Locking Business Travelers out of Power Outlets

This is a ChargeCarte by SmarteCarte in the Cincinnati airport that lets travelers pay to top of the batteries on their mobile devices and laptops:

the ChargeCarte by SmarteCarte

This is the power outlet that’s no longer available to business travelers because SmarteCarte controls it:

Locked Outlet

I wrote about this in Feb 2007 when this first came out and suggested that this would lead to less free outlets for travelers:

Over time, It will surely become more difficult to find open outlets in airports with Smarte Carte power outlets installed since that would cut into the vendor’s profits. Contractually, the airport will probably have to waste money putting caps on non-Smarte Carte publicly accessible outlets. Ever seen a FREE luggage cart in an airport with Smart Cartes installed?

At that time, a SmartCarte representative contacted me (rather than comment) and said this wouldn’t happen.

It did.

I don’t blame SmartCarte for this. The Cincinnati airport has chosen to put a business relationship with SmarteCarte ahead of the travelers who pass through their airport every day.

Do the board members of the Cincinnati airport commission charge visitors to their homes for use of power? No? Then why do they treat their airport’s guests with such disrespect?

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