Gilbert B Norman wrote:Related, I can recall last September flying KRIC-KORD and the flight was slightly delayed (30-45min). In the boarding area, every power outlet had people sitting on the floor around such, and people asking those with power strips could they plug in for just a few minutes (don't those batteries last a while? I've never once had a low battery with my cell phone). So I guess I had best accept this is a "phenom" of 21st century life.
Smartphones will run down pretty quickly when it is being used to constantly text people, yak away in long conversations, play games, or surf the net. Depends on the laptop, but it might only be good for 2-3 hours on a charge. In the age of electronic gizmos of all kinds, got to keep them charged!
These people were waiting to to board the plane. Power outlets on the plane can be hard to come by. The plane may have DC power outlets which require an adapter, AC outlets but only for business and first class, only 1 outlet per row or no outlets at all. So there is going to be a rush to charge up the phone or laptop at the airport waiting area if there is time and there are wall outlets that people can use. Power outlets at each seat pair is one feature where Amtrak is now well ahead of the airlines.
With regards to the comments about why add Wifi to LD trains, because the poster would rather look out the window and watch the world go by. No, most people are on the train to get someplace, not just for the view. And they want to check/send email, the news, their facebook page, and so on. Yes, a lot of people will have laptops, phones, gadgets with 3G, but not all and those that do, would often prefer to use free WiFi if it is available. Yes, on the LD trains, there will dead zones and dropouts - as there will be for 3G/4G equipment, but people can adapt by getting their email and checking the net when they are passing through the more populated areas. The sooner Amtrak can roll out WiFi across the fleet, the better for their bottom line.