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Use these tricks to connect to hotel, airline, and airport Wi-Fi networks

Oct. 25, 2020
3 min read
Man using laptop in airplane
Use these tricks to connect to hotel, airline, and airport Wi-Fi networks
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Editor's Note

This post has been updated. This post was originally published on August 1, 2019.

Whether you're trying to preserve your cell phone data or get online while in flight, connecting to Wi-Fi networks seems to be a constant task when traveling. And this either requires figuring out the correct router name and password or entering a passphrase and/or accepting terms and conditions on a log-in page.

If it's the latter, figuring out how to get to the Wi-Fi log-in page can be the biggest hurdle to getting back online. What if I told you there's a shortcut to figuring out the log-in portal? For the past few years, I've been using a single URL to prompt the portal log-in page for Wi-Fi routers around the world. And it's a URL that I highly recommend that you save on your browser(s) of choice:

http://www.msftconnecttest.com

As this site isn't secured with HTTPS protocol, your browser will let it redirect to the Wi-Fi log-in page, and it's never failed to work during my constant travels, at least using a Windows laptop. The only downside is that using this URL redirects to the MSN homepage if you're already connected to the internet.

If you're looking for alternative websites to try, Zapier suggests the following:

For airlines specifically, you'll want to try browsing directly to the Wi-Fi log-in page:

  • American Airlines:
  • airborne.gogoinflight.com
  • www.aainflight.com
  • aa.viasat.com
  • British Airways: shop.ba.com
  • Delta: deltawifi.com
  • United: unitedwifi.com
  • Alaska: AlaskaWiFi.com
  • JetBlue: flyfi.com
  • Southwest: southwestwifi.com

If you find yourself trying to connect to an airline Wi-Fi network and don't have any of these URL saved or memorized, try browsing to a variety of different sites until your browser redirects to the log-in page.

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For example, when one TPG staffer struggled to prompt the Wi-Fi landing page when flying AA recently, the flight attendant had a memorable suggestion to prompt the portal login page: go to Disney.com.

I just so happened to be flying AA hours after I learned about this tip, so I put it to the test. Sure enough, entering "disney.com" into my web browser brought up ViaSat's log-in page. Unfortunately, the Wi-Fi was broken on this flight.

Is there something special about Disney's website? Well, no. I tested a number of other websites to see if they would redirect as well. Google.com, CNN.com and Fox.com, Apple.com and IBM.com, FAA.gov, and yes ThePointsGuy.com all redirected to the ViaSat log-in page just as Disney.com did. However, some other websites (Google Flights, Delta, United, Southwest) didn't automatically redirect.

Featured image by Getty Images/Hero Images

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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
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Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023