Genius Airport Hack: Use TVs for Extra USB Power

Posted in At the Terminal

Have you ever been stuck at the airport with your phone/tablet battery dying a slow painful death and all of the outlets are taken by other jamokes in the same predicament? Of course you have. We’ve all been there. Instead of unplugging one of your power-hungry comrades and starting World War III, you sit there knowing that you’ll be holding a brick of useless metal once that 11% becomes 0%. Bummer, dude. Or is it?

Thanks to ASCII_27 on Reddit, I’ve got a great airport hack to share with you. Find an LCD TV monitor (not attached to the ceiling, of course) and walk around to the back. Once there, locate an open USB port, plug in, and you’ll be fully charged in no time (or at least *double* the time you’d normally charge in because those outlets only deliver about half the power you’d normally be getting). Keep your eyes out for big ad displays that use monitors, too, as those can serve the same purpose.

To charge more quickly, put your phone on airport mode so it’s not using power while you charge.

As a bonus airport hack, start carrying around a usb travel hub so you can save the day and turn every outlet into multiple outlets. That way, if they’re all taken, you can just plug in your usb travel hub,replace the cord that was already there and plug your own cord in, too. EVERYBODY WINS! Also, those usb travel hubs are super cheap (like less than $10 for most of them), so it’s probably a good idea to chuck one in your travel bag from now on.


For another genius airport hack, check out this.

Image via ASCII_27 on Reddit



  1. “Airport mode” classic lol

    side note. I’ve pitched the hub idea since most are just current splitters. so its no different than taking turns. Even though everyone doesn’t know that. People might be more apt to”share” by sacrificing some power to you.

    I don’t know that I’ve noticed any airports with exposed connections on their panels at people height. I carry an MHL-HDMI charging cable. So I might have to sharea funny youtube vid with everyone while I’m there 🙂

    Humor aside, good tip though!

  2. Now if they would just give us a hack so we wouldn’t be stuck watching only one preset channel on the TV’s at the airport.

  3. Typically, most tv usb connections have a maximum output of 500mA, this is less than most modern charger bricks. For example, most current android phones come with a 1A (1000mA) charger, An ipad comes standard with a 2100mA or 2.1A charger. The 500mA from the tv would take twice as long to charge a normal android phone and 4 times longer to charge an ipad.

    I travel often for business and used to carry a 4 port portable monster cable adapter that uses one outlet and provides 4 inputs. However, after the price of portable usb batteries has come down i now simply carry an Anker 12,000 mAH battery in my backpack. Not only does it provide a 2A maximum output, it can charge multiple devices at a time, can charge an iphone or android phone up to 6 times on a single charge, and doesn’t require you to be a slave to an outlet so you can charge wherever you go.

    Here is a link to the 12,000 mAh product i have

    Here is the slightly smaller 6,000 mAh

    These are must haves for anyone that travels. I do not represent the company, I just love the product enough to highly recommend it.

  4. Why not just carry a small power strip or 3-way outlet splitter and then you can really be a hero and let multiple people plug into the same power outlet and then everyone gets a full charge from a real outlet instead of the measly output from these USB ports? Then you’re a real hero. 🙂

  5. This is a stupid idea. Plugging your device in to another device could expose the host device to whatever nasties are on the other device (or devices connected via a hub), could be considered unauthorized use and perhaps trespassing (think that this could be connected to the airport network), and is just an all around rude thing to do by making yourself ‘at home’ where you haven’t been invited.

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