Your phone running out of batteries is an inevitable part of life, but for some reason, it seems to be especially inevitable when you’re already mid-flight. The good news is that more and more airlines are offering power outlets. The bad news is that they’re definitely not universal (yet), and even if your flight technically “has” them, there’s no guarantee they’re going to work.
All that aside, it’s totally possible to plan ahead (at least a little bit) and figure out if your upcoming flight has individual power outlets. It’s also worth noting that some airlines have moved beyond traditional power outlets and opted to provide USB ports instead. Either way, here’s how to find out which planes have some extra juice to give.
Of course, to avoid this problem, you should always charge up your gadgets before you leave. If you use them in the airport, try to grab an outlet to stay charged—bringing a power strip with you will help a lot (and make you some friends along the way). A good external battery pack can go a long way, too. However, if you need an outlet, many airlines offer options, so just like we did with wifi, let’s take a look at some of the most popular US airlines and what they offer.
Which airlines offer power outlets, and where
If you want to get an idea of which airlines offer power outlets before you start booking, here’s a list of the most popular US airlines with some details. We’re looking specifically at economy sections here, as first- and business-classes are more likely to have power options.
- Air Canada: Most, if not all, Air Canada aircrafts have power outlets as well as a USB port for charging smaller gadgets. You can take a virtual tour of the cabins of different flights to find out if yours is on the list.
- Alaska Air: Alaska Air sets the bar high, with individual power outlets and USB ports on each seat on the plane.
- American Airlines: American has power outlets on most of their planes, but like Delta, you need to check the individual aircraft to find out where they’re located. (i.e. in economy class, they may only be located in exit rows).
- JetBlue: JetBlue provides power outlets and USB ports on some, but not all of their planes. For example, their newly refurbished A321 planes do have outlets, while A320 series and the E-190 series currently do not have individual outlets, according to Upgraded Points.
- Southwest: There are no power outlets on Southwest flights, according to their website.
- United Airlines: All international flights have power outlets for every seat on the plane. It’s not as consistent on domestic flights, so be sure to check out the specifications of your individual aircraft.
- Virgin Atlantic: All Virgin Atlantic flights provide USB ports to passengers in all cabins. Some planes also offer traditional power outlets to passengers not sitting in economy.
Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list, and includes the most up-to-date information that we could find. Airlines are constantly improving their services, so this may change. If you have any corrections (with a source to back it up), let us know and we’ll tweak the list!
Turn On Your Airline’s Push Notifications
Also, don’t be afraid to skip the wifi and power outlets on a flight and unplug totally. There are so few times when you have a totally valid excuse to be unreachable, and you may want to take advantage of that just as much as the individual USB port.
This story was originally published on 10/15/13 and was updated on 6/21/19 to provide more thorough and current information.
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