How To Find Those Elusive Airport Power Outlets

27 Jan


Samsung Power Pole at MSP Airport Photo by Benet J. Wilson

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.


Southwest Airlines power chairs, outlets in Orlando International Airport Photo by Benet J. Wilson

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:

  • Sky Harbor plugs, Terminal 4 behind the elevators near security Photo by Benet J. Wilson

    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!

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9 Responses to “How To Find Those Elusive Airport Power Outlets”

  1. Elisa January 27, 2011 at 11:47 am #

    Excellent post! Thank you! I’ve been one of those forlorn travellers pacing the halls, searching for power. By experience I’ve found that it helps to “think like a cleaner”. Outlets are often down near the floor and out of obvious view. Think under chairs and near high-traffic areas which will need cleaning/polishing often. My successful finds have included under food shops’ outdoor seating (on the outside of the shop itself), inside fast food restaurants (under bench seats etc), attached to concrete pillars, behind illuminated signs and vending machines (don’t unplug the machine itself though!), and the best of all, unused ticket counters/information booths.

  2. Tania January 28, 2011 at 12:03 am #

    Thanks for sharing this information. Good stuff.

  3. Earle Armenteros March 29, 2011 at 2:11 pm #

    hope you keep going on.

  4. Ivy Silva April 4, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    Hi Aviation Queen,

    By any chance do you know who is the supplier / manufacturer of Delta Airline’s recharge station?

  5. Aviation Queen January 28, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Thank you. We’re all in this together!!


  1. Tweets that mention How To Find Those Elusive Airport Power Outlets « Aviation Queen -- - January 27, 2011

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Benet Wilson, Benet Wilson, Stacy Small , Benet Wilson, Benet Wilson and others. Benet Wilson said: How To Find Those Elusive Airport Power Outlets [...]

  2. Blog - January 27, 2011

    [...] my friend Benet Wilson recently blogged about a handy website called AirPower Wiki. Basically, global travelers share their tips on how to [...]

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