British Airways power sockets in premium cabinsBack to Forum
Anonymous17 Jan 2011
I know that this is an old question, but what are the at-seat power sockets (e.g. US 110 volt socket) for BA flights in premium cabins:
First, New First, NCW, WTP, New WTP.
Thanks.17 Jan 2011
From my experience as a pax:
First – empower (this was over 5 years ago, but I have not heard anything about upgrading the seat power supply)
New First, don’t know
NCW, US or Euro plug (last used on 1 Jan this year)
WTP – empower (last used on 24 Dec 2010)
New WTP – don’t know
BT did a review of New First and the 777-300 with new WTP, you may find answers there.
If you carry a power supply with either euro/US plugs and an empower socket, you are covered. However, the UK plug needs an adaptor to euro or US.
There are some 3rd party power supplies that can do this, e.g. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kensington-33196EU-Universal-Power-Adapter/dp/B000B8GSCK
Otherwise, you can buy an inverter with an empower connector.17 Jan 2011
Thanks. I have a Kingston Empower unit from some years back. I have not flown with BA for 3 years, but have a flight booked, so the old kit still works.
With thanks to the BT forum, BA USA gave me an upgrade as a return to them from VAA (who no longer fly to ORD), plus in return for my referral of this forum to them as a good source of positive and negative comments about BA transatlantic services.
(Just looked at your link for the Kingston gadget, and it is a lot lighter than the inverter I have!)17 Jan 2011
Sorry, Posted the wrong link 😉
This is the one I meant, it also works from 120/240AC power and thus gives you a wall/air solution.
Interestlingly, you take the power tip off the mains unit and attach it to a separate Empower cable, but the whole unit is supplied in a carry case, so it is a single pack to carry.17 Jan 2011
All I can add to this is some info about Old First. There is a strange looking power socket which requires a power pack supplied by the crew. It works fine if all you’re charging is an iPod or mobile phone but there is not enough juice coming out of there to power a modern laptop. I haven’t tried my laptop in New First yet but I expect it should be no problem.17 Jan 2011
What you are describing is an Empower socket.
These are limited to 75 watts output, which for example will power my enegery efficient lenovo Thinkpad X200s laptop (which requires 65 watts), but will not power other laptops that need 90 or 120w, such as the Fujitsu Siemens Lifebook S6410 that I used until 18 months ago.
Most netbooks will also be okay with 75 watts.
I am not an expert in this area, but many years of frequent travelling have lead to a number of trial and error conclusions 😉
It is not just empower sources that sometimes struggle, my Fujitsu was the bane of the Emirates engineer who used to travel on board, as it would frequently trip the supply to my seat, that came through a 2 pin socket.17 Jan 2011
Thanks for the clarification DS, I guess I have to admit that my laptops are pretty power hungry. It would be great if the crew were as knowledgeable as you, every time I asked, they were clueless and tried substituting the unit thinking there was something wrong with it.17 Jan 2011
Knowledge gained by much frustration 😉 I bet the crew don’t get any training on the sockets/power adaptors.
The only way I could get the Fujitsu to work reliably, was to invest in 2 x main batteries and swap after 4 1/2 hours, that way I could manage 9 in a flight, but with a dim screen and slow processor 🙁
The lenovo is a joy, has worked every time, so far, which is on of the reasons I went for a less power hungry device.17 Jan 2011
@DisgustedofSwieqi – I have just received the Kingston product you suggested, and wanted to thank you for the recommendation. It is 1/4 of the size and weight of my old device, and came with both empower and car charger, plus different adaptors including one that fits my Acer laptop.
Thanks once again.
Tim.31 Jan 2011
If only BA could install WIFI on their long haul aircraft, then there would be a reason to use our laptops on the plane. Most major airlines are moving that way but not the case for BA.. Unless someone knows something I don’t?31 Jan 2011
I can speak for the NCW cabin. I use my standard computer cable and just change the plug lead. I used to carry the Kensignton unit, but the Fujitsu power supply unit works perfectly well. Never had a problem.31 Jan 2011