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Airports to Charge for Laptop Power
Ed Kohler

Smarte Carte Charger
I have written before about power access in airports so it should come as no surprise that I was outraged when I read that airports are going to begin charging travelers for access to power outlets.

How much? $3 for 30 minutes, according to Carlson Wagonlit Travel's CWT Traveler e-newsletter and USA Today. One of the companies providing this "service" is Minnesota-based Smarte Carte, who's known for charging travelers a few bucks for access to carts to transport luggage from baggage to your car.

This is the WORST idea I've seen in a while. Cities should not allow their airports to penalize business travelers by forcing them to pay for power. It's insane!

Over time, It will surely become more difficult to find open outlets in airports with Smarte Carte power outlets installed since that would cut into the vendor's profits. Contractually, the airport will probably have to waste money putting caps on non-Smarte Carte publicly accessible outlets. Ever seen a FREE luggage cart in an airport with Smart Cartes installed?

Whoever approved the installation of Smarte Carte power outlets at Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport or any other airport I fly through is not welcome in my home unless they're willing to pay $3 for their place setting and $1 if they'd like to turn the light on while using the bathroom.

Attention airport managers: treat your travelers like you'd treat your friends. We are guests in your home and would like to be treated the way we'd treat you as guests in our homes.


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1. Posted by: Aaron Landry on February 18, 2007 11:52 PM:

But these chargers charge cell phones, smartphones, AND iPods... quickly *AND* easily.

2. Posted by: Scott on February 22, 2007 9:35 AM:

I'm pretty sure these are just disposable battery packs. I was able to use power at MSP not long ago and they *do * have business 'centers' with free power in some of the terminals of the airport. The beef with MSP is that some areas have very little power and its not next to seats.

3. Posted by: nickel and dimed to death on February 23, 2007 2:53 AM:

Why stop at laptop power with all the other easy 'money on the table.' Certainly they could make a few greenbacks for toilet paper. Why not charge a few bucks to turn up the volume on the tv? A few more to see 'realtime' flight info instead of the free 15 delayed ones. How about the special $5 for 5 minute heads up on gate changes and boarding announcements. Give Sprint a call.. they can help you guys figure out how the gouging thing works.

4. Posted by: Mike Procario on February 23, 2007 10:13 AM:

On recent trips through O'Hare I have seen power bars where travelers can plug in and work. I have noticed two of them. They seem to be sponsored by ads. This seems like a much better way of dealing with computer toting travelers.

5. Posted by: Aaron Landry on March 5, 2007 9:27 PM:

You may enjoy this photo I took at Raleigh-Durham International Airport regarding this subject.

6. Posted by: Ed Kohler on March 5, 2007 11:00 PM:

Great shot, Aaron. I wonder if those outlets will remain uncovered?

7. Posted by: jerin on April 26, 2007 6:52 PM:

I agree with Mike. There are corprate sponsors willing to pay for just about anything, sell them ads instead

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