UPDATE | We're pleased to report that since this article was written, Qantas has rejigged the design of the recessed AC outlets in its laptop-friendly airport lounge benches.
Two of the four AC sockets in each panel have now been repositioned to sit horizontally instead of vertically.
This allows the white power brickette of Apple's MacBook notebook family, which combines an AC plug with the voltage transformer, to fit snugly in one of the sockets at the end of the row.
PREVIOUS | Qantas may have made the move to an all-Apple environment in its Qantas Club and Qantas Business lounges, but the new laptop-friendly benches are decidedly unfriendly for Apple notebooks.
The benches – which have already been installed into the Sydney Qantas Business Lounge as part of a rolling refit, as well as the all-new Qantas Club and Qantas Business Lounge at Canberra Airport – typically seat up to eight people and sport 240V AC sockets in a recessed bay under hinged centre compartments.
But as Australian Business Traveller discovered on a brief visit to in the Sydney Qantas business lounge this weekend, the bay simple isn't wide enough to cope with the palm-sized AC adaptor used by Apple's MacBook, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air family.
Apple adaptors use a different design for their power cables and AC adaptors to Windows laptops.
Notebooks by Dell, HP, Lenovo, Sony, Toshiba et al employ two lengths of thick black cable with a squat 'power brick' in the middle to transform the standard 240 volts AC into a notebook's lower-voltage DC supply. The end which fits into the AC socket is a standard stubby three-pronged plug.
However, Apple's simpler and some would say more elegant design incorporates the voltage transformer into a compact white block which sits at one end of the power cable and plugs directly into the AC socket.
That works fine on most wall-mounted sockets because there's sufficient room around the AC jack. But it's an issue in confined spaces such as the Qantas club benches because there's simply not enough room for the transformer+plug combo unit.
The obvious solution for MacBook users is to shift to somewhere else in the lounge. No major drama, except that these benches really are perfect for in-transit laptop users in every other respect: ideal height, ample personal space and close proximity to the food servery and bar (you can decide which trait is most important).
Otherwise, you'll want to add to your carry-on bag the long grey extension cord that came with your Apple laptop. This snaps onto the white adaptor brickette and ends in a standard three-pronged AC plug. It's a little more cumbersome and less elegant, but it works...
About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.