While on a recent trip that passed through several different airports, it was striking how many travelers were on laptops at each airport. Though a few of the travelers simply ran their laptops on battery power, the majority had them plugged in to electrical outlets. As you can imagine, unused outlets were nonexistent.
Personal technology usage during travel continues to grow exponentially. Some travelers try to nab power outlets so they can plug in their laptops and do some work or take in some entertainment to pass the time. Others want to recharge their portable music players, cell phones, cameras, etc. So power sources in airports are becoming like oases in the desert: highly sought but hard to come across.
Helpful Websites Show Where to Find Electrical Outlets in Airports
It is human nature to try to overcome obstacles such as scarcity. One way of doing so is by finding insider information on how to solve a problem. The Web is a great medium for such research; if you are facing a difficulty, likely there is a web site out there that will show you how to tackle it. It is no different for the airport power outlet shortage issue. The AirPowerWiki is a detailed online guide to finding power outlets at numerous airports around the world. Simply look up an airport by name to see where you can find power outlets. The site even has a Flickr group with pictures showing such locations.
Another useful website is TravelSuperLink.com, which provides a directory of links to information about major U.S. airports. For instance, follow the link for Atlanta and you can drill down to locate information about wi-fi, etc.
Other Airport Strategies
Of course, knowing where all the electrical outlets are in an airport does not mean you will be able to use one. As mentioned, demand is high and sometimes it is nigh impossible to find an outlet. You might have to resort to other measures if this occurs. If you are an elite member of your airline’s frequent flier program, you should check out its lounge. Airline frequent flier programs provide higher-end service and amenities in their lounges and that includes benefits such as numerous power outlets and included wi-fi. Even if you are not an elite member of your airline’s frequent flier program, you might be able to use the lounge by paying a fee for a day pass.
Another thing to consider is bringing along a power strip and offering to share it with others. Find a convenient outlet and ask if you can share it by plugging in your power strip and then plugging in the original device as well as your own.
On the Airplane
The need for power may not abate on the airplane, especially if the flight is a long one. Luckily, you can use the site SeatGuru.com to see where power ports are located on a plane. Just look up the airline you will be using and then the type of plane (airplane type usually can be found on your ticket or itinerary).