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Heathrow airport unveils free gadget chargers

47 Power Poles to recharge your batteries

Airport interior

There are many UK airports offering domestic and international flights

Heathrow airport has spent £300,000 on 47 Power Poles for travellers to charge portable gadgets.

The free Power Poles are currently available in Terminals 1 and 3, and according to BAA will be available soon in Heathrow Terminal 4.

Samsung has sponsored the new free charging points which can each charge eight mobile devices at a time – that’s 376 devices in total. Although in comparison to the 67.3 million passengers a year who use Heathrow airport, the numbers would suggest it’s probably best to assume there might be queues to charge your mobile at peak times.

BAA’s Juan Perez said: ‘The simplest of ideas are often the best ideas and we are confident that the Power Poles will provide an effective cost-free solution to a genuine problem, which will ultimately make our passengers’ airport experience more enjoyable.’

Free Power Poles charge mobiles, laptops and MP3 players

The free Power Poles are equipped with standard 240 volt sockets, so users can simply plug in chargers for their mobile phones, laptops and MP3 players. Businesspeople could even use them to charge electric shavers and BlackBerrys.

Heathrow’s Power Poles should prove invaluable for busy travellers who find that their batteries need recharging quickly before a flight. There are alternatives, however, including the Powertraveller range of devices that enable you to charge multiple devices simultaneously via a large lithium-ion battery.

The Power Poles may also allow travellers caught up in flight delays to keep in touch with friends and relatives. In the 2008 Which? airports survey Heathrow Terminal 1 (T1) came bottom of the table of customer satisfaction.

Choose the best gadgets for battery life

Which? tech expert Al Warman said: ‘as we become accustomed to travelling with a variety of mobile entertainment and communication devices, the limiting feature is often battery life. 

‘BAA’s solution of free charging points should mean that air passengers no longer risk flying with a dead iPod or when they’ve exhausted the batteries while queuing for check-in.’

Which? tests gadget battery life for a wide range of gadgets, so check out our reviews of mobile phones, MP3 players, digital cameras and laptops to make sure your gadgets have enough battery life to get you through your holiday.

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