It’s a hard reality of modern life: people want power. We’re talking about electrical power – just to be clear, that thing that allows you to be mobile, do your job from trains and airport lounges, and call or be called anywhere you are.
Unfortunately, energy resides in batteries and gets consumed. (By the way, have you noticed how the lesser you’ve got left, the faster it goes? I am sure “they did it on purpose”). That’s when you need to recharge your batteries and things start being fun, especially in airports. There are no other places on earth with more abundance of electric power (except maybe for Paris illuminations during Christmas) yet, when Your Batteries run down, power plugs become as rare as white truffles (*). If you see a business man or woman walking slowly head down, looking behind wastebins, pillars, phone booths, benches or vending machines, they are in dire need of power.
While waiting in London Heathrow seating areas you’ll be able to see a few hotspots or internet access points, most of them not working, with a ballet of nervous power hungry guys (most of the time men, really). Here they come approaching in delight, zipping out all their gears proud as pros, plugging in, grunt in denial, tapping on their chargers, unplugging, replugging, staring at their devices as if trying to recharge by brainwaves. Then they realize they are alone. A quick look behind them to check if anyone has noticed (yes we did), then calmy store al the stuff back, as if, after all, it was not so urgent, and clean the area.
Next you’ll see them looking for vacuum cleaners plugs hidden among benches. The few lucky ones already connected never leave the spot anyway. After cleaning up their Outlooks, they hang on there… “comfortably numb”, with plenty of excuses to stay connected: check the webmail, check the second webmail, update status on Facebook, update Twitter, looking at the other desperate guys like satisifed lions after the hunt.
One smart, very smart insurance group that I can’t name here has setup a desk in the middle of T1. It’s a clean, glossy white desk reminding of a medical center with positions where people can sit down to get their shoot of network access and… recharge their batteries. They don’t sell any insurance. They just help the addicts in need. Holy cow. Good idea.
PS: to ease your frustration you might be interested in transfer services to/from London Heathrow airport to downtown. But there are no plugs onboard.
(*) white truffles are a special kind of mushrooms growing underground, exclusively in the Langhe region of Italy. They are worth their weight in gold.
[This post is syndicated from the isango! travel blog]