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Briefs: Free Wi-Fi coming to ATL; TSA adds PreCheck at another airport

In airport news this week, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson is moving toward free Wi-Fi access for all travelers; the Transportation Security Administration expands its PreCheck expedited screening option to yet another facility; Seattle will open new duty-free stores; and The Food Network opens its first airport restaurant.

  • Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson has cut the price of Wi-Fi to a daily rate of $4.95 as a step toward eventually offering the service fro free. They can already gain free access to some basic websites, including the airport’s own site and those of airlines and rental car firms, and at some point in 2013, the $4.95 fee for full Internet access will be dropped, airport officials said. The airport plans to take over the Wi-Fi service itself, eliminating third-party providers.

  • The Transportation Security Administration announced that it has expanded its PreCheck expedited screening program to Puerto Rico’s Luis Munoz Marin International Airport at San Juan. The PreCheck lane at SJU is available at Checkpoint 4 for participants from the frequent flyer programs of Delta, United and US Airways who are traveling on domestic flights, as well as members of Customs and Border Protection trusted traveler programs like Global Entry.

  • The Port of Seattle said it has signed a deal with a joint venture led by Duffy North America LLC to build three new duty-free stores at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The $2.9 million project will bring new stores to Concourse A, the Central Terminal, and the South Satellite starting in mid-2013, port officials said. “All travelers will experience affordable world-class shopping in the new stores for brand-name perfumes, cosmetics, handbags and other luxury items,” as well as gourmet foods, snacks, wines, a selection of liquor products and Eddie Bauer apparel, the port said. The stores are expected to increase duty-free sales at Sea-Tac by 60 percent.

  • The Food Network has cut the ribbon on its first airport restaurant at Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International. The new Food Network Kitchen is in the JetBlue terminal—the only eatery there that offers hot dishes. Menu items include things like a shrimp po’boy, a salmon burger, Cuban breakfast burrito, sweet potato fries, and a Cuban sandwich. There’s no waiter service, but diners can eat in or take items out.

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