Money Minute: Busiest U.S. Airport Finally Gets Free Wi-Fi

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The busiest airport in the country finally offers free Wi-Fi connections.

The new network at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport can handle up to 15,000 users at a time. More than 94 million travelers pass through the airport each year, and officials say the lack of free Wi-Fi was one of their biggest complaints. Up until now, the airport charged $4.95 to connect.

Of course, you can fly from Atlanta to London, and now your plane can land at Heathrow's new terminal. The $4 billion facility is designed to handle 20 million passengers a year. Queen Elizabeth will be there for an official opening ceremony next week. The terminal is named in her honor.

And one more note for air travelers: airlines are doing a much better job of handling our bags. A new report shows the number of lost bags has been cut in half since 2007. Delta (DAL) and USAirways (AAL) have made the biggest gains.

One of the most controversial parts of the Affordable Care Act is the financial penalty imposed on people who don't sign up. Well, we now know 4 million people will be hit with that penalty. The Congressional Budget Office says that's actually about 2 million lower than its earlier estimate, mostly because many people with very low incomes are exempt from the fines.

Here on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) and the Standard & Poor's 500 index (^GPSC) both rose to a record high Thursday. For the S&P, it's the seventh record in the past nine trading days. The Dow gained 98 points, the S&P rose 12, and the Nasdaq composite (^IXIC) rallied 44 points.

Do you feel richer? Many people might so no, but overall, Americans are wealthier than ever before. New figures from the Federal Reserve show the net worth of U.S. households rose by 2 percent in the first quarter to an all time high. Most of the gain was due to rising stock and home prices. That could be good news for the overall economy, if people feel more confident to borrow and to spend.

-Produced by Drew Trachtenberg.


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