We’ve all been there — our laptop/smartphone/iPad is running on fumes after a flight or a long delay and we’re desperate to find that power outlet. Many a time I’ve seen people wandering an airport like the lost tribes of Israel, looking for that plug. I’ve even seen people almost come to blows over outlets.
Airports and airlines are getting better at providing more plugs. Several, including Minneapolis-St. Paul, Newark Liberty, Los Angeles International, have power outlet poles sponsored by Samsung. DFW Airport has a Samsung Lounge with power outlets and work stations, and Delta announced in December that it was adding recharging stations at 19 airports that will have 6 110 volt outlets as well as two USB ports. Southwest Airlines also provides outlets and USB ports at many of its larger cities.
But there is a great resource that can help you find outlets in hundreds of airports worldwide – the Air Power Wiki. This wiki was created by Jeff Sandquist, a team leader at Microsoft who became frustrated when trying to find power plugs in airports. It even has a companion Flickr group with actual pictures of some outlets and includes available free and paid wi-fi access at some airports.
So let’s say you’re stuck waiting in Phoenix/Sky Harbor International Airport (one of my personal favorites) and you need a plug. Here’s what that entry looks like:
Gate 10: to the right when facing the gate (2 outlets, chairs, good WiFi signal)
- Gate A-17: on the pole near the bank of payphones (2 outlets)
- Gate A 18: on the pole near the women’s restroom (2 outlets) – chair close by!
- Gate A 18: on the wall about half way up (2 outlets) – above bank of chairs!
- Gate A-19: under the arrival/departure televisions (2 outlets)
- Gate A-20: on the pole near the Gate A20 sign (2 outlets)
- Gate B-25: on the pole beside the seating near the gate desks (2 outlets)
- Gate D-1: on granite pillar
- Gate D-5: also on pillar facing terminal hall. Most outlets in D are covered!
- Wireless internet service is now available free of charge to Sky Harbor visitors. It is available on both sides of security, in retail areas and near the gates at the airport. If a passenger’s laptop computer or wireless electronic device is configured to operate in a wireless mode, it will automatically connect to the internet when powered up near the shops and gates at Sky Harbor.
And yes, I’ve contributed power outlets to the wiki and pictures to the Flickr group. Now that you know about this wiki, I hope you do the same!