The Washington Times - May 21, 2012, 08:40AM

ABOARD AIR CANADA FLIGHT 093 — During a two-hour flight from Buenos Aires to Santiago, Chile, I listened to a whole album on my iPhone while writing several items for the magazine I serve using the “new” iPad. Taking off from Santiago for Toronto (on my way to Hong Kong; don’t ask), I continued to write on my iPad, switching my music source to that device.

It’s not that Air Canada is lacking good entertainment choices. The airline offers several XM Satellite Radio channels, along with movies, TV shows and a shelfful of full-length albums spanning just about every music taste. But I’ve got Toby Keith’s latest on right now, and it’s nice to hear after a week away from country radio stations.


None of this is exceptional; thousands of travelers do these things daily. But this flight is my first, very pleasant experience with in-flight power connections that are rather effortless. Each seat has a USB port for charging devices, as well as a 110-volt outlet for two- and three-prong electrical plugs.

The USB port was good enough for my iPhone, but it didn’t charge the iPad. For that, I had to plug an adapter into the power socket and occasionally repeat the process to keep the charge going. But I started at 88 percent charge and am at 96 percent now, which isn’t bad after a couple of hours of work and listening.

A flight attendant said the airline doesn’t have Wi-Fi on board yet but is working on it. While some fly to get away from the office, those of us traveling on business may welcome the opportunity not only to connect to the Internet, but also to keep our devices charged for when we touch down.