Airport Outlets

Monday, January 8th 2007


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.

Comments on Airport Outlets
Comment Monday, January 8th 2007 by tagger
Be careful what you wish for . . .

Sure--they'll put in outlets. At $1.00 for 30 minutes of juice.

You're too young to remember pay TV and toilets, but if someone thinks they can charge for it, they'll do it.

You know those stupid baggage carts? They're *free* in Canada (and most other places) but in Boston, they actually have goons patrolling the terminals and lots to keep people who are through with their carts from letting others use it for free.

Comment Monday, January 8th 2007 by Greg
Having to pay is better than not being able to find outlets at all.
Comment Monday, January 8th 2007 by pmd
Cosmic! From Today's USA Today...

Updated 1/8/2007 4:16 AM ET
By Roger Yu, USA TODAY


Get a free recharge at new 'power poles'

Travelers at John F. Kennedy International can recharge their electronic devices at newly installed "power poles" - 8½-foot-tall fixtures wired with four outlets. The airport, which began installing them last month, will have 50 poles by the end of January. They'll be beyond security checkpoints in all terminals. Advertising on the polls finances installation and upkeep, and they're free to travelers.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, expects to install the poles at Newark and LaGuardia airports this year, but has no specific dates planned.
Comment Tuesday, January 9th 2007 by Greg
Great! We hit LGA a lot, but it's generally the terminus of our travel. Put those in at O'Hare and MSP and I'm a happy guy.
Comment Saturday, January 13th 2007 by Ron
Coming back to CT from our trip to NM this past summer, the first thing Kim and I noticed when we got off the plane and walked into the terminal at Bradley was a table with the world's longest power strip ! There must've been two dozen outlets on this thing. I wish we had the camera with us.
Comment Saturday, January 13th 2007 by Greg
That's awesome. :-)
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