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Next time you’re packing your carry-on for a flight, throw a gallon-sized Ziploc bag in there to make your trip a little more comfortable. We all know how dirty airplane seatback pockets are (there’s a reason flight attendants frequently make announcements these days begging passengers not to put used sanitizing wipes in setback pocket). Passengers frequently fill those pockets with all kinds of trash, from used tissues to food, and the seatback pockets definitely don’t get a thorough cleaning in (if any) between flights.
However, if you’re not using the seatback pocket due to germs, you’re also left without a place to store your stuff, which can leave you feeling disorganized and uncomfortable, especially during a long-haul flight. I like having my glasses, Kindle, headphones, hand sanitizer, and other essentials within easy reach during my trip. So, when I realized that there was a simple and easy solution that would let me use the seatback pocket without actually touching the seatback pocket, I started packing a big Ziploc bag on every trip.
Pack the Ziploc bag with everything you’ll want access to during your flight, and put it in your carry-on. When you sit down, place the Ziploc bag with all your stuff inside the seat pocket. The bag will provide a barrier between your stuff and the inside of the seatback pocket, providing a sanitary storage spot in-flight.
When the flight is over, you can just empty your stuff into your carry-on and toss the Ziploc bag, preventing the transfer of any germs/bacteria. If you’re looking for a more eco-friendly solution, there are reusable bags and organizers specifically designed for airplane seatbacks—just be sure to wash them after using.
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