The Atlantic's James Fallows (who is an instrument-rated pilot as well as a 25-year veteran of the magazine) calls attention to a Twitter exchange between PressThink's Jay Rosen and Virgin America regarding that carrier's claim to offer standard 100 V AC power to passengers.
During his flight to Las Vegas, Rosen planned to use Virgin America's inflight internet and power outlets to stay connected. He found that the outlet at his seat did not work and Tweeted the problem, which quickly drew VA's attention.
Airline PR suggested several fixes via Twitter's direct message service (which Fallows lists in full), then says that VA's engineering department says the plugs have thresholds where power will shut off to prevent surging.
Fallows raises an interesting question here: "Whether airliners as presently equipped (and regulated) could actually handle a whole planeful of AC-power-using passengers."
What are your thoughts on this issue? Will the next generation of airplanes be able to better handle passengers' tech demands?
After all, if your PDA is dead, inflight connectivity isn't much of a bonus.