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Less Power To The People!

Less Power To The People!

Old Sep 9, 15, 10:35 pm
  #1  
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Less Power To The People!

So today I was on a flight from IAD-LAX on United. I have my phone loaded up with a few radio programs I planned to listen to on the way, so I got on board and went looking for a power outlet so I'd have some battery left when I got to LA. Nope, no power outlets on this plane, a pretty minimally equipped (except for seats, too many of those in coach, and not enough padding). But they have this new thing - free movies, bring your own screen and connect to their entertainment system via WiFi.

In a period where more aircraft are being equipped with power at the seats, I guess United ditched it figuring that they'd have a plane load of people plugging in and didn't want to provide that many watt-hours.

It was kind of annoying, and kind of funny in a way - giving us something that requires power to use, and then not providing the power. I made it across the country playing my recorded shows and still had enough battery to finish out the day, but it's not how I planned to do it.

Not much interesting to watch, but I did try it out. Phone was too small to watch a movie on (I never do that even on the ground). My laptop computer was OK. I watched one film festival short, and then when I wanted to watch Spinal Tap, it told me that my computer didn't have the latest DRM software and invited me to download it. After just having seen an episode of CSI Cyber about a plane that was hijacked through the on-board WiFi (pretty unlikely in real life), I wasn't about to download software from an airplane to my working computer.

So, is this the start of a trend? Are the airlines that started (and a few finished) a program to put power at all the seats going to remove the outlets on the next refurbishment?
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Old Sep 10, 15, 7:45 am
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers View Post

In a period where more aircraft are being equipped with power at the seats, I guess United ditched it figuring that they'd have a plane load of people plugging in and didn't want to provide that many watt-hours.
...
So, is this the start of a trend? Are the airlines that started (and a few finished) a program to put power at all the seats going to remove the outlets on the next refurbishment?
I wasn't aware that United was removing power outlets from seats where they previously existed. In fact, they show an ongoing installation program across the fleet. Inflight power.

Where is this "trend" you are seeing to remove power?

Originally Posted by Mike Rivers View Post
After just having seen an episode of CSI Cyber about a plane that was hijacked through the on-board WiFi (pretty unlikely in real life), I wasn't about to download software from an airplane to my working computer.
Seriously?
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Old Sep 10, 15, 8:17 am
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I've stopped using the in-flight power port because 99% of the time my charger falls out with the slightest touch because the slots are too loose. I find it easier to just use a battery pack to charge my phone.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...ery-packs.html
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Old Sep 10, 15, 8:52 am
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Originally Posted by pseudoswede View Post
I've stopped using the in-flight power port because 99% of the time my charger falls out with the slightest touch because the slots are too loose. I find it easier to just use a battery pack to charge my phone.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...ery-packs.html
Agreed! I can't imagine anyone flying without a USB battery pack, you just can't count on an outlet either on a plane or even at the gate.
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Old Sep 11, 15, 6:25 am
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This is not a knee-jerk defense of UA ... maybe you found yourself on an older aircraft? Certainly IAD-LAX is not an RJ?

Not that UA wouldn't try pulling that ... I had someone from a startup fly YUL-IAH-SFO, RJ's on both legs, no power, no streaming ...
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Old Sep 11, 15, 10:28 am
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Originally Posted by CatJo View Post
Agreed! I can't imagine anyone flying without a USB battery pack, you just can't count on an outlet either on a plane or even at the gate.
Agreed but not much good for a laptop.

Also, on its international flights, UA only provides a US domestic socket. So for everyone else, you have to use an adapter to plug in, which is way too heavy to stay plugged in. I cannot for the life of me understand why they didn't install universal sockets as most decent airlines do.
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Old Sep 11, 15, 11:26 am
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Originally Posted by garydpdx View Post
This is not a knee-jerk defense of UA ... maybe you found yourself on an older aircraft? Certainly IAD-LAX is not an RJ?
Looking through SeatGuru for UA, it actually appears that the majority of UA domestic aircraft (excluding the 757s) do not have in-seat power in Y. A few do have in-seat power in Y+. Only the newest aircraft (739s) have in-seat power for all rows.
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Old Sep 11, 15, 5:10 pm
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Originally Posted by lhrsfo View Post
Also, on its international flights, UA only provides a US domestic socket. So for everyone else, you have to use an adapter to plug in, which is way too heavy to stay plugged in. I cannot for the life of me understand why they didn't install universal sockets as most decent airlines do.
You don't need to use a voltage converter, just a plug adapter, and most US-to-universal ones weigh basically nothing* and do fine with a basic USB power brick (and a laptop power supply will generally be corded.)

Not seeing what the issue is.

(* maybe 50g for a 3-prong grounded one, less than half that for an ungrounded one, although a grounded one will typically stay in the plug more securely.)
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