03 Public WiFi – Heathrow T5

A brief look at the user experience of public WIFi on offer at London’s Heathrow Airport (T5).


Provided by Heathrow Airport Holdings Limited via  Virginwifi the service is currently sponsored by Visa.


They collect the following data:

  • Name (first & last)
  • Email address (nothing received)
  • Flight number (not validated)

The connectivity options were:

  • Paid for 20Mbps – Premium Wi-Fi
  • Sign in for – Free Wi-Fi
  • Sign in with Heathrow Rewards – Free Wi-Fi
  • Sign in with Social Media

A slightly confused and confusing list with the majority of users no doubt choosing the first option saying free (option 2).

Other than a heavily Visa branded captive portal redirected following registration, there was no other overt advertising and users are free to use the web.


Use of data was not clear and it seems that collecting personal information names and emails, may not be actually be needed for the provision of the service.