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Summary:

If you’ve traveled much you’ve no doubt seen the road warriors at the gate crowded around the one electrical outlet, trying to get as much juice into that laptop battery as possible before the flight.  That’s if they’re lucky enough to find an outlet at all, […]

If you’ve traveled much you’ve no doubt seen the road warriors at the gate crowded around the one electrical outlet, trying to get as much juice into that laptop battery as possible before the flight.  That’s if they’re lucky enough to find an outlet at all, as most airports put the outlets as far from the gate as they can, just to make it challenging.  Road warriors passing through JFK airport in New York will soon have all the power they need thanks to a new initiative at the busy airport.  The Port Authority of New York is installing 50 eight foot poles with four outlets each all over the airport to provide free electricity to recharge all that mobile gear. 

“One of our chief goals at the Port Authority is simple: Be sure our customers get the best service possible,” said Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia. “This Power Pole initiative – the first of its kind in the United States – is one of the many ways travelers at our facilities benefit from that credo.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “Many travelers now rely on cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices to stay in touch when they’re flying around the country and the world. When our customers told us they needed this recharging service, we moved quickly to provide it, and best of all, it’s free to use.”

Port Authority Executive Director Kenneth J. Ringler Jr. said, “Our airport investments are always designed with our customers’ best interests in mind. We’re pleased to deliver these Power Poles to air travelers, and will continue seeking ways to make a positive impact on their airport experience.”

It’s great to see this type of service being offered free of charge in a busy airport like JFK.

(press release via jkOnTheRun reader Bob Scott)

  1. ORD (Chicago O’Hare International Airport)has done something similar (at least in the United terminal). They’ve set up several kiosks where pay phones used to be, so there’s a chair, and an outlet in each one. Naturally they’re always packed, so you still have to hunt around to find free power.

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  2. James – this is good news and something I hope more airport managers realize is a relatively inexpensive investment in better customer service. With all of the issues related to security when traveling, people really have to spend more time at the airport these days – “just in case” there’s a backup at screening and so the average time spent at the airport has definitely increased.

    Here in Albuquerque, where the city has been providing free muni-supplied WiFi for quite a long time, they’ve also added a number of workstation areas with large work tables, task chairs, and wall- or desk-length power strips (at least 20 outlets) throughout the terminals.

    Most trips, I get to the airport, check in, and sit down to get a solid amount of work done until my flight is called. It’s like having another office location.

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  3. I think the DFW Airport has the perfect solution. It comprises of a combination of free and pay-per-use power outlets.
    If you look around you the DFW airport has some pretty decent availability of Power Sockets in the gate areas and they have rooms and areas where passengers can plug in and use free power outlets.
    However, in about 6 gates, the DFW airport has started a pilot project with a kiosk company called AdComp Systems / TELeasy Corp which is headquartered in Dallas.
    The service is called “PUMP” which stands for “Power-Up My Portable”.
    They have installed power outlets in these 6 gates right under the existing seats at the gates. A kiosk which is right next to these chairs allows the travelers to select the chair they are seated in and pay $2 / 30 minutes or $3 / 60 minutes of power. – Now this I think is ingenious. I can always get free power if I want by going to the little rooms that have been setup at various intervals around the gates or I can pay a mere $3 and get an hour worth of power. $2 – $3 is a very reasonable fee considering that the company that is contracted with this project has to make a living and keep the equipment up and running etc.
    I commend the DFW airport in finding what I think is the perfect solution for the traveling public.
    In the past few weeks thousands of travelers have already used the service and many that have been interviewed absolutely love the convenience

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