August 27, 2008

Logan Gives Tech-Toting Travelers an Outlet


Logan International Airport has made it easier for travelers to plug in their laptops and recharge their cell phones and iPods while waiting for flights.

The Boston airport has installed 500 110-volt AC-power outlets and 500 USB-ports under terminal seats and tables.

Logan officials wanted to provide a convenient, comfortable and safe way for airline passengers to operate their equipment with reliable power sources - without having the cords becoming tripping hazards.

"We all travel these days hooked up with electronics," said Sam Sleiman, director of capital programs and environmental affairs for Massport, which runs Logan. "We've been noticing throughout the airport that people are looking for plugs and sitting on the floor next to any outlet that they find."

Finding AC outlets at airports has proved a challenge for many travelers. There are even Web pages that document where to access them behind vending machines, on walls in dining areas, or by moving seats. The increasing use of those outlets has prompted some airports - Logan excluded - to cap them to prevent access by non- airport employees.

Logan's new AC outlets and USB ports are located in Terminals A, C and E and near Gate 37 in Terminal B. Logan will install a different system in areas of Terminal B where airlines have their own seating and holding rooms.

The airport had considered soliciting corporate sponsors to pay for the $157,000 project in return for pasting their logos next to the outlets, but officials wanted to install them quicker than a bidding process would allow.

"That does not preclude it in the future if any company wants to approach us to sponsor these things," Sleiman said. "But we will never charge the passengers or users for it because, in this day and age, we believe that these are an essential service that we have to provide our customers."

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CAPTION: POWERING UP: Logan International Airport recently installed USB ports and power outlets so that passengers can recharge their electronic devices while waiting to take off. STAFF PHOTO BY MARK GARFINKEL

Originally published by By DONNA GOODISON.

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