Stuck at the Airport? 5 Tips to Keep Gadgets Going and Your Sanity
It seems we’re always hearing about them these days. Week after week, snow storms hit and leave millions of iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows users stuck at the airport where wireless internet isn’t free and power outlets are scarce.
With that in mind, here are 5 tips everyone who could be stuck at the airport should remember to keep their videos playing and their tablet or smartphone charged.
Keep your charger with you and keep an eye on the plug
Depending on what airport or terminal you’re stuck in, it’s always a good idea to keep your chargers at the ready if your flight has been cancelled or delayed. While many airport terminals now boast power ports at every seat, that’s not always the case. Even when power plugs are available, some users like to hog them. It’s a good idea to keep your charger on you and know where that closest power port is so that you can pounce on it at a moment’s notice.
If you need to buy a power pack or charger do so
If you’ve packed your power cable and charger away or simply can’t find it for some reason most airports now include stores that carry chargers and external batteries packs. Buying these items won’t be as cheap had you purchased them at your local Target or on Amazon, however they’ll keep your device alive longer than if you hadn’t have picked them up.
Turn off automatic brightness on your devices
High-end laptops, tablets and smartphone now all include ambient light sensors. Devices use these sensors to judge how bright a room is and then take adjust the screen’s brightness to compensate for that amount of light. It’s how a smartphone knows to dim its screen in dark rooms and kick up the brightness outdoors. Unfortunately, these sensors can be fooled by bright indoor lights and a lot of reflected light shining through windows. It’s a good idea to manually turn off automated brightness if you’ve got a long time until your next charge. It’s also worth manually setting your device’s screen to the lowest setting you can tolerate to conserve battery power too.
Don’t pay for wireless internet access
While finding a place without a wireless internet connection is rare in large cities, free wireless internet access in most airports is still a rarity. You may be tempted to purchase internet access at the airport, but before you do, it’s probably a better idea to find a power lug for your phone and use its internet connection for your iPad, iPhone or other wireless device. Many smartphone plans already include wireless tethering services, so you’ll be able to save a bit of cash during your trip.
Just make sure that you’re careful to find an external battery source before using tethering. It can kill smartphone batteries pretty quickly.
Take pictures of your checked baggage ticket and boarding passes
Cancelled flights and lost baggage happen more than airlines would have you believe. In fact, many checked bags get lost thanks to flight delays and cancellations across the country. As such, it’s a really good idea to take a picture of your boarding passes and checked baggage tickets if you need the information in a pinch. Many airlines offer apps to store this information on your device for later but it never hurts to have a backup either.