In-Flight Necessities

Little items that make for a pleasant flight

By: By Anne Burke

In an age when airline travel is something to endure but rarely enjoy, it’s the little things that count — like a nice neck pillow and someplace to stash your eyeglasses. We spent time hunting for in-flight products that will make the indignities of flying a little easier to bear.


1. Retro Eye Mask
Flight attendants and fellow passengers will get a kick out of this eye mask from Flight 001. Closes with an adjustable, Velcro strap and stores in its own zip pouch. $22.




2. Neck Pillow
The nifty thing about this inflatable neck pillow from Flight 001 is that it folds to the size of a dinner napkin when the air is released. Clients can toss the soft, removable pillow cover in the washing machine between flights. $12.




3. Inflatable Bed
A commercial airline pilot fed up with fitful sleeps on his commute home invented this inflatable cushion that rests against the back of your airline seat. The 1st Class Sleeper may not be as nice as getting horizontal, but it’ll make a client’s overnight flight a lot more tolerable. Inflates with 10-12 breaths. Rolls up for easy transport. $39.85.




4. Air Filter
The jury is still out on whether recycled cabin air really makes us sick. But clients who want to play it safe can use this filter that attaches to the overhead air nozzle and creates a germ-free air curtain around the face. FDA testing shows the device, from Travel Health Products Inc., filters 99.5 percent of airborne viruses, bacteria and allergens. $19.95.




5. Foot Exercise Cushion
Doctors tell us to stretch our legs on long-haul flights, but that’s easier said than done when you’re trapped in a window seat. Pushing air from one chamber to the other with bare feet on this inflatable cushion from Magellan’s keeps blood circulating, stimulates leg and foot joints and helps ward off deep-vein thrombosis. The downside is the hissing sound may distract fellow passengers. $9.85.




6. Travel Blanket
This warm and cuddly travel blanket from Eagle Creek has a feature that makes it a standout — a zippered pocket at the lap where clients can stash reading glasses, tissues, an iPod and a paperback. The blanket folds into the pocket for easy carrying. $19.85.