Free Wi-Fi has landed at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

After fielding gripes from passengers forced to pay for online, the airport began offering free service this week throughout the Lindbergh and Humphrey terminals.

Passengers will be able to use free Wi-Fi after opening their laptops or other devices and watching a 30-second commercial or taking a survey. They can use it free indefinitely if they watch commercials or take surveys every 45 minutes.

A timer reminds travelers of how much free session time remains.

Passengers stuck in a terminal during a long layover or impatient with commercials can pay $2.95 for uninterrupted online service.

"Free Wi-Fi has topped the wish lists of travelers at Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport for some time," MSP executive director Jeff Hamiel said Wednesday.

Before the new service, passengers paid as much as $7.95 for Wi-Fi.

The free Wi-Fi is expected to operate at about 1.2 megabytes per second, though speeds will vary depending on location and online traffic at the airport. Passengers who pay $2.95 will get speeds up to five times faster, making it more suitable for high-definition streaming of videos.

Airport officials expect the commercials and optional charges will pay for the service.

Pat Doyle • 612-673-4504