Airplane Laptop plug in

Apr 25th, 2007, 04:39 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 333
Airplane Laptop plug in

Up until recently, we were able to use a car cigar lighter connector (transformer) we have for the laptop and cel phones while traveling and flying. As of two months ago, it does not work on the airplane. We heard that airlines have made a change and that we need to buy a special one.

Do you know which kind? Where do I purhase it?
epaulino is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 05:18 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,513
I think that you will find it depends on the carrier adn the the type of plane. Some planes need no adapters at all - just plug your laptop staright in.

I suggest that you call your airline
wombat7 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 05:26 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,015
excuse me if this is a very dumb question, but are you saying that you're plugging into an electrical outlet while you're flying? If not, what are you plugging into?
skatedancer is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 05:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 333

Thanks for your recommendation


No, we are not pluging in directly to an electrical outlet but to the adapter in between the seats or wherever they are. We tend to fly AA.
epaulino is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 05:51 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,015
sorry, I still don't understand. What does plugging into the adapter do, if not for electrical power? I thought people just ran their devices on battery power enroute.
skatedancer is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 05:57 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,870

Yes, many airlines have power outlets on their planes. Batteries only last at best 3-4hrs, and far less if you play a movie. About 10yrs ago airlines started putting power outlets on some planes/some seats.

Some have outlets like at home, other have a style similar to not exactly the same as car cigarette lighters.

Depending on the laptop you are using, one may also require a special adaptor - there is no such thing as one size fits all. In the last few years a few companies have come out with more universal power supplies that figure out input and output based on the application.

If you plug your laptop in on a airplane using an incompatible power supply (voltage too high or current too high) you risk frying it. Literally. Smoke included.
J62 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 06:00 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 1,015
wow!! I had no idea! And here we were all this time frantically trying to juice up cell phones and laptops in the airport terminals. (at least speaking about my DH and DS; I am perfectly happy flying gadget-free)
skatedancer is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 06:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3,037
It's not a given that there will be a power port near your seat. It varies by airline and plane--for example, some airlines will only have them in premium cabins. You can check the location and type of power ports on Seatguru.
ms_go is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 06:07 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,145

Don't excite yourself. Whenever I fly, power's available only in First or Business. On the rare occasions I get a customer prepared to shell out for First or Business, no-one can tell me what the power system is. Invariably I carry the wrong gizmo.

On the one recent occasion I got a posh seat AND got the airline to tell me the system, I spent an entire evening going round Hong Kong electronics markets trying to find the doodah to match. No-one in Hong Kong had ever heard of the system concerned.

If you chop and change airlines a lot, you end up concluding the whole thing's a publicity stunt, and the airlines simply don't want you using their precious power.
flanneruk is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 06:27 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 333

J62 and Flaneruk

Yes, I agree, power only seems to be available in Business and First and it is not working there lately with the 3 gadgets I already purchased on their recommendation. I have been getting the feeling that they do not want you to use it!
epaulino is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 07:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
flanneruk - You argument was correct for the last 10 or so years, but at least in the US, things have changed.

Many airlines now are putting new 110V plugs in their new fleet nose-to-tail and are retrofitting their older planes. They realize that not only first and business class travelers use laptops or other gadgets these days, and those sitting in coach can tolerate longer rides in cramped seats if they have power to their appliances.

So, more and more planes now have plugs that will accept US and some international plugs with very robust power, even in coach. No need to buy the expensive Empower adapter or worry that the laptop draws too much current for the system.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 08:20 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,870
That's great news if more airlines switch to 110V. I like the feature on LH business class.

Is there some website that shows who is rolling out that change, and when?

My experience over the last 10yrs is that when I need power it's not available, and when it's available I don't need it - so I never count on it.
J62 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2007, 09:04 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 9,870
Good link, thanks.

The only thing I disagree with is their description of the 110VAC outlet.

In my experience on Singapore and LH, the outlet has only accepted non-polarized US plugs (not 3prong or 2 prong polarized). Also, the physical space is restricted, so my iPod charger won't fit. To get around this, I carry a small, 3' extension cord with non-polarized plug.

J62 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:19 PM.