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It's ELECTRIFYING....

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I was at Dallas Love Field the other day and stumbled upon our newest feature to increase your ability to stay connected as you travel.  I'd like to introduce you to the POWER STATION!   These "Power Stations" are located around gates 12 and 14 at Dallas Love Field and are part of a test the airline is undergoing.  So the next time you are in Dallas with your batteries running low on your cell phone, laptop or ipod, be sure to head down to check out the new Power Station!DSC00290.JPGDSC00289.JPG
25 Comments
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Neat! I hope this test is successful and these stations spread to other stations. It looks like it beats foraging for floor or wall outlets.
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Neato! Now only if it came with free 802.11 access... 😉
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You should have installed more outlets. One slightly oversize charger box can kill two outlets, so sometimes this station will only serve two people. Also looks like outlets won't handle vertical chargers. The outlets should be on top of the table - perhaps a power strip down the center of the table. Put hooks underneath for laptop bags and purses so they don't clutter the top or bottom. Did anyone really THINK about the design? Or just throw something together to see what kind of reaction was generated. Tell you what, I'll design it for you, and you give me ten free roundtrips.
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Those recessed power outlets are gonna be a problem for power bricks...
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Southwest.com has been down for a couple hours.
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Umm...Duffer? I think you just did. For free. :o) Since my airport has no outlets available for passengers; I can tell ya that these would be most welcome!
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Duffer - i think this is just the first prototype. So, please tell us what you like and don't like about the Power Station. The things that you mentioned are all good ideas. What other things do you all think would make the Power Station more user friendly? Regards, James Malone MDW FA
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Due to Southwest being so family-friendly, I believe any design should incorporate child-proof covers/outlets to protect the youngest travelers. The best of these are the outlets with the built-in, spring-loaded slide covers, so that there is no effort required on the user's part to re-safe the outlet after use. I am really surprised that most public buildings have not gone to these outlet types just because of liability-issues. By the way, I am not trying to relieve parents of their responsibility for watching their children and keeping them safe; however, electrocutions can happen in a matter of seconds. So why not avoid setting anyone up for failure?
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HOPING HOU CAN GET SOME POWER,OUR POOR CUSTOMERS HAVE TO DIG UP A POWER SOURCE IN SOME DUSTY MOUSE INFESTED AREA. YOU WOULD THINK THE NEW TERMINAL WOULD INCLUDE BASIC INTERNET, CELL PHONE NEEDS OR EVEN A BUSINESS CENTER. THEIR IDEA OF HI-TECH IS REQUIRING A PIN NO. TO CHANGE FROM DEPARTURES TO ARRIVALS ON THE SCREEN. SOMETIMES NEW IS NOT ALWAYS BETTER. WE LOVE THE LOOK JSUT STRUGGLE WITH SOME OF THE CITIES DECISIONS. WOULD LOVE SOME SIGNAGE TOO.
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Hi James, Well since Laurie just busted my hope for free rides, here are some more thoughts. Cliff is right and I tried to allude to that. The outlets should be unrestricted, thus the idea of a multi outlet power strip down the center (or two, but offset so the outlet is still unrestricted. You should consider Ground Fault Interrupter outlets, so if somebody overloads the plug it won't blow the whole circuit (or injure them.) How wide is the top? Wide enough for two laptops back-to-back? Got your legal disclaimer signs in order? Not responsible for damage to you or your gadget. Don't leave gadget unattended. Usage guidelines? Don't stand here with your portable DVD plugged in to watch a movie. Don't eat here (good luck with that one) To save floor space, how about a vertical power station? That would eliminate all the problems that a flat surface invites (now that will cost you if you want a design.) Oh yeah, better branding: Recharge with LUV, and they gotta be orange and blue with winglets. OK, I may be back with more later.
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Duffer, et. all - Thanks for the comments and I'm sure the powers that be at HDQ will definately take them into consideration. I really like the idea you have of the branding! Have a GREAT day! James malone MDW FA
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James is right, and I will forward your thoughts to our Facilities and Marketing folks. Blog Boy
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I agree, having a convenient place to run your laptop on electric power while you wait to board at the gate sure beats having to use your battery or connecting the power cord at some out of the way place. Additionally, while on the general topic of laptop power I think Southwest should consider installing at-seat outlets so that one can run a laptop during a flight without depending on the battery. It would be beneficial especially on long haul flights (such as on a Tampa to Los Angeles flight with a stop in Nashville on the long segment from Nashville to Los Angeles, for example).
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James -- Great blog about another innovation brought to us by our friends at Southwest! Sure, as some of my fellow bloggers have pointed out, there are a few bugs to be worked out, but I'm proud of my favorite airline for making the effort. USA Today and the Dallas Morning News have both had articles recently about the sudden surge (sorry, I couldn't resist) in popularity for airport terminal power sources. Having lugged a laptop and a cell phone around for years, I can attest to the futility that often accompanies the search for available power outlets. It is not uncommon to see men in business suits sitting on the floor so they can do work on their laptop, or trying to balance their computer in their lap without any kind of solid work surface available. In addition to the fine suggestions made above about staggered outlets spaced further apart for those pesky power converters and child-resistant sliding covers, I would also like to suggest an adaptation of something I read in one of the recent newspaper articles. I regularly see people needing to charge a cell phone for 30 minutes to an hour between flights but then feeling tethered to that area so their phone isn't stolen. I read about a small locking "cage" system where a phone can be plugged in and left inside a cage device that has openings large enough to see in to the phone's display but small enough to prevent reaching in and removing it. The owner can keep the key and go to a food court area or restroom or retail shopping area while leaving the phone to charge. The device could be coin operated like the old "bus station/airport" type lockers. Putting the key back into the lock to open it would "grab" the key and keep it. Thanks for working on this for us and showing us once more that Southwest cares about its Customers! Kim 🙂
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all these suggestions are good. however i have a good idea i think too, however it's a tiny bit difficult for me to explain at the moment. it would consist of that table, with two power strips down the center, one inch apart. this table would have enough room for one laptop per two plugs. this table should be one side for business use, and one side for personal use. there would be enough LAN plugs for every computer at the table, along with a wireless router inside the table (so it can't be messed with) so other's at the southwest gates can still possibly use another plug elsewhere and get the internet. the LAN and wireless route would not be needed for those aiports with free wifi, such as phx. at the end of the tables you could have shelves with plugs so someone could just plug in thier device and put it in the little shelf/cubby thing. -- or this could be a separate stand that has like shelves with a plug in the shelf and same as the last shelves, they just put thier device in there. then they just have to watch it. it could lead to liability issues which is the problem i find there. why not just put a power strip on the floor under the seats? two per seat so someone could have a laptop and their cell phone charging or something. and yes i like the idea of plugs at seats is a great idea but that might be too much of an in-depth thing. however maybe it could be requested on the new planes that are being delivered. adding it to existing planescould cause some problems. my ideas might be a little far fetched but oh well this is for expressing idea's right?
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James ... nice to see that even though you're flying again, you're still a "technology liaison." With all the "requirements" you're gathering, the "power station" is bound to be a big success.
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This is a great concept that should be expanded to your Major hubs. Customer satisfaction goes a long way!
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This is a great idea but it would be nice to see other outlets built into this same box such as USB and/or 12 volt cigarette lighter plugs also.
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This is a great idea, however.....it would also be great if these power stations were accompanied by free airport wide WiFi in Dallas. ABQ, LAS, and TUS (plus others I'm sure) have free airport WiFi. ABQ even has tables with power strips and office chairs in the airport for traveling laptop users. What a great idea!
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A common theme, which would be wonderful, is the lack of power outlets at gates and internet connection. It is crazy to pay $10 for 30 minutes of internet access, so would Southwest consider offering wireless connection to either Rapid Reward members (I would be willing to pay an annual fee to access internet at every Southwest airport). Logging in with a valid confirmation number would be easy and ensure access only to Southwest customers. Thanks for the consideration. Michael
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I don't know what is so revolutionary about this. Every airport I go to has electrical outlets spread throughout the seating area. Put power outlets on the plane (like other carriers) and you'd have something to talk about.
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I have to second the idea of in-seat power units. My video ipod can only run about 3 hours when playing videos and many cross country trips take a lot longer than that especially when you add in the terminal time.
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I was just at the Oakland Airport and I saw the best tables. They are round and have small padded stools that go with them. They look like they are made of some sort of durable washable plastic surface with a colored trim around the edges. I think they are at more airports. I wanted to purchase one but couldn't locate a name brand on them. Does anyone know where to get them? Thanks!
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I have seen the new tables, and I have even tried to use them in BWI and MDW. However, in both locations, there is no electical power. Is it planned to get power to the power stations??
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Let's make airline tickets equitable! The huge increase in the cost of fuel that has led some airlines to add fees for the extra weight of baggage underscores the fact that ALL airplanes must have the weight of their entire contents calculated in order to operate within the designed weights and balance of the aircraft. It is understandable that passengers should pay for the cost of carrying their baggage. Meanwhile, the cost of carrying the combined weight of the passengers is calculated by using an average weight and multiplying this average times the number of passengers. The increased obesity of the general population has caused airlines to increase that assumed average weight factor. This is grossly unfair to the people whose weight is average, or below average. These people are subsidizing the ticket price for the people who are above average weight. We pay for most of what we purchase based on the quantity of what we are purchasing (gallons of milk, six packs, cartons, dozens, Etc). This is unit pricing. Why do we accept paying for an airline ticke based on the average of the cost assumed to be encountered by the airline? Why don't the airlines simply apply the weigh-in process being used for baggage to BOTH the baggage AND the passenger? Is that not the most fair thing to do? Have the ticket price set as a cost per pound of both the passenger and the passenger's baggage? This would be a huge benefit for parents when paying for children, for passengers with no chedck-in bags, and so on. Comparisons of airfares would be the same process that we encounter in the grocery store - - - unit pricing ($/lb).