Genius Airport Wifi Hack

Posted in At the Terminal

This is big. Really big. It’s the wifi hack of your dreams. What if I told you I just uncovered a major trick to scamming free wifi at the airport and all you need is a smartphone? Would you be happy? I bet you would. I know I was when I discovered the secret. THE SECRET. We’re not talking about that book that your grandmother loves. We’re talking about something a bit more sinister. Be glad you came to Fly&Dine today (and come back regularly for more tips like this!) because I’m about to hook you up, pal.

Have you ever been to an airport and found that the only options for wifi are some sketchy looking networks labeled “FreeAirportWifiDefinitelyGetVirusIfYouConnect” or “HackersStealYour$$$Here”? Then, like a beacon of pure sweet light, you see another network. It’s the airport lounge network. Maybe it’s the Admiral’s Club or the Chairman’s Lounge or the Special People Expensive Ticket Lounge. Whatever it’s called, it’s the fancy lounge network and there, next to that glowing full-bar wifi symbol, is the dreaded lock. It’s like some fenced-off country club in the middle of a run-down town. If only you could slip past the gate, you could swim in their luxurious pool for hours. Without the password, though, you’re stuck staring in through those automatic glass doors. Until now.

Recently, I had noticed that many airport lounges — although not all, sadly — try to help their guests access the wifi by placing a handy reference sign somewhere near the check-in desk. Instead of having to ask someone at the desk, all you need to do is look at the sign and, voila!, you’ve got the password. So I decided to try something.

While sitting in the airport in [redacted], I walked into the [redacted] Lounge under the guise of asking about using a credit card to access the lounge. “Excuse me, sir, but can I use this obviously unusable card to enter your oasis?” “No.” “Oh, what a shame. Perhaps I’ll purchase a day pass instead. May I look around to see if it’s worth it?” “I don’t care. I get paid hourly. You can do whatever you want.” Okay, so maybe the last part isn’t true, but I did ask if I could look around and the guy said sure. I was in.

Sure enough, there, on the desk, was a sign about the wifi: network name, password, everything you need. I slyly took out my phone, snapped a quick pic of the sign, and thanked the desk guy for his time. Then I walked out and started using the wifi. Boom. That’s it.

Once you’ve got the password, you’ll definitely want to sit close to the door for maximum signal strength. You also may want to avoid trying to stream YouTube or any heavy bandwidth sites as the connection won’t be super strong. Other than that, though, you’re free to surf as needed.

Is it unethical to enter under false pretenses and walk away with a photo of the wifi sign? Maybe. Is it hurting anyone? Not at all. This is a victimless crime and one I have no reservations about.

I won’t be sharing the name of the airport or the lounge I first did this in or the password, but if you happen to be in a lounge RIGHT NOW and have a wifi network and password, I don’t think anyone would be upset if you happened to share it in the comments.

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Comments

  1. Hurting anyone? Yes. Stealing the bandwidth from people who have a legitimate claim to using it is commonly referred to as “theft of services”.

  2. This takes me back to my college travel days, back when I could camp outside of the BA lounge at Heathrow and soak up the wifi since they hadn’t discovered WEP yet. Go ahead and take from the 1%, they won’t miss it.

  3. Doesn’t exactly conform to my definition of Hacking. I mean, looking at a posted Wifi password doesn’t required any technical expertise. The next time I pass by some lounges I’ll be curious to see if anyone is camped outside the door but, for myself, I’m past the age where I’d look normal sitting on an airport terminal floor.

  4. Huh, there are lounges with password? I guess I don’t get around enough. I’ve been a Delta Medallion (recovering) and the SkyClubs I went into were always wide open.

  5. Sorry, but this ‘no one is getting hurt/victimless crime’ attitude is really disrespectful and a larger sign of today’s tech generation who think that they are entitled to taking whatever they can get their hands on in whatever questionable manner they can justify. I don’t know Mr. Kessler’s age, nor does it matter in this case. He is acting like a seventeen-year-old who takes (paid bandwidth) from others and gives nothing in return. It is really shameful. And when these sort of tactics are propagated and celebrated, don’t be surprised when changes in the industry are implemented that are more restrictive to honest users of the services.

    But people who use terms like ‘victimless crimes’ have usually stopped analyzing their actions much too early. Do what you want, Mr. Kessler, but maybe keep it quieter next time so as not to upset the cart with apples I am paying for.

  6. A (more justifiable?) variant: I was in an airport (in an off-the-beaten-path location) where the public wi-fi network was not working. I moved near the lounge, and connected to the lounge network. Voila – worked, completely open; no password.

    • That’s a great alternative if my super sneaky/dishonest/world-destroying ways aren’t your cup of tea. Thanks for the tip, UAPhil!

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