How A Face Mask Can Ensure Working Seat Power On Your Next Flight

I’ve had several American Airlines flights recently where seat power was inoperative. The airline promised a proactive maintenance program to ensure working power back in the fall of 2017. The program never saw light of day back then because it was deemed too costly.

That’s why I travel with UK power adapters. The three-pronged grip will stay in the outlet, while U.S. plugs will fall out of an outlet that’s not properly maintained just enough to lose charging capability.

Recently, though, the power issue has been different – fully plugged in, no power. However if you’re on an airline where the outlet won’t hold the plug properly in place you have two choices: carry a spare U.K. power adapter in your bag, or do what this enterprising United Airlines passenger did: MacGuyver it with a face mask. Brilliant!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Similarly, I carry one of those 3-prong US splitters. Not only will it stay in on a plane, if you are ever stuck in an airport with few outlets, you can use it to plug in three people’s devices

  2. Two thoughts:
    1. You stand a better chance of dying from an electric shock produced by that outlet than dying of covid.
    2. That mask serves a much greater purpose over that plug than it does over your face.

  3. I used to think this was because the sockets had worn out after hundreds and hundreds of uses. When the 787s came out week old plugs weren’t holding my chargers or even connecting when held in.
    They are just a cheap component in an overpriced product.

  4. How is AA still in business?
    Between the lousy food and the
    crappy hard product and the lack
    of service (a Trifecta of failure)
    it amazes me they haven’t gone
    belly up….

  5. @CHRIS, that isn’t even close to being true.

    “In the United States, there are approximately 1000 deaths per year, as a result of electrical injuries. Of these, approximately 400 are due to high-voltage electrical injuries, and lightning causes 50 to 300.”

    Covid deaths are in the hundreds of thousands per year.

  6. Did that guy on Twitter really pat himself on the back for being innovative for repurposing a face mask? Is an engineering background really necessary to come up with such a “hack?”

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