For all of you frequent travelers out there, the technophiles and workaholics, there’s good news coming from airports across the country. No more jockeying for position near the one power source available at every gate in order to necessarily recharge laptop, Blackberry, etc.
U.S. airports everywhere are working to up the ante on outlets, bringing energy more conveniently to the millions of travelers who rely on their many electronic devices.
After all of the many, many, many record airline delays and cancellations, free and easy electrical access improves PR and amps up every traveler’s potential productivity.
A prime example of this move is Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, where two freestanding “charging kiosks” located near their highly frequented train system in terminals A and B have been installed. Installed less than a month ago, each kiosk has four seating areas equipped with a small desk and an electrical outlet. In addition, the kiosks have Ethernet plugs that tap into the facility’s free Internet connection.
DFW hopes to eventually add outlets under every seat in the airport.
Moreover Samsung Telecommunications America combined forces with DFW to install free-to-use Samsung-branded charging lounges. Beyond DFW, Samsung has 51 charging kiosks at JFK International in New York. Last month, Samsung installed 50 similar kiosks at LAX.
At Dallas Love Field, Southwest is experimenting with charging stations at three gates. The airline has also been testing it at one gate in San Antonio for the past year.
Though most of the offerings are free, at least one company still charges travelers for power. Power Station LLC operates so-called “PowerPort” vending machines in seven airports across the country, including Jacksonville International, Minneapolis-St. Paul International, and LaGuardia Airports, where one can plug in any electrical device for $4.50 per hour or $2 for 10 minutes.
However, in my opinion, most travelers are not going to want to pay for electricity, especially with all of the time, energy, and money already put into today’s air travel. I suspect that, following the precedent in Dallas, we’ll all be seeing more three prong wholes at all of our frequented terminals. I know I’m glad to hear that.