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The most dreaded warning: Low battery

The most dreaded warning: Low battery
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A travel nightmare--your electronic gadget flashes low battery warnings and there's no available charging point!

Suman Tarafdar
February 03 , 2016
01 Min Read

Your devices have made you smarter, hopefully. At least that’s the message. So how is it that transportation hubs—railway stations, bus terminuses and especially airports are yet to catch onto this crucial facet of daily life? Strangely, even fancy new airport terminals somehow fail to have an adequate number of chargers or charging points.

The use of ‘smartphones’ with abysmally low battery life is no longer a rarity (and we shall dwell on this elsewhere). With greater security stringency, it is the norm rather than the exception to have a lengthy airport stay. If you have perchance overlooked charg­ing your phone, and have a long layover at say the Delhi airport, and want to stay connected, perhaps having a few devices is the answer. Sure, at some corners there are those bright red charging points usually with huge logos of the service providers. Your relief at finding them is short-lived, however, as you soon discover they are ornamental—your device is unlikely to indicate it is charging. In the rare possibility of the ‘lightning’ showing up in your device battery, you will discover an hour later that it has charged only two per cent! Pointing it out to the airport authorities is no use either—they just express helplessness. I have even had to resort to the ignominy of unplugging a lamp at a new airport terminal building I shall not iden­tify, but is among the busiest in India, and hogging that plug point for the next hour undetected. That the point was six inches from the floor, which meant doing crunches every few minutes to check the charging process, did not improve my ratings for the airport.

A working magic power tree/charging station is guaranteed to be the most popular point at any airport. Check even the busiest. It could well be a revenue stream with neighboring ads and coffee vending machines. The Shatabdi trains on Indian railways credit­ably have charging points at frequent intervals onboard, though even there I have seen people quibble. Other trains—zilch. Bus terminus—nada. Instead it is, especially in India, quite a task to get your phone to charge.


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