Airports Add Free Power For Electronics, Vehicles

Using free power to charge electronic devices before boarding a flight is a popular activity. Airlines and airports know that and are adding more charging stations all the time. The same goes for electric vehicle travelers who might drive to the airport. As more environmentally friendly cars hit the streets, airports are adding charging stations for them too, also a complimentary service.

“Delta’s addition of power stations at airport gates has been cited by PCWorld magazine as an important aspect of travel and improving the customer experience,” said Wayne Aaron, Vice President, Marketing Programs and Distribution Strategy at Delta Airlines in a Travel Daily News article this week.

Delta is adding at least two power stations per gate power in 12 additional U.S. cities before the end of the year including Anchorage, Alaska; Austin, Texas; Denver; Dallas/Ft. Worth; Houston Intercontinental; Kansas City, Missouri; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; New Orleans; Ontario, California; Philadelphia; Phoenix; and Syracuse, New York.

“Customers today are savvy travelers who bring their smartphones, computers and tablets with them,” says Aaron. “Providing a power source they can use before they get on a long flight helps them do what they need to do in the air, whether for work or pleasure.”Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations are becoming more plentiful too. Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is typical of airports with charging stations where spaces are reserved for electric vehicles only. Each station is capable of charging two vehicles simultaneously with 240V connectors. There is no fee to use the stations, but regular parking rates apply.

ChargePoint is the largest online charging network in the world, connecting drivers to charging stations in more than 14 countries. ChargePoint service plans are compatible with charging stations from any manufacturer and yes, they have an app to find stations close by, make, view and cancel reservations. As they pass through security, at the gate or in the air with their Wi-Fi connected devices, users can view charging stats while their car charges and get notification when fully charged.

[Flickr photo by gillyberlin]

USBCELL rechargeable AA batteries recharge using USB

Sorry for the silly title, but there is no easier way to describe this product. USBCELL batteries are regular AA batteries, with a removable cap and USB jack. We mentioned these neat batteries back in 2007, and I recently took a set for a real test.

The batteries are nickel metal hydride, like most rechargeable batteries, but their capacity is a relatively weak 1300mAH. Most rechargeable batteries I have here are 2000mAh or higher. Still, if you have a low power gadget that you really don’t want to be without, switching to USBCELL batteries could be a convenient way of saving yourself if you forget your battery charger or can’t find a 24 hour drugstore in the area.

To charge, you simply pop the cap off and plug them into any USB power source. This can be your computer, game console or a powered USB hub or anything else with a USB port. The cap is attached with a small elastic strap, so you are not at risk of losing it. An LED indicator on the battery lets you know when it is charging, and when the charging cycle is complete.

USBCELL batteries retail for $17.99 per pair, including shipping (from the UK). They are also available at REI, Brookstone, Batteries+, and I find it hard to complain about the price, because the batteries are so well designed, and I’m sure there are people out there who can benefit from batteries that can be charged using USB.

To learn more about these batteries, or to order some for yourself, head on over to