Free WiFI! It's the new black, apparantly. Starting today, Google is offering free WiFI at 47 airports nationwide for the rest of the year.
Naturally there's a marketing angle to all of this.
The splash page when you sign on will come with two fever pitches:
1. A plea to give to three charities of Google's choosing (Engineers Without Borders, Climate Savers Computing Initiative and One Economy Corporation).
2. A "chance" to sign up for a plethora of Google services and to make Google your homepage.
While Google is schilling to air travelers without wings on the ground, EBay will be doing the same for Delta fliers (the splash page will take you to a special holiday shopping page on EBay - so much for the air mall magazine next to the barf bag in your seat pocket). As mentioned on this blog last month, Lexus just hosted a one week promotional for free WiFI on American Airlines.
Interesting! As traditional ad-based free content old media "dies" a little more each day, new media borrows a little more from their business model.