Fellow Allbusiness.com blogger, Ken Walker, has a blog called Traveling Business Class where he publishes tips for travelers. In his post, Multiple Power Cords, he recommends purchasing extra power cords and keeping them in your luggage so that you don’t (pardon the expression, American Express) leave home without them.
I agree. While I don’t travel as much as Ken does, I have spent my share of time on the road and in the air. I’ve learned to use a label maker to label those power cords that aren’t easily identifiable and to keep each in a separate storage bag to keep them from becoming entangled with each other.
Which brings me to my biggest gripe about the customer service experience in airports; ever gotten to an airport early and wandered through the concourses looking for an outlet in which to plug in your computer’s power cord or your cell phone charger?
My worst experience was in 1999 when I had a four-hour layover in one of the DFW terminals. I searched without luck on and off for three and a half of those hours before finally spotting an outlet behind a soft drink machine. I kept wondering where they plugged in their vacuum cleaners.
Kudos to Southwest Airlines which has remodeled many of their gates so that their Customers can sit in a comfortable chair which has its own power outlet.
But what can you do when you walk up to your gate and the few outlets are already occupied by other passengers?
Here’s The “Electrifying” Part
Consider carrying a power tap. That’s the device you plug into an electrical outlet which then gives you three or more outlets. It’s like a small power strip without the cord. They’re also great for those hotel rooms where all of the outlets are taken.
If you walk up to your gate and all of the outlets are in use by other passengers, politely ask if you can plug that person’s cord into your power tap so that you both can have access.