Coffee and WiFi ‘wars’ at Queen Alia International Airport

Wanadoo at queen alia airport

So, Starbucks have opened in Queen Alia International, just beside the newly opened World News Cafe. What a change from a decade ago, when all you could get at QAIA was a plastic cup with hot water and a tea bag. The coffe situation at the airport started to improve a few years ago, when Blue Fig managed to place their cappuccino carts in the airport’s different departure and arrival halls. The carts are still there. But compared to the the Starbucks brand and, to a lesser extent the World News Cafe presence, Blue Fig has been dwarfed (which is a shame really). Cinnabon are there too. More and more the airport is becoming a mall. This is no surprise as the global airport shopping trend continues to grow strongly. I wonder if one still can get a cheap plastic cup with hot water though, or if the only choice now is to buy expensive gourmet hot drinks!

I just had coffee at home before leaving to the airport, so I didn’t feel a need for another cup. Besides, I am ‘still’ boycotting Starbucks (more about THAT issue in a future post). So while I was waiting for my Aqaba flight to start boarding, I decided to take my PowerBook out to check the WiFi situation. Aha.. so there are two visible networks now. One is called ‘guest’ which is the Wanadoo service. Its cards are sold at the World News Cafe. The other one is called NEXT, which is provided by the ISP with the same name in cooperation with, you guessed it, Starbucks.

I didn’t have time to check out the prices for both services. I actually wanted to snub both and connect via my Fastlink GPRS line, but our flight was being called so I rushed to the gate.

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2 Responses to “Coffee and WiFi ‘wars’ at Queen Alia International Airport”

  1. Hareega Says:

    Judging from the Prices of some restaurants in the airport, the prices are only slightly more expensive than their branches in Amman. However the servie sucks and the food is always reheated and some workers there are very unprofessional and whenver they harass some female tourists in a disgusting way.

  2. ohoud Says:

    You brought back some old memories of the airport. I recall the only shop they had upstairs, I always had a yellow cheese sandwich there:p

    Now its all turned into this corridor with these small “booth” like restaurants. I dont mind it, its definately more lively than before but there is nothing really authentic. All other airports do have these globalized chains but in addition have their traditional shops.

    It would be wonderfull for foreigners to sense the Jordanian atmosphere a bit when entering the airport. Maybe renewing hte posters on the walls,adding some and a bit of bani hamida carpets maybe? some arabic coffe shop maybe? a small falafel booth?

    Just giving some identity…

    p.s: way to go with the boycotting

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