On an overnight stay at a Fairfield Inn, I encountered a dilemma I’ve experienced many times before. There was no apparent way to charge my phone.
While many hotels have solved this problem by installing lights with either plugs or USB outlets on the base, this hotel had neither. When looking behind the nightstand, there was only 1 plug, with the lamp and clock already using the two outlets. Sure, I could have unplugged the clock but I still have flashbacks from an incident from my childhood where we unplugged the TV to move it to a better location only to have the hotel staff arrive at the room to make sure we weren’t stealing it (In retrospect, it probably wasn’t that great of a hotel but we booked it for 1/2 price with the Entertainment Book). (Note from Sharon: OMG, they came to your room? We’ve been married for 18 years – why have you never told me this story before???)
Looking around, I noticed that the Timex clock on the nightstand had two USB ports on the front. I’ve encountered these in several hotel rooms and I’ve never found one of them that actually worked to charge a phone. They’re almost as useless as the hotel rooms with an iHome speaker with connections that only work on an iPhone 4.
Much to my surprise, when I plugged in my phone, I heard the charging tone. Sure, by plugging my phone into an unknown USB outlet, my personal information is at risk but I don’t think that hackers or the government is monitoring the Timex clock in a room on the first floor of the Fairfield Inn in Savannah.
To be fair, I have found a USB plug that has worked to charge my phone before. However, it was in a suite at the Renaissance St. Pancras in London. Their fancy-schmancy clock radio had a USB port hidden on the back (along with an old-school extendable antenna.) It was high-tech and retro at the same time 🙂
So I’m wondering what’s your experience with getting these devices to charge your phone. Would you unplug the clock to plug in your phone? How many people even use the hotel alarm clock anymore?
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary