Having flown to Connecticut and back recently, via Minneapolis/St.Paul, a certain airport issue came to my attention. It's not the first time I've noticed this, but it's the first time I've dwelled on it at length. Airports have too few, if not zero outlets for waiting passengers to use.
During our two hour layover at MSP, we were looking for an outlet into which to plug Linda's laptop. Turns out that the majority of the outlets in the passenger areas have no power flowing to them. The only one we could find that did was underneath a bank of pay phones, with some kind of portable airport video rental machine plugged into it. If that machine hadn't been there, I'll bet you there wouldn't have been power to that outlet either.
Anyway, when we found the outlet, it was full. Underneath the pay phones were two laptops and an iPod recharging. We sat nearby, and soon enough, the guy sitting nearby watching his laptop charge got up and took it, and we quickly moved up and plugged Linda's into the free slot before someone else could get to it.
Does anyone see a problem here? Electronic devices are becoming more and more popular. People on flights like to listen to mp3 players, watch movies in portable players, play their Gameboy or PSP, and do work on their laptops. All these things need to be recharged, and a two-hour layover is a time when people will certainly want to do that recharging. Why do airports work so hard to make it horrifically difficult?
It seems to me that an airport with a couple small recharging areas would be a welcome change. All they'd need is a couple wall outlets near seating areas. Heck, they could even charge people a buck to use it if it were nice enough. If it lets me avoid that long recon mission around the airport to find an outlet that actually works, I'd pay it.