Air­port adding power out­lets

Air­port plans about 2,750 more elec­tri­cal out­lets at gate ar­eas

The Dallas Morning News - - BUSINESS - By CONOR SHINE Avi­a­tion Writer [email protected]­las­ Twit­ter: @Conor_Shine

DFW In­ter­na­tional Air­port is spend­ing $1 mil­lion to in­stall about 2,750 elec­tri­cal out­lets at gate seat­ing ar­eas across all five ter­mi­nals at the na­tion’s fourth-busiest air­port.

Trav­el­ers at DFW In­ter­na­tional Air­port in need of a charge will soon have three times as many places to plug in their phones, lap­tops or tablets.

The air­port board’s con­ces­sions and com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment com­mit­tee ap­proved a $1 mil­lion con­tract on Tues­day with Canada-based Ar­conas Corp. to in­stall about 2,750 elec­tri­cal out­lets at gate seat­ing ar­eas across all five ter­mi­nals at the na­tion’s fourth busiest air­port.

The con­tract needs rou­tine fi­nal ap­proval from the full board on Thurs­day, af­ter which it will work to in­stall the out­lets as quickly as pos­si­ble, said Kevin Smith, the air­port’s as­sis­tant vice pres­i­dent of cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.

“We’re ready to go,” Smith said. “I don’t think you’ll have a prob­lem find­ing a power out­let once these are in­stalled.”

Smith said more power out­lets is one of the top three re­quested items in daily cus­tomer sur­veys con­ducted at the air­port.

DFW now has power out­lets in­stalled at 10 to 15 per­cent of its seats, Smith said. Af­ter the new out­lets are added, that num­ber will jump to be­tween 40 and 50 per­cent.

The per­cent­age of pas­sen­gers with ac­cess to power should be even higher, Smith said, be­cause each of the new out­lets in­cludes two sock­ets and two USB ports. Air­lines like Amer­i­can have also in­stalled their own charg­ing sta­tions at gates through­out the air­port.

“If ev­ery­body is sit­ting in each seat, we should see a lot more than 40 per­cent,” Smith said. “What you nor­mally see is peo­ple will skip seats in or­der not to sit next to each other.”

Gate-side elec­tri­cal out­lets are be­com­ing an in­creas­ingly ex­pected part of the travel ex­pe­ri­ence and their pres­ence can have a mea­sur­able im­pact on cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion, ac­cord­ing to J.D. Power.

DFW Air­port was re­cently hon­ored for hav­ing the best pas­sen­ger sat­is­fac­tion of any large air­port in North Amer­ica by Air­ports Coun­cil In­ter­na­tional. The air­port re­ceived ku­dos for its use of tech­nol­ogy, as well as its dining and shop­ping op­tions, its clean­li­ness and staff friend­li­ness.

Ash­ley Lan­dis/Staff Pho­tog­ra­pher

Once trav­el­ers get in­side DFW, they will have lots of places to plug in elec­tron­ics. The air­port board’s con­ces­sions com­mit­tee has ap­proved a $1 mil­lion con­tract for the work.

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