We all know that flying in coach is far from comfortable these days. Flights are packed, but at the same time the budget ethos has spread to the likes of American and United. Your chances of getting a pillow and blanket, even for an international flight, are iffy. Then when you do get these items, how clean are they? Airlines usually give some vague dodgy answer when asked how often their blankets are laundered, but with cost cuts so rampant, you can bet it's not very often.
So if you plan to catch a nap on the plane, bring your own accessories. I tried out this Pac-n-Nap kit from Planecomfort and it offers a good way to get comfortable without carrying too much. It's about the length and width of a piece of copy paper, and about three fingers thick when repacked. Inside there's a 50" x 60" fleece blanket (five feet long!), inflatable pillow, fleece topped pillowcase, zippered storage pocket, and reusable totebag. You blow up the pillow, put it inside the pillowcase, and you're good to go. That pillowcase is actually the bag it comes in -- the inside of the bag is fleece -- which shows that the designers have done their best to keep the package compact. There's a handy outside pocket on the bag too, good for keeping your phone and boarding pass in, plus there's a detachable shoulder strap for carrying it.
Yesterday a magazine writer interviewed me about avoiding stress in the airport when flying and this item could definitely help in that department. If your flight gets delayed, which it probably will this winter if you're flying through a Northeast hub, you could whip out this Pac'nNap kit and be far more comfortable for those extra hours than the other passengers around you.
Plane Comfort's Pac'nNap is available at some luggage shops or direct from the company at PlaneComfort.net. Order from them before January 5 and there's no shipping charge. The regular black, red, or navy model is $30, a shocking pink one with zebra print or polka dot accents is $40. The latter includes a luggage finder strap to put around the handle of checked luggage.