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On-Board AC Power Outlets

On-Board AC Power Outlets

Old Sep 2, 18, 10:56 am
  #1  
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On-Board AC Power Outlets

Now that AC outlets are more common on airplanes, I've been trying to keep my phone charged while on board. I'm mostly flying Airbus 320 or 321 aircraft on United or Virgin America (Alaska). I haven't found one yet that any of the outlets that grip the pins of any of my plugs snugly enough to use. They fall out in less than a minute, even without a USB cable plugged into the charger. I've tried all of the three plug-in wall wart chargers and the plug for my computer's line lump power supply and they're all uselessly loose in the outlets. I can't blame my plugs since all of them fit outlets at home and in hotel rooms (other than the ones that get a vacuum cleaner plugged in to them every day), though I have had the same problem with hotel room outlets that are built into desk lamps.

None of my tech gear is from Apple, and I only fly in coach. Do the power outlets in First Class have more grip? Or have I just been unusually unlucky with the combination of plugs and sockets?
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Old Sep 2, 18, 11:06 am
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I don't use the power outlets or usb ports on planes--haven't so far, anyway--but I'm not surprised. I sat next to someone the other day and watched her USB cord fall out of the port repeatedly within moments of it being plugged in. I checked to help her and make sure it wasn't her, and it was the port, damaged or worn out. You will run into this anywhere outlets are used frequently by different people (and their plugs). Airport gates, Airline clubs, hotel rooms...… It's wear and tear on the receptacle. It isn't you.
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Old Sep 2, 18, 12:21 pm
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I bring my own power. I have a battery more or less the size of 2 packs of cigs end to end. It has two USB charging ports so it keeps our phones powered up when we need it. It has the capacity to fully charge a cell phone 7 times before it needs to be recharged. I cant rely on maybe having an outlet or maybe having a plug that works. I'm totally ocd and have to have things i can count on.
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Old Sep 2, 18, 2:33 pm
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Since the outlets are multiple formatted the US style plugs are the first one to have a loose connection. I solve that by using my UK plug which is more solid in these outlets.

Lufthomie: you think you are OCD? I carry a USB only battery pack and one which also has 110V output.
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Old Sep 2, 18, 2:33 pm
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers View Post
Now that AC outlets are more common on airplanes, I've been trying to keep my phone charged while on board. I'm mostly flying Airbus 320 or 321 aircraft on United or Virgin America (Alaska). I haven't found one yet that any of the outlets that grip the pins of any of my plugs snugly enough to use. They fall out in less than a minute, even without a USB cable plugged into the charger. I've tried all of the three plug-in wall wart chargers and the plug for my computer's line lump power supply and they're all uselessly loose in the outlets. I can't blame my plugs since all of them fit outlets at home and in hotel rooms (other than the ones that get a vacuum cleaner plugged in to them every day), though I have had the same problem with hotel room outlets that are built into desk lamps.

None of my tech gear is from Apple, and I only fly in coach. Do the power outlets in First Class have more grip? Or have I just been unusually unlucky with the combination of plugs and sockets?
As someone else has mentioned, likely the plugs are a tad worn. I don't travel United (rarely) or Virgin (at all), but I can tell you it depends on the attitude of the people using the equipment. My plugs work fine on Air Canada, EVA, Cathay and Singapore Airlines. I have seen people on Air Canada just yank the cable/plugs out in ways that will damage the equipment (they probably also ruing their cables that way as well). More commonly I find the fuse has been tripped in some of those plugs and they haven't been reset yet.

Now, if someone could provide more power to the outlet so I can power on my work laptop while in flight, that'd be great, but that is another story for another thread.
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Old Sep 2, 18, 7:56 pm
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I do the same thing. My us plug falls out almost instantly, and I just plug in my UK one and it fits very tight. Since, I don't even bother using the US one any longer.

Originally Posted by tentseller View Post
Since the outlets are multiple formatted the US style plugs are the first one to have a loose connection. I solve that by using my UK plug which is more solid in these outlets.
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Old Sep 3, 18, 7:20 am
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Originally Posted by Lufthomie View Post
I bring my own power. I have a battery more or less the size of 2 packs of cigs end to end. It has two USB charging ports so it keeps our phones powered up when we need it. It has the capacity to fully charge a cell phone 7 times before it needs to be recharged. I cant rely on maybe having an outlet or maybe having a plug that works. I'm totally ocd and have to have things i can count on.
<br /><br />Your OCD is a little tame compared to mine. I travel with 2 power packs to avoid using public charging stations.
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Last edited by TGarza; Sep 3, 18 at 1:20 pm
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Old Sep 3, 18, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by tentseller View Post
Since the outlets are multiple formatted the US style plugs are the first one to have a loose connection. I solve that by using my UK plug which is more solid in these outlets.
Hey! That's a good idea. Thanks for the tip. Those round pins are more robust than what we use here in The Colonies. I have an adapter around here somewhere, though it looks like $10 or so will buy a charger with the Euro plug - a better solution since it's all in one piece. I'll pick one up before my next trip and see if it works better on a plane than the US version. But with my luck, my next flight won't have power outlets. ;(
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Old Sep 3, 18, 7:26 pm
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I do the UK plug trick as well.
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Old Sep 5, 18, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by Dubai Stu View Post
I do the UK plug trick as well.
Is this why all hotel outlets are loose too?
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Old Sep 6, 18, 4:40 am
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Originally Posted by EmptyKim View Post
Is this why all hotel outlets are loose too?
I could attribute some hotel room wall outlets to the daily use of vacuum cleaners, which are nearly always plugged into the same outlet in a given room, and probably yanked out by the power cord. And they're as old as the hotel since they never get replaced. But this doesn't explain the loose outlets on the desk and bedside table lamps in the last hotel where I stayed. Those are fairly new.

I'd like to think that people who plug their computers and phone chargers into the "table" outlets would be at least a little careful. Maybe the housekeepers have started using those for their vacuums so they don't have to bend down as low as they need to in order reach the standard wall outlets.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 9:03 am
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Carry one of these with you... The added support of the grounding pin (plus less weight on the receptacle) will save you.
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_...4aAiOZEALw_wcB
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Old Sep 9, 18, 11:06 am
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I always plug in a UK adapter into the power port, and then connect my charger to the adapter. UK adapter fits snugly and does not fall out.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by bkafrick View Post
Carry one of these with you... The added support of the grounding pin (plus less weight on the receptacle) will save you.
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_...4aAiOZEALw_wcB
I bought a box of six of those quite a while ago at a decent price. I keep one in my bag, finding it especially handy at hotels where the bedside electric socket can be either high up or much lower.
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Old Sep 9, 18, 2:20 pm
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Originally Posted by bkafrick View Post
Carry one of these with you... The added support of the grounding pin (plus less weight on the receptacle) will save you.
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_...4aAiOZEALw_wcB
I do something similar, but some of the outlets are so bad that it doesn't want to stay in even with a grounding plug. I'm going to try to UK plug trick next time.
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