairport||58.97||—|
|Washington Dulles International Airport||united_club||185.86||150.2%|
|William P. Hobby Airport||Free Airport WIFI||7.30||—|
The airport’s own SSID was the fastest option for Wi-Fi at 26 airports.
At the other 25 airports, airport lounges (both those affiliated with airlines and other private entities) often topped the pack. We saw that “united_club” was the fastest SSID at six airports and “DeltaSkyClub” at two. “Alaska Lounge,” “American Airlines lounge Wi-Fi,” “Avianca_VIP,” “MedallionNet” and “Plaza Premium Lounge” were each the fastest SSID at one airport.
“Boingo Hotspot” was the fastest SSID at five airports and “Passpoint Secure” (a Boingo service) at one. It’s interesting that at airports where we saw both the “Boingo Hotspot” and “Passpoint Secure” SSIDs, mean download speeds on the “Boingo Hotspot” SSID were routinely faster.
How airline lounges fare for Wi-Fi
We won’t pretend to compare most of the amenities available at various airline lounges, but we do have data on which have the fastest Wi-Fi. We compared mean download speeds over Wi-Fi SSIDs affiliated with airlines and airport lounges to see which memberships you might want to consider.
The United Club has fast Wi-Fi at Dulles, LAX, George Bush Intercontinental, San Francisco, O-Hare and Newark, with mean download speeds well above 100 Mbps. At LAX, the mean download speed of 156.91 Mbps on “united_club” is 263.2% faster than “American Airlines lounge Wi-Fi.” Similarly, “united_club” is 158.9% faster than “American Airlines lounge Wi-Fi” at Chicago O’Hare. United’s more general SSID, “United_Wi-Fi” is slow — 97.3% slower than “united_club” in Houston, and 93.3% slower in Newark.
American Airlines had the fastest lounge Wi-Fi at JFK with a mean download speed of 103.61 Mbps. At Philadelphia International the lounge saw a mean download speed of 79.37 Mbps. It was slower at Miami International Airport, LAX and Chicago O’Hare, however, with mean download speeds in the mid-to-upper 40s. At Phoenix Sky Harbor and Dallas-Fort Worth, though, download speed at the American Airlines Lounge was closer to the mid 20s.
Delta operates three separate SSIDs in Atlanta with “DeltaSkyClub” having the fastest downloads at 111.89 Mbps, “Delta_Guest” at 86.42 Mbps and “DeltaWiFi” at 28.65. In Detroit “DeltaSkyClub” delivered a download speed of 42.12 Mbps and 35.64 Mbps in Minneapolis. Downloads were even slower on this SSID at LaGuardia, Salt Lake City, Sea-Tac, JFK and LAX, with mean speeds that ranged from 15.91 Mbps to 23.20 Mbps.
The Alaska Lounge was the fastest at Sea-Tac with a mean download speed of 102.26 Mbps. The Avianca VIP Lounge was the fastest at Miami International with 55.58 Mbps.
TWA had the fastest Wi-Fi at JFK by far, outpacing other airline-affiliated SSIDs by at least 60 Mbps. Also at JFK, JetBlue’s “Fly-Fi” was slow at 9.83 Mbps but 61.1% faster than “JetBlue Hotspot.”
Wherever your travels may take you, remember the number one rule of Wi-Fi: if the connection is not secured, your data isn’t either. Once you’re safely at your gate (or chilling in the lounge), take a Speedtest so we can bring you an updated version of this list next year.