An airplane adapter is a device which allows people to connect electronic devices to power ports provided in aircraft for the purpose of powering those devices so that they can be used, charged, or both. With an airplane adapter, people do not need to worry about expending battery power, which can be a concern on long flights. In addition to working on planes, these devices are also often usable on cars, trains, and boats, when outlets are provided for travelers on these modes of transportation.
Not all planes provide power outlets for passengers, and those who do may not necessarily provide a receptacle at every seat. People who are concerned about being able to power devices on a plane may want to ask when purchasing tickets about whether or not the aircraft has power outlets and about the possibility of reserving a seat near a receptacle. Some websites designed for travelers also provide people with information about which aircraft are most likely to have outlets.
The airplane adapter plugs into the outlet, runs through a power brick, and then plugs into the device itself. Some are designed for specific devices like laptops, which others can plug into cell phones, PDAs, laptops, and a variety of other electronic devices. When using an airplane adapter, it is important to confirm that it is safe to use with a given device. People who are not sure should contact the manufacturer for confirmation.
Because the outlets on a plane may vary, it is not uncommon to see an airplane adapter fitted with changeable heads. This allows the user to select the head which will fit the outlet, which may vary from a traditional plug to a specialized outlet. People must also comply with the rules of the carrier when it comes to operating electronic devices; there may be times during the flight when passengers are asked not to use such devices, for example.
When using an airplane adapter, it is important to be cautious about the cord. Someone could trip and fall on the cord and this could also cause damage to the attached device if it was pulled off a lap or tray table. In addition, cords should be kept tucked up so that they do not become a nuisance in the event of an emergency evacuation. Cabin crew may ask a passenger to move or adjust a cord in order to address a safety issue.