Three useful and amusing tips to improve the quality of your time in the air chair.
Tip #1: The ‘pillow’
That cushion on your seat, the one designed to perfectly fit and fall through the gap between the seats, or the gap between the seat and the body of the plane. The one that couldn’t give your neck any useful support unless it were twice as thick and substantial, less spongy.
Has that happened to you: it falls through the gap? A quandary – do you bother to ask the person in the seat behind to return it, or would you feel too petty. If you do ask, chances are the passenger behind will deny any knowledge of ‘your’ cushion. Because the very same thing happened with ‘their’ cushion, and they’re now holding ‘yours’ in lieu of ‘theirs’. And a surplus cushion languishes, now two, now more, rows back.
Well here’s a thought:
That ‘blanket’ sealed in a sticky plastic bag, the one folded to match the proportions of the cushion, perhaps to simplify storage and distribution. The blanket you’re unlikely to want or use.
Combine these two annoying travel trinkets, cushion and blanket, into a single serviceable unit: insert the blanket neatly into the pillowcase.
- The larger cushion no longer slips through the gaps
- Its augmented substance will better support your head or neck
- The cushion will better form around uncomfortable hard edges and over cavities. The blanket backing makes for a harder base, while the cushion between it and head evens out and softens the protrusions.
- One or two fewer things underfoot.
Tip #2: The 'spoon'
You’re passed a tray strewn with plastic food containers. Somewhere midst the containers is a sealed plastic sleeve with ‘cutlery’ – plastic knife, fork, spoon and teaspoon, toothpick, tiny salt and pepper, and a paper napkin. Open the sleeve and tip the contents among the containers, then pick out the bits you want.
No, don’t do that! Just locate the spoon, push its handle through the end of the sleeve, and withdraw it and it alone (though you might want the napkin as well, if there’s no non-sleeved napkin).
The spoon is all you need to eat the food the airline provides. You don’t even need teeth. Eating with knife and fork is impractical. (Worse, the person sitting next to you eating with knife and fork, jabbing an elbow at your face with every mouthful.)
If you need to clean the spoon between containers, stick it in your mouth, where everything else on the spoon ended up (you hope).
Keeping utensils in the sleeve prevents their inadvertently flipping something onto yourself, your neighbour, or the floor. The floor, tantalisingly close, yet beyond the reach of searching stumbling fingers while the tray-table remains ‘locked in the downright position’.
Tip #3: The ‘bottle’
The wine on planes comes in little plastic ‘bottles’, miniatures of a regular wine bottle.
This wine should be drunk straight from the ‘bottle’.
Does it taste better consumed from a crinkly plastic cup better suited to the dentist’s rinse and spit?
With the lid screwed down between sips, relax, safe from the occasional bump in the air or on the chair, the occasional uncoordinated misplaced limb or arm movement. (Or even the occasional missile, inadvertently catapulted by the dispensed contents of a cutlery sleeve.) Shirt stains at immigration, never again.
With the lid screwed on, safely stow the bottle (and any subsequent bottles) in the seat pocket in front, with tray table restored upright and tray and leftovers long gone. Party on!
Enjoy catching the eye of disbelieving passengers as you surreptitiously steal yet another yummy sip from the source.
Augment this short selection with your own crackingly smart suggestions to improve air travel.