airlinetravel thumbHow did families ever travel without technology?  Today, most laptops or tablets are capable of serving as personal in-flight entertainment systems and boast screens 2-3 times the size of even the best seat-back screens.

However, with great technological power comes great responsibility: charging your devices.  If you travel a lot you have probably experienced what I call a technology failure.  You open your laptop to get work done, or get the kids all set up with their Disney movie and after 15 minutes, the battery goes dead to the sound of shrieks and cries (even though the laptop boasts an eight hour battery).  Here are a few tips to prevent such a disaster:  check this website before picking your seats when you book your flight. They have almost every airline and aircraft in their listings and offer reviews of where the best and worst seats on the plane are.  More importantly they list which seats have power outlets and the type of outlet. 

  Most older planes offer DC outlets which are just like the accessory plugs in cars. You can look on ebay for an inexpensive power adapter for your specific laptop model or device. Newer planes offer an AC plug like those in your home. You would think the AC plug is better but I found that my 90 watt power adapter would blow them out. The DC adapter however would last the entire flight.

 Other random facts about choosing seats:

  • bulkheads can be a mistake. On some planes the tray table is stored in the seat rest making for a narrow seat. If there is a hard partition in front of you, you won’t have legroom. Check Seatguru for details about specific seats.
  • some airlines, like Virgin America, allow you to upgrade your seat class 24 hours before the flight for substantially less than that seat originally cost.