You know the drill. Your phone is about to die. You need to find an electrical outlet or USB port quick! You look around. Every electrical outlet and port is taken – even the loose outlet, behind the column, next to the public restroom is being used, and there are people waiting to pounce the second it becomes available.
Anyone that has flown in the last 10 years has probably experienced a lack of power outlets in an airport. In the age of smart phones, laptops and tablets an airport that is not keeping up with the connectivity demands of its passengers is out of touch. Charleston International is one such airport, but not for much longer.
According to the January edition of Airport Magazine “power, power and more power – with convenient places to sit or stand” is the top passenger demand. As part of the Terminal Redevelopment and Improvement Program (TRIP), the renovated airport will have more seating and more ways for tech savvy passengers to power up and sit down while they do it.
“We know passengers demand connectivity to charge their mobile devices. That is why we are thrilled that the modernization of the airport includes new seating choices in all the airport’s public areas with power and USB connectivity,” said John Connell, deputy director of airports for facilities at the Charleston County Aviation Authority.
Charleston International opened in 1985, well before the first smart phones hit the market and in the infancy of desktop computers. No laptops, no tablets, not much need for connectivity at the airport. Over the years passengers first grappled over the electrical outlets on the wall. Later it was a mad dash for the very few seats that had outlets and USB ports on them.
When Charleston International’s renovation and expansion is complete there will be a variety of seating options, most with connectivity so passengers can charge their devices or work and surf the internet while waiting for a flight.
The new airport seating also will have a sleek, modern design and come in a variety of styles, including cluster, linear and lounge seating as well as banquette and bar style seating. All will have power outlets available. In addition, the many restaurants and cafes opening in the coming months will provide additional seating for passengers.
In all there will be more than 1,500 seats throughout the airport when the renovation is completed in late 2015.
“The ease and comfort of all the seating options coupled with the ability for passengers to plug in and charge their mobile devices will greatly improve the passenger experience at CHS,” Connell said. “We’re looking forward to that.”
Learn more about trends in airport seating from the company manufacturing CHS's new seating.