'

Holiday travelers to get free airport WiFi, courtesy of Skype

The internet communications company is giving travelers one free hour of WiFi at select airports during the Christmas holiday.

With rain storms facing much of the eastern U.S. and snow in the forecast throughout much of the midwest, holiday air travelers can look forward to some long hours stranded in airports across the country.

Happily, the internet communications giant Skype is hoping to remind us that traveling home for the holidays is supposed to be a time of joy, not irritation. Passengers at more than 50 airports around the U.S. will be able to enjoy an hour of free WiFi, courtesy of the company.

Skype's service will allow its customers (those with a Skype account) to tap into existing airport WiFi hotspots in certain airports (click on the image below for an info graphic showing the participating locations). Normally Skype charges a small fee for the service, but from December 21st through December 27th, passengers will have one free hour of web browsing, video chatting, or Netflix-watching to help them fight airport boredom.

Holiday cheer aside, it's not a bad way of attracting new customers (who may then choose to pay to extend the service, and to use Skype's other features).

In order to activate Skype's WiFi service, existing Skype users (running a current version of its software) can activate Skype WiFi access by first enabling the feature (in the "Preferences" or "Options" menu, for Mac or PC, respectively), connecting to a public WiFi hotspot, and selecting Skype WiFi access (by clicking on the icon at the top right of your screen, for Mac users). Mobile users can sign in via Skype's WiFi app.

The service is available to customers using Skype for Windows, Skype for Mac, or iOS devices (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad). Alas, the holiday perk does not extend to those using Android devices.

I'll be honest, this makes me a little more excited about waiting for my (most likely delayed) flight this week.

Graphic: Skype

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com