I’ve tried dozens of products that claim to make the flying experience better, but many haven’t lived up to the hype. Take the viral inflatable air travel pillow — whoever says this is comfortable and easy to pack is, frankly, a liar.
Airplane Pockets is a sleeve that slides on to the tray table you’ll find at the average airplane seat. The sleeve also features a hang-down pocket you can use to store your snacks, gadgets and other flying essentials. The idea is you’d use this pocket instead of shoving your goods in the cabin’s seat-back pockets.
I’m one of those people who refuses to sit down in their seat until every surface has been swept with a Lysol wipe. Needless to say, I find the crusty seat-back pockets absolutely repulsive. Based on what I saw on TikTok, Airplane Pockets looked like a more sanitary alternative.
Right off the bat, Airplane Pockets earned big points for packability. The sleeve weighs a mere 4.6 ounces and measures 15 x 9.5 x 0.3 inches laid out, but can fold up into the size of a wallet. The malleable material reminds me of the stretchy textbook sleeves from high school, in a way.
Once settled in my seat for a 6-hour flight from New York to Los Angeles, I grabbed the Airplane Pockets out of my bag, pulled down my tray table and slid half of the sleeve over the table. It stretched with zero hassle. Then, I stowed the tray table, and was surprised that the security notch still fit despite a bit of added thickness from the sleeve.
Beneath the tray table, I had a large, stretchy pocket ready to use. I put in my iPad mini 6, noise-cancelling headphones, a variety of snacks, chargers and some personal care items. Though the pocket seemed a bit saggy with all the added heft, it successfully expanded to hold my miscellaneous items. The dedicated pocket for my water bottle came in handy, too.
During the flight, I like keeping my tray table out to use my devices. The sleeve covered the cup-divot (can we really call it a cup holder?), so I had to be a bit more mindful when the flight attendant passed me a can of ginger ale. I noticed some crumbs stuck to the material, too. Luckily, Airplane Pockets is machine washable, so I wound up throwing it in with my laundry when I got home.
If you’re flying in a seat with a tray table, and like to have several items at your disposal during flights, Airplane Pockets is a no-brainer. I will say for $30, it feels a tad pricey for it is — a basic polyester sleeve. But after my travels and washing, it shows no sign of wear. And believe me, I stretched mine to the limit.
Now, I’ve since ended up in seats that don’t have a tray table, so Airplane Pockets isn’t a ubiquitous answer for keeping your things organized and less germ-exposed. Yet all things considered, it’s easily one of the most convenient products I’ve found thanks to TikTok, so it’s earned my badge of approval.