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Airport Power, the Continuing Story

Nicolas Ritoux, of Montreal’s La Presse, has been emailing me about the Montreal power outlet story.  He asked:


The PR lady for Aéroports de Montréal told me your story doesn’t make sense. She said they actually made it easier to plug laptops all around the airport, by installing outlets in the waiting areas at every gate of every terminal.

The thing is, I can’t currently go to Trudeau to check it by myself, so I have to get the story straight from its main protagonist – you ! :)

So, what’s your answer to the official reply ? Where did you find the AC outlets covered by caps ?

I replied by email as follows:

Hi Niko —

I have heard from a number of people that there is power at Trudeau. Maybe I just got unlucky. Anyway, I will be publishing an update on my blog as well, so I will include the response from the lady at Montreal. Can I use her name?

Here is what started the story — what I found, at Gate 82, where I was waiting to get on a flight to Philadelphia.

In the lounge area around the gate there were no available outlets. There were two outlet sized boxes, covered by stainless steel electricians covers on the wall to the left of the check-in gate, but no power.

The lounges at Trudeau are on either side of a concourse. I found power I could use opposite the lounge, in the bell phone booth. Beside the phone booth, if I wanted to sit on the floor, there was also power.

And, three gates away, there was one power socket in a lounge near a convenient chair which was occupied by someone else.

From the readers who responded to the story I’ve learned that some airports are great, and some are just plain traveler unfriendly. For instance, at Orly in Paris, there are laptop desks available for business people to work and plug in their laptops. However, at O’Hare in Chicago, there are just one or two restaurants in the whole enormous airport where power is available.

In response, I’ve set up a Wiki at http://airpower.pbwiki.com for travelers to collaboratively build a list of airport power locations.

I’ve spent the last couple of days chatting with people about this issue.  Everyone can recall a situation where they’ve been desparate for power, and none has been available.  I’ve even heard stories of people fighting over the one available outlet.

So, it’s possible I was mistaken about Trudeau in general, but certainly there wasn’t readily available power at my gate.  Generally speaking, business travellers agree that this would be a nice thing to have too.  So, airports, are you listening?

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