WIlliam K: understood--no liability from here! Thanks for the info. One of the best things about this job is hearing from smart and creative people that can solve the everyday problems people run into.
The part about the chargers blocking both outlets brought out something that I had not noticed before, at least not at airports. It would appear that those creating such designs are quite likely very self centered and also that they never are around other people. Or perhaps somebody else always charges their toys for them.
The cheap and easy workaround is a foot-long two conductor non-polarized "extension cord." That allows you to keep the charger away from the outlet and avoid interferring with other peoples equipment. For some applications, particularly in the areas where ones extension cord may vanish, I have gone one step further and just attached the cord directly to the wall wart's two prongs by passing the bared conductors through the holes and wrapping the strands around the prongs. The elegant insulation approach then uses heatshrink sleeving for insulation and support, while the quick and dirty approach uses a wrapping of ordinary masking tape. ALL READERS MUST UNDERSAND THAT THIS IS A CLEAR VIOLATION OF THE "SAFETY PLICE "RULES. Of course, it is important to avoid allowing bare wires to be exposed, however, that same condition does keep "busy fingers" away. But it is a very effective workaround and it is very lightweight and inexpensive.
I carry a simple 1 to 3 adapter. If all of the plugs by the seats are taken, I ask and always am permitted, to plug in the adapter to the wall outlet and then plug the other traveler's and my devices into the adapter.
If you travel that much, my advice is to invest in an airline club, which usually offers an abundance of power receptacles. While membership is expensive, you can often use your miles to obtain a membership.
It always seems like whenever you need a charge at the airport, you can't find an open receptacle or the open ones are on the other side of the terminal. I find it acceptable to ask a person to swap their plug around to open up a free one. As for reading books, have you thought of just getting the cheap Kindle or Nook? Without Wi-Fi on, you can read for your entire trips without charging, in fact you should be able to make multiple trips without recharging. Not a bad option if you're just looking for something to read.
Susan, it's true in India also. In train they had provided charging point near to each cabin/berth and we can use it for charging the electronic gadgets. The same is true for luxurious/Volvo buses and now a day's most of the cars are coming up with factory fitted laptop/mobile charging point. So far in flight, they had not provided any plug points and for entertainment they used to play 2-3 movies in different channels. Passengers have to satisfy with that. Wifi/3G is also available in major zones and peoples can access while on the go.
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