No wifi at airport arrivals hall

| 06/02/2019
Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life, Caymanian status

I recently was at the remodelled airport to pick up arriving guests. While waiting for them I wanted to use wifi from the airport on my phone. I found, I believe it was, CIAA guest, but it required a password. I asked a not very nice (friendly) parking machine attendant for the password. Her reply was, “There is no free internet.”

It seems to me that there was free wifi when the remodel started. Will it be re-added? Every major airport in the world has some form of free internet available to all, or is this just Caymankind?

Auntie’s answer: I contacted the Cayman Islands Airports Authority (CIAA) for clarification and the answer is actually both yes and no on the wifi availability.

Owen Roberts International Airport does offer free wifi, as you would have noticed any time you were in the departures hall. However, the arrivals side is a different story.

A CIAA official explained that customs and immigration regulations prohibit the use of cell phones in the arrivals hall. I am sure there are quite a few people who have been told to get off their phones as they stood by the luggage carousels and attempted to contact the person coming to pick them up.

The “CIAA guest” wifi option you saw on your phone requires a password because it is only for CIAA employees or people who have business with the authority, such as those there for a meeting, the official explained.

So, while the response from the attendant was accurate I do take issue with the apparent lack of Caymankind. Perhaps she was at the end of a long day or had dealt with a lot of issues on her shift. But, even so, anyone whose job requires face-to-face contact with people, and especially visitors to our island, has to find a way to treat everyone politely and, even better, do so with a smile.

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Comments (32)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Little crab can’t cope with big crab life

  2. Anonymous says:

    There is no prohibition against using mobile phones in the arrivals exit area (after clearing customs) and indeed it is allowed by the CIAA. I would suggest to the CIAA that it would be good for customer service to also enable Wi-Fi in the exit

  3. Anonymous says:

    This airport sounds like a complete cock-up. WIFI can be found in just about every airport in the world. I can’t understand why the simplest of things can’t get done..does anyone know who is in charge of this project?

  4. Anonymous says:

    How did humanity survive for millenia without phones?

    • StopTheCrime says:

      We were inefficient then. Missed appointments, wrong addresses, miscommunication… all leading to frustrations, wasted time and wasted money.

  5. Anonymous says:

    No WiFi in departure hall on Saturday February 2.

  6. Anonymous says:

    When guests arrive it would be nice if they were allowed free wifi to advise they are out of the arrivals hall…
    To the person that suggested they could go to departures… No, you can’t and how would a tourist know this??
    Many airports WORLDWIDE have a cell phone lot for people to sit and wait for arrivals/a text saying they have arrived.
    This is amazingly stupid that wifi is not provided. Just block it from the immigration and customs side!!
    *kisses teeth

  7. Anonymous says:

    This is horrible news for tourists who I have encountered picking up other tourists arriving at a later date, as they will have to pay the ridiculous roaming charges just to see the status of an incoming flight.

    • Anonymous says:

      An arrivals display screen in the pick-up area would solve this, if the information was accurate.

    • Anonymous says:

      boo hoo. there are cheap international deals for travelers. they should call their carrier.

  8. Anonymous says:

    A CIAA official explained that customs and immigration regulations prohibit the use of cell phones in the arrivals hall.

    I suppose this is a whole new question, but does Auntie know why various government departments seem to adopt “regulations” without any rhyme or reason? The use of cellphones being the major one since they are quite ubiquitous these days.


    Auntie: You’ve made some interesting points in your comment. I have taken the rest of what you wrote and will be following up with other departments about their policies on using mobile phones.

    • Anonymous says:

      I might add that talking into a cellphone is prohibited, but talking loudly and continuously to the person next to you is fine, so it is something specific to the cellphone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hmm. same rules at the Immigration office (oh I mean WORC) – but they offer free wifi. Hmm.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You can have mine, I’m sick of her.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Couldn’t walk the 200 feet to departures to get a full signal on free side

    • Anonymous says:

      And how do you propose I would know that if I just arrived from Denver?
      If I live here, I would have my data, no wifi required.
      What’s your problem? Can’t afford a data package?

    • Anonymous says:

      Having often been required to sleuth-out which of the only functioning parking machines to pre-pay for parking exit, I can tell you, it’s over 200 feet just to exit the terminal building and double-back to the RCIPS-jay-walk-nazi pedestrian cross-walk lane, and at least 500 feet in each direction.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Could the CIAA cite the regulations in question. Why would the world end if people could text “I’m waiting for my luggage now”?

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t think that’s what they’re concerned about people texting. They’re probably concerned about “we’re in position, deliver the package” or something similar.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Departures hall is also missing a designated charging bank for handheld devices – pretty standard guest-support infrastructure in modern airport departure lounges rolled out after 2010.

  13. Anonymous says:

    With huge wall banners for Lime and Digicel cell phone use, why is cell phone use banned in the Cayman Islands at luggage carousels beyond Immigration? It’s not like the HM Customs officers are going to any great lengths to conceal their identity or remain anonymous; nor have we read about much internal rigour among their ranks to weed out criminals who were the prior subjects of multiple investigations involving abuse of position.

    • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        The same restrictions apply to international passengers at every international airport as I am sure you may realize. We are not allowed
        to use mobile phones until we clear customs.

        • Anonymous says:

          The opposite: first world int’l arrival airports are encouraging mobile phone use to aid in pre-clearing immigration in USA and Canada with their paperless “mobile passport” and “eDeclaration” apps. There are sometimes lengthy ads for the apps on the inbound plane monitors before landing encouraging passengers to pre-clear that way. We are stuck in the policies of the dark ages and haven’t asked why. Further, I regularly message loved ones, business associates, or drivers using cell phone while waiting for luggage pre-customs in a variety of countries – usually using their complementary passenger wifi!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Stop whining about not getting something for free. Really?

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not free, it’s a paid advertorial by the sponsoring telecom/fibre provider. You have to open a browser and accept their terms, cookies, and any future crap.