Home from work today, since the ice coating all the roads caused our office to stay closed. I finished shoveling the driveway and the sidewalk of all the heavy, wet snow and ice, and now the wind is a blustery, battering background noise throughout the house. But the cockles of my heart are warmed by a kind (if somewhat error-prone) letter I got today in the mail from Richmond International Airport, reading in part:
Thank you for your complementary [sic] words about Richmond International Airport’s free WiFI service. I bet you didn’t know that RIC was one of the first airports in the U.S. to offer this service for its travelers?
In April 2003, RIC began offering free WiFI service when there were only a handful of other airports around the country offering WiFi to travelers. At RIC, we continue to be committed to maintaining a WiFi network as a courtesy convenience to the Virginia traveling public.
Also enclosed was a courtesy daily parking pass for my next trip, good through the end of 2007.
I have to admit, I didn’t know the part about the free wifi since 2003. But I recently tried using RIC instead of driving up to DCA because the traffic is easier — especially since I am usually leaving during morning hours. I can get a lot of nonstop flights from there, many more than I would have thought possible. But I’ve been so pleased with RIC’s free wifi that I don’t think I’ll ever use DCA (or — shudder — IAD) again, if I can avoid it.
Since I have an almost socially-debilitating neurosis about being on time to the airport, this lets me relax, surf, catch up on Fedora email, or IRC. And yes, RIC is a wonderful Netizen that doesn’t do any evil port blocking that I’ve been able to discern. SSH, Web, SVN, and all sorts of other goodies seem to work just fine.
So a BIG shout out to my buddies at RIC, including Joe Stevens, who sent me the letter, and their President and CEO, Jon E. Mathiasen, for knowing how to treat customers right. If you’re in the DC area as far south as Stafford or Fredericksburg, or even a westerly point like Culpeper or Orange, I encourage you to try out RIC.