Cramped seats, noisy neighbors, dry and germy air — what’s a coach-class passenger to do these days? Fear not. We’ve rounded up some products that will help make life in the clouds just a little more tolerable for clients in the coming year.
The eyes have it
Low humidity in airplane cabins can be hard on eyes, especially for clients with dry-eye conditions. The Thermoeyes Travel Kit from Eye Eco is a soothing way to re-hydrate eyes and the surrounding skin during long flights. Just put warm gel packets inside the goggles, close your eyes and drift off. Goggles also block out light for a restful sleep above the clouds. Back on terra firma, clients can use Thermoeyes to reduce post-flight eye puffiness. $59.
The leggy client’s friend
The Knee Defender — that crafty little gadget that prevents the airline seat in front of you from reclining — is out in a new, sleeker design. The device consists of two, palm-sized clips that are slipped on each arm of a lowered tray table. The closer the clip is to the seatback, the less the passenger in front of you can recline. Though popular with long-legged passengers tired of getting banged in the knees, the FAA isn’t crazy about the Knee Defender and some airlines — Northwest and American included — prohibit its use. Nevertheless, Knee Defender inventor Ira Goldman reports brisk sales, even among pilots and flight attendants who use the device when they’re deadheading. $14.95.
Is it hot or is it just me?
Every travel agent has a client with a horror story about being stuck for hours on the tarmac in an airplane with no air conditioning. Tiny Travel Fan to the rescue! This mighty midget puts out a pretty good breeze. Also useful for hot tour buses and drying nails. $8.85.
Breath of fresh air
The Air Supply from Wein Products is a personal air purifier worn around the neck. Ionic technology electronically charges pollutants such as dust, smoke, pollens and germs, resulting in cleaner, fresher air in a client’s personal cabin space. Small but mighty, the Air Supply boasts the most powerful output of any wearable air purifier. $129.
Editor's note: Magellan's temporarily discontinued sales of the Wein Products personal air purifier featured on this page following an incident in which a similar device from a different manufacturer ignited aboard a Continental Airlines flight, causing minor injuries.
"Until we know for certain what caused the problem, we are suspending sales of the purifier," said Magellan's spokesperson Lynn Staneff.
The device that caught fire was a Fresh Air Buddy from Ecoquest. The company pulled the product from the market pending an investigation into the cause of the blaze, which may have been linked to the device's lithium battery.
I can’t hear you now
Chatterboxes, fussy babies and snorers make it difficult for clients to sleep or work while in the air. These soft and foamy plugs from Hearos won’t block all noise but will considerably reduce the decibel level on your client’s next flight. From $2.99.
Dry air relief
In-flight air is as dry as the Sahara. Flight Spray, from the makers of the popular No Jet-Lag, can keep nasal passages moist and help prevent colds, flu and sore throats that sometimes come with recycled airplane air and sitting near sneezing and coughing passengers. Herbal ingredients — turmeric root and spearmint — smell nice and feel soothing in the nasal passages. The 1 oz. bottle is TSA-friendly but remind clients to take along a clear, one-quart plastic bag for faster security screening. $14.75.