Power on AA Planes: Tales of an Energy Zombie

While walking through airports it is fun to watch Energy Zombies scanning walls and seats looking for power.  Beware the Energy Zombie with a low battery looking for a hit of energy.  The unfocused shuffle until they see an open socket no matter where it is located then the desperate surge to plug in before anyone else.

I am going to focus on American Airlines planes with power so you can land with full charge.  Tools you’ll want from a professional Traveler:

  1. High AMP DC adpater with two USB ports (Think car cigarette adapter)
  2. Two USB cables (one at least a meter in length)
  3. AC power block with high AMP rating

That’s it.  You have these 4 items you can take advantage of power on all the planes.  Even seats that have two adapters.

32B – Airbus A320 Sharklets

Every seat has a screen 110v AC power (international multi plug) and USB 0.5 amp (slow charge) right below the screen

MD80 – Dirty 80 (2×3 seating)

Between seats is a DC plug (think car cigarette lighter).  You’ll need to bring your own USB Adapter.  Side note two USB port 1.0 A 5v DC adapters are cheap.  The real trick is check the AMPs.  The higher the AMP the faster you’ll charge.  Repeating myself because it is worth it.  Also these adapters are great for rental cars.

757-200, 767, 330-200, and 330-300

The old US airways planes tend to have power in first class the extra space seats only.  Keep in mind some of the older planes won’t have power so this is a hit an miss section!

737-800/900 (3×3 seating)

Shared Universal AC power in seats.  This means two per side of row so be nice and share with your fellow travelers


NO POWER!  Become an Energy Zombie


Little Green Light woes?

Green light means power is available.  I know right?  The reason I am calling this out is some older planes while tethered to the gate will have power.  However as the boarding process is completed and before the engines start power will drop out.  To start it again you will need to unplug and replug in but only after the engines have started.  Also on some older planes especially 15v DC connections you can draw to much power with bigger electronics and the green light will drop out.  You’ll need to lower the draw on your device and keep fiddling.  To lower power, for example, on a tablet turn off extra apps until you can get the device to charge effectively.  Keep green!



Author: shauncassells

Shaun Cassells, Senior Solutions Engineer, 1E Shaun is a Microsoft MVP Windows Insider MVP and executive at Central Texas Systems Management User Group (CTSMUG). Shaun is a frequent speaker at conferences like MMS, Gartner, TechEd Europe, TechEd North America, IT Dev Connections, System Center Rallies, and Systems Management User Groups (SMUGs). Shaun is an award winning blogger syndicated from www.shauncassells.com. Shaun specializes in analysis, optimization, and design of Tactical Solutions to Strategic Business Goals. Prior to joining 1E in 2010, he worked for a Global 100 company as the Configuration Manager Service Owner and Architect. Recently as a Principle Consultant at 1E, he accomplished design, review, and improvements to a variety of Configuration Manager environments from the very small to sites with a half million seats. He provided leadership that created a patented automated application rationalization and usage based OSD mapping solution in use by multiple fortune 500 companies. These days you can find Shaun traveling to help discover, review, and improve business productivity across the world.

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