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MSP to help more passengers recharge on the run

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Veteran travelers know the sinking feeling of seeing their tech devices run out of juice when they're still miles from their destination.

The Pioneer Press reports that Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has a plan in the works to help travelers restore their power without having to sit on the floor or fight for an outlet. The paper reports that starting in June, the airport will add more than 1,000 seats with electrical outlets for travelers who need to recharge phones or laptops.

Alan Howell, MSP's chief architect, told the newspaper that the new "beam" row of seats will feature a set of three chairs, separated by a table that includes two electrical outlets.

"Not every seat will have power, but there will be power nearby," Howell said. "So in a set of three (chairs), there will be one table" with two electrical outlets.

MSP and the airlines have upgraded terminal plug-in abilities as electronic devices have become more popular.

"Sometimes, what seems like little services -- such as power -- can go a long way toward making people have a better experience when they're waiting for their flight,"said airport spokesman Patrick Hogan. "All of the food courts and all of the full-service restaurants have places where you can plug in."

It's another move to make the airport more amenable to a growing number of travelers. In the past year, the Airports Council named MSP as having the best food and beverage program in North America. The Business Journal reported that the Metropolitan Airports Commission is seeing interest from developers who want to build a large airport hotel. The MSP Arts and Culture program program, managed through the Airport Foundation, is modifying space at the airport to display art and recently named former broadcaster Robyne Robinson to head the program. The Business Journal said that the airport plans to add a screening room in August to screen regionally produced short films.

And, of course, McDonald's is back on Concourse D, returning by popular demand after being absent from MSP for years.

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