Skypes Christmas Gift: Free Wi-Fi at Airports

'Tis the season for stressful holiday travel but one company is doing its part to make things jollier. On Monday, Skype announced that it will give a gift to travelers at over 50 airports across the nation: Free Wi-Fi!

Starting Wednesday, Microsoft's new Internet communications company will offer a free hour of Internet access to third-party wireless hotspots within the Skype Wi-Fi hotspot footprint in selected airports across the U.S.

"The holidays are all about connecting with those that you love," Linda Summers, director of product marketing at Skype, said in a statement. "Skype is helping people maintain these meaningful connections this holiday season from wherever they may be. A voice or video call via Skype when you can't be together for the holidays is the next best thing to being there."

From Dec. 21-27, travelers passing through (or delayed) in over 50 airports across the country will be able to access third-party hotspots using Skype Wi-Fi and connect with loved ones via Skype video or voice call for free - provided you have an account.

Skype Wi-Fi is available for travelers using Skype for Windows, Skype for Mac, or the Skype Wi-Fi iOS app. Once you've signed in with a valid Skype ID, check your wireless network connection to see if you are in a supported hotspot.

AAA predicts roughly 5.4 million leisure travelers, or six percent of holiday travelers, will fly during the year-end holiday travel period. With crowded terminals and inevitable delays, Skype will offer a way for travelers to check in with loved ones.

Many airports already offer free Wi-Fi, but for those that don't, Skype will fill in the gap.

Free Wi-Fi will be available at most major U.S. airports, including JFK and LaGuardia in New York, San Francisco International, Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta, and O'Hare and Midway in Chicago. The full list of participating airports is plotted on the map above and listed below.

Skype is not the first to offer this kind of deal. In the past, Nintendo partnered with Boingo, the country's leading Wi-Fi hotspot provider, to offer free online access to 3DS owners during the travel season. Last year, Google sponsored Wi-Fi access in both airports and airplanes during the holiday season. For Skype, the promotion will likely introduce travelers to its relatively new Wi-Fi service.

Skype encourages you to tweet with the hashtag #freeskypewifi and tell them how free Skype Wi-Fi made your travels a little more enjoyable.

Full List of Participating Airports:

ALB - Albany International Airport

ASE - Aspen-Pitkin County Airport

ATL - Atlanta International Airport

AUS - Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

AZO - Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport

BIL - Billings Logan International Airport

Birmingham Airport Authority - Birmingham AL

BNA - Nashville International Airport

BOS - Boston International Airport

BUF - Buffalo Niagara International Airport

BUR - Bob Hope Airport Burbank

BWI - Baltimore/Washington International Airport

CBB - Citizens Business Bank Arena

CWA - Central Wisconsin Airport

CWS - U.S. Cellular Field

DCA - Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

DEN - Denver Int'l Airport - Concourse B Mezzanine

DRO - Durango La Plata County Airport

DSM - Des Moines International Airport

DTW - Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport

ELP - El Paso International Airport

EWR - Newark Liberty International Airport

GEG - Spokane Airport

GRR - Gerald R. Ford International Airport

GSO - Piedmont Triad International Airport

HDC - Home Depot Center

HOU - Houston William P Hobby Airport

IAD - Dulles International Airport

IAH - George Bush Intercontinental/Houston Airport

IND - Indianapolis International Airport

JAC -- Jackson Hole Airport

JFK - John F. Kennedy International Airport

JNU - Juneau International Airport

LGA - LaGuardia International Airport - Central Terminal

MBS - MBS International Airport Terminal 1

MDW - Chicago Midway Airport

MEM - Memphis International Airport

MIA - Miami International Airport

MKE - General Mitchell International Airport (Milwaukee)

MRT - The Merchandise Mart Chicago

MRY - Monterey Peninsula Airport

MSP - Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport - Lindbergh Terminal

OKC - Oklahoma City Will Rogers World Airport

OMA - Eppley Airfield Omaha Int'l Airport

ORD - Chicago O'Hare International Airport

ORF - Norfolk International Airport

PET - Pettit National Ice Center

PHF - Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport

PVD - T F Green - Providence RI

PVD - T F Green - Providence RI

PWM - Portland International Airport

RCC - Rosemont Convention Center

SBN - South Bend Regional Airport

SCF - Scottsdale Airport

SDF - Louisville International Airport

SF0 - Soldier Field

SFO - San Francisco International Airport

SMF - Sacramento International Airport

STL - Lambert St. Louis International Airport

SWF - Stewart International Airport

TOL - Toledo Express Airport

TVC - Traverse City/Cherry Capital Airport