One of the most common requests we get from our customers is: Why aren’t your phone charging stations in airports? Having a low phone battery when you’re about to board a long flight is absolutely dread-inducing, but the reason you’ve never seen a phone charging kiosk at the airport is simple: because lockers are not allowed in US airports anymore!
Many airports used to have storage lockers of all kinds, but that came to an abrupt halt after 9/11 when the Federal Aviation Administration ordered all airport lockers shut down due to the threat of terrorist attacks. Lockers could store dangerous or unattended items and so, for security reasons, the FAA has banned them from all US airports for the last twenty years.
But what about those free, public charging stations at the airport? Are they safe to use?
To meet the demands of power-hungry travelers, airports have installed free, open charging stands like this one:
You’ll often find these public charging stations located at your terminal gate or, sometimes, in airport lounges or food courts. They can be sponsored by a phone company or some other third party vendor. However, these open USB charging stations are not the safest way to charge your devices—even if you’re using your own charging cables!— because they can easily become the target of juice jacking.
Juice jacking: an airport security risk
“Juice jacking” occurs when you plug in your device to “juice” it up and then hackers use malware (malicious software) in the charging station or USB cable to “jack” your information, such as your phone number, email and passwords.
While most airport charging stations let you use your own USB cable, the risk of juice jacking is still present inside the USB charging port.
USB is a connection that not only charges your phone, it’s a back-and-forth data transferring system as well. It’s thanks to this data transfer that USBs allow you to easily move around your photos, videos and documents from one computer to another.
Once you plug your phone or device inside an unknown USB port, you could be infected by malware, which can lock you out of your own device, watch as you type in your passwords or even log into your bank account. The hacker can download the data while they sit across from you, or they can retrieve it from the charging station later.
Can ChargeItSpot’s phone charging stations be “juice jacked”?
No! They cannot. While ChargeItSpot charging stations cannot be found at the airport; we are located inside many of your favorite stores, malls, stadiums and other public venues. And the reason why so many of the biggest brands trust us to charge their customers’ phones is because we are the safest charging solution on the market.
Our expert engineers designed and patented ChargeItSpot’s OptiCharge® technology, which not only delivers the most efficient charge to each phone but also prevents any data transfer with a one-directional charge (power only, no data sync possible). Plus, our USB ports are secured behind steel housing that prohibits any kind of tampering and blocks any attempt at juice jacking. Click here to learn more about how our phone charging stations are the safest.
So what should I do to avoid battery drain at the airport?
To avoid a dying phone at the airport, we recommend traveling with a (fully charged!) portable power bank. That way, you can just plug your device into the power bank when you need a quick charge.
Alternatively, you can travel with a phone charging wallet, backpack or purse (here are some of our favorites!).
Finally, if you’re already at the airport and desperate for a charge, a safer solution than using those public phone charging stations would be to find an actual electrical outlet. Plug your phone’s USB cord into an AC adapter and then plug the adapter into an available outlet.
Safe travels (and charges!).