I’m borderline irrationally obsessed with “Life Hacks”. There’s something fascinating about how people creatively solve those little “first world problems”. I love finding a new gadget or saving money by jerry-rigging items together. Don’t get me started on hacks related to travel (my favorite type of all). Just last night I discovered a travel gear hack that left me speechless. One that so simply and cheaply (read: FREE) solves a problem created by the airline industry’s latest and greatest “technological advancement”.

Under the guise of “innovation” airlines are racing towards personal device entertainment in lieu of traditional seat back systems. Why? Primarily it’s a way to lower costs by eliminating expensive equipment and repairs. While also cutting the weight of screens, cables and the like increasing fuel efficiency. Of course, shareholders are more likely to truly benefit from these savings rather than consumers. But hey – at least you’re decreasing your carbon footprint!

Solving The Problem of In-Flight Personal Device Entertainment

What drives me crazy is that their gain has become our pain. Even if fully powered up or within reach of an outlet, passengers have to juggle their device with meal trays, laptops, etc in already tight spaces. Once you master that, there’s a high chance you’re spending the flight looking down. If you’re trying to save yourself from “Tech Neck”, then you’re left to alternate holding your device from hand to hand.

The airlines don’t seem too pressed to solve this problem. While they’ve attempted to provide solutions, they don’t always work. United’s newly designed domestic first class seats have an almost comical tray table with a device holder that’s a joke.

Their attempt at a solution for those in economy (shockingly) is far better, offering an adjustable device holder. Only problem is that these retrofits seem to be even slower than their painful rollout of Polaris.

That said, there’s no clear way of knowing if your aircraft will have these seats. I also don’t see a lot of other airlines even offering this. For those of you who don’t have the seat back layout of every type of plane memorized, you’re left praying that you’ll be able to MacGyver your device’s cover or case into a seat back pocket. If you aren’t down with the ziplock baggie method, there are gadgets like AirClipz. But, that’s just another thing you have to keep in your bag or remember to pack.

The only thing worse then being the person who can’t stop futzing with their device or keeps re-adjusting…is being the person sitting next to them. Yes. I’ve been both.

The Travel Gear Hack to Rule Them All

Alas, it was while scrolling through Facebook that I saw what has to be the single most amazing solution to this incredibly obnoxious first world problem. (I see you judging me…)

This. Is. GENIUS.

Whoever did this deserves ALL THE AWARDS and then some. So, the next time you happen to be lucky enough to be sitting next to someone who just can’t seem to get comfortable while holding their device OR whose tablet keeps falling out of a pocket or off a tray which will inevitably knock over some food and drink (I told you, I’ve been “that guy”), you can BLOW THEIR MIND with this travel/gear/life hack.

The post The Simplest Travel Gear Hack That Just Blew My Mind was first published on Coworkaholic.

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Bob
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Bob

I’m curious why you dislike UA’s tray table holder in domestic first? I’ve used it flawlessly without issue every time I’m upgraded with those newer seats. Those tray tables push out so it’s in front of you enough that it doesn’t strain my neck. I also am able to slide my iPad Smart Cover into the raised magazine holder when I’m in economy if they don’t have the holders which are also great. I’m just not sure what your issue is…user error?

Bob
Guest
Bob

Ha, ok you’ve got some issues with the new domestic first tray table all together. I can’t say I’ve experienced any of the issues you’re referring to, but maybe I’m just not that picky. I’ve found it to be large enough to do plenty of work and never had an issue. Regarding the iPad size, yes, you are definitely mistaken…I have a 10.5” iPad Pro and never had an issue with watching movies/shows horizontally in first or in economy. The Economy holder in the pic in your post easily holds my iPad with room to spare. The phone in the… Read more »

Bernice
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Bernice

I can see how this would work great if your device is your phone, but I think you’d need a larger piece of paper for a tablet. I’m definitely going to give it a try the next time I fly coach.

huey judy
Guest
huey judy

This is pathetic. Not including “for little tiny toys” in the headline is just plain obnoxious. Had I known that all this hyperbolic BS was only about a phone, I wouldn’t have wasted my time.
I know you are compensated on clicks, but I’ll surely never click on one of your posts again.,

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