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the magical world of airsickness bags

Welcome. This is what my wife calls "a bunch of stupid jokes and pictures of paper bags." She's right about the jokes. She's wrong about the bags: some of them are plastic.

What the critics say: "Utterly unnotable" (Wikipedia editor). "Ridiculous collections #4" (Buzzfeed). Other comments: "As complete wastes of time go, it's a very high quality complete waste of time... An entirely dispensable source of inane comments about a truly trivial subject... A monument to the planet's worst corporate design... An unwelcome reminder of some of the more unpleasant moments in our lives."

Donations (unused, please) of bags not represented in the bag gallery are welcomed -- please mail to this address, and I'll credit you on this site! I am happy to trade any extras that I have. Check out the links to other bag sites, find out how you can use your spare bags, and explore the fascinating world of bag manufacturers

Highlights: The design features page reveals the secrets of professional baggery, and the logos page analyses the enigma of airline corporate identities. Search for your favourite bag, browse the bag gallery by country and airline, and check out the biggest, best and worst bags!


Enjoy the ride?

I wouldn't normally dream of going anywhere near Disney World, but I'm reconsidering. According to a 2003 report in the Orlando Sentinel, cited here, Disney hands out barfbags on its space rides.

After thinking about it, I've decided against. I can't stand the thought of spending good money, queuing for hours, and experiencing the cascade of crass commercialism it would take to get one of these bags.

Anyone with less taste or more stamina want to take it on themselves to see if they still offer these bags?

Thanks to Steve Silberberg for this item. Steve thought that it might fit in's Rich and Famous category, but that idea was rejected: while he is clearly a world leader, Mickey does not seem to use the bags himself.

Friday, June 30, 2006 

Barfbags of the Rich and Famous

What does George W Bush do when he eats too many pretzels? How about his father, George HW Bush, when forced to eat Japanese food? And how do the world's crowned heads and other VIPs manage to empty their digestive tracts in an emergency?

Find out here!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 

Bags down under

Reiner Schulz's green Vertissage bag has arrived in the land of the kiwis.

Veteran New Zealand-based baggist David Bradford got out his pet flightless bird and put on his tie specially for this photo.

Click here to see more of David.

The Vertissage site is still waiting for shots of bags and their new owners from France, Italy, Namibia, Panama, Russia and the USA.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 

Out in the first round, but still champions

"Yesterday evening there was a short reportage (approximately 5 minutes) on TV Prima (one of Czech private TV) about Milos Kubista," says Czech baggist Jan Tomášek.

"Unfortunately I do not know this man but he was introduced as a barf bag collector with the fifth biggest collection of airsickness bags of the world (but they did not inform about the exact number of bags he has). The reportage was very interesting becouse it was filmed in his flat and he has a part of his collection pinned up on the walls. There were so many amazing bags. The flat looks like a collector's paradise."

"Considering Jaromir Kral with his collection of more than 2,000 bags it is possible to say now that I live in the country that belongs to the top leaders of barf bag collecting in the world. After the failure of the Czech football team in Germany it is a really good news for us in my country. We can be proud of something now."

Thanks to Jan for this item.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006 

Bag puppet competition entry

Here's my entry to Chris Hays' bag puppet competition.

Any similarity with living baggists (like the second photo) is purely coincidental.

Want to enter the competition?

Pull out one of those plain white bags you've been hoarding for a rainy day, find some scissors, coloured paper and glue, and let your imagination run wild.

See the other entries in the contest here (click on bag puppets in the menu of this link).

The competition ends on 31 July 2006.

Sunday, June 25, 2006 

Could virginity be catching on?

Virgin Atlantic's innovative approach to bag design may be catching on in the aviation world.

Over the last year, Virgin has come out with a series of excellent designs, including the Design for Chunks competition, promotional bags for a Star Wars movie, and bags advertising Virgin's new destinations.

Other airlines have been slow to catch on. Notable exceptions are Germanwings with a witty bag aimed at collectors, and HLX, with a series of bright yellow bags poking fun at other airlines' fares.

These bags are bright points in the otherwise drab world of colour-coordinated bags designed to meld with the corporate-decreed cabin decor and not to clash with the stewardesses' uniforms. And too many airlines continue to dampen their passengers' joie-de-vivre with plain white bags.

Are things beginning to change? I've just received an enquiry from an industry supplier hoping to order designer bags from one of the manufacturers in my list of bagmakers.

Looks as if Virgin's assault on the bag design fraternity may be paying off. Baggists rejoice!

Saturday, June 24, 2006 

Bagging a billionaire's bags

Baggist Oliver Conradi, who is so desperate to collect bags that he got a job at Hamburg Airport, spotted this sleek helicopter on the apron. The craft belongs to Roman Abramovich, the wealthy owner of Chelsea Football Club.

Oliver reports that the chopper has Mr Abramovich's own-brand bags on board. With a Chelsea logo, perhaps?

The baggist community eagerly awaits the results of Oliver's bag-foraging forays.

Saturday, June 24, 2006 

It's quiz time!

So you think you know all there is to know about barfbags?

Then you should take this online quiz, written by "Trivia Architect pu2-ke-qi-ri".

Ten multiple-choice questions to test your knowledge about this vital item, without which modern aviation would not be the pleasurable experience it is.

Here's a sample to whet your appetite:

  • What is the "technical" term for an air sickness bag?

Modesty precludes me from publicizing my own test score.

Thanks to Chris Hays for this item.

Friday, June 23, 2006 

In the event of airsickness...

"Maybe we should start collecting toilets...?" asks Chris Hays.

Thanks, Chris, and good luck with the parachuting course!

Friday, June 23, 2006 

Second Choice?

Manchester-based studio Atomic Design created a range of simple yet witty bag designs for First Choice Airlines.

Sadly, only one has so far appeared in seat pockets: the blue "unexpected departure?" model.

When can we expect the other designs, including "for turbulent turns" and "unscheduled transfer", to appear on board?

Thursday, June 22, 2006 

Groggy on the ground

Source: Cartoon Room

Thanks to Chris Hays for this item.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 

How to avoid using precious bags

Thanks to David Shomper for this item.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 

Why there's no food service on board

Thanks to Denir Camargo for this cartoon and the translation from Portuguese.

From Seleções of Readers Digest, Brazilian edition, May 2006.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006 

Barf Bag One

Want to puke like a president?

Then this bag is a must-have: the Official Barf Bag of the United States Of America.

Pretending to be the Prez will cost you the princely sum of $3.95 per heave - or $99.95 for a bargain pack of 48 bags - enough for a whole planeload of aides.

Get your bags here.

Monday, June 19, 2006 

When what's inside must come out

"Just as a butterfly emerges, your own inner knowledge and wisdom will surface from your soul" as you read "the antidotes (sic), chance meetings, and humorous revelations" in this book.

Barf Bag Wisdom: When What's Inside Must Come Out by motivational author Lindee Brauer is a humorous self-help / self-discovery book.

Lindee "transcends the every-day-hassles associated with life as she shares her journey. Her unique perspective, awe-like sense of discovery, and ability to bring down the veil of spiritual knowledge make this book a must-read for anyone on their own path to self-discovery. Lindee's lessons enlighten, uplift, and will help you in breaking through to new worlds and adventures."

Obviously Ms Brauer has not based her book on real-life US barfbags - which are almost all plain white.

If you're on a voyage of self-discovery, the book costs $20, and you can order it from here.

Monday, June 19, 2006 

Want a job with Vogue?

Then write your job application on a barfbag.

Click here for more.

Monday, June 19, 2006 

A barfbag for dogs?

The ultimate cross between a doggie bag and a barfbag: the "Barkbag" is a barfbag designed for airborne canines.

It comes in packs of three for $4.75 - that's $1.58 per heave.

While you're at it, you can also buy a set of earmuffs for your pooch.

Click here for more.

Thanks to Rune Tapper for this alert.

Monday, June 19, 2006 

Collect them while you can

In a move calculated to provoke baggists worldwide, aircraft maker Boeing plans to eliminate the need for barfbags on its new 787 "Dreamliner" aircraft.

A Sunday Times report on 18 June 2006 states that the new design will enable the aircraft to substantially reduce the effects of turbulence.

“It won’t spell the end of the in-flight sick bag — it may take the elimination of the drinks cart for that — but it should reduce the occurrence (of motion sickness),” the article quotes Mike Sinnett, director of Boeing's 787 systems team as saying.

Initial reactions from baggists has been mixed. Some have reacted with dismay that Boeing has targeted barfbags. "Bags are an integral part of the onboard experience", says Paul Mundy, owner of the Bagophily collection. "They fulfil a vital function - keeping the cabin interior clean and odour-free. They are also part of the in-seat entertainment system: the printing on a barfbag is often more exciting than the in-flight magazine."

Other baggists are more sanguine. German baggist Walter Brinker welcomes Mr Sinnett's statement that barfbags will be around as long as there are drinks carts. He looks forward to the day when alcohol manufacturers sponsor bags: "So we will collect barf bags with the logos of Ballantines, Courvoisier, Laphroaig and Moskovskaya instead", he says.

Click here to read the full Sunday Times article.

Thanks to Steve Silberberg for this alert.

Sunday, June 18, 2006 

Bags around the world

Reiner Schulz's bagart project is proceeding apace. Frequent readers of this column (if there are any) will recall that he got a bunch of people to paint a bunch of barfbags green. He then sent them to collectors around the world - on the condition that they send him a photo of themselves with the bag.

This effort is bearing fruit. Click on the map to the left to see not only where the bags have ended up, but also photos of your favourite baggists.

  • There's Rune Tapper trying to block the view of a spectacular aurora borealis.
  • David Shomper is feeding a bronze bison and then collecting its droppings.
  • Oliver Conradi is about to board a plane to steal yet more bags.
  • Jan Tomášek is comparing the size of his bag with Prague Cathedral.
  • Aidan Stradling is checking the contents of his bag before crossing the swing bridge at Gateshead in the UK.
  • Janusz Tichoniuk is pretending he's in tropical Africa rather than freezing in Poland.
  • Walter Brinker is pretending to be a plane.
  • Rafael Despradel really is in a tropical paradise - a beach in the Dominican Republic. I wonder if the girls on the beach are as impressed as they should be by the size of his bag collection?
  • Tom de Kort is showing off his bag in the most interesting place in Belgium he could find.
  • Homer Goetz looks much younger than I thought he would be, given the size of his collection. Maybe Copenhagen's Little Mermaid has reversed the ageing process?
  • And then there's me - holding a bag aloft to spoil the tourists' view of Cologne Cathedral.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 

Design a puppet, bag a prize

Chris Hays' bag puppet competition is attracting some quality entries from across the globe.

The fine example on the left was created by David Shomper (below), who is clearly jealous of its full head of hair.

Click here to see the other entries, and to learn how to enter the competition. The competition closes on 31 July 2006.

Saturday, June 17, 2006 

The Clemens eBay Report for May 2006

Special Correspondent Gerd Clemens takes time off from the World Cup to bring us up to date with World Baggery...

"Before the next games in world championship start today I would like to use the time to inform you about a sensational month for barf bags at Ebay.

As well in numbers of auctions taking place as in the prices paid, May was a real exciting month.

Let's start with a collection of 21 rare bags for which 9 bidders fought. This fierce bidding brought the price up to £138.25 (equal to €202), the highest price for barf bags I have ever seen at Ebay.

But for single bags too prices were high and the #1 in May is a Portuguese bag from Air Atlantis at a price of £90.00 equal to €132.

About the half of this price but still in a very high region runner up was the Canadian Intair at US$ 89.88 or €70.49. This airline was founded in 1988 and integrated in Canadian Regional Airline in 1991.

#3 is an Indian carrier Goair, which started operation in 2005 at Mumbai. Price of the bag was £45.44 or €66.84. It is to be expected that more of this bag will be offered shortly as this airline is growing fast.

Not far behind and #4 a bag from the defunct Spanish airline Nortjet at a price of £44.75 equal to €65.59. This airline was founded in 1987 and merged with Lineas Aereas Canarias to form Meridiana Air in 1992.

The Mexican airline Allegro, which operates since 1992 came in as #5 at a final bid of US$ 72.10 or €57.02.

An Arabian airline - sorry but I could not find more information - Aecoair was #6 at a price of £37.21 equal to €54.52.

Another defunct airline, this time from UK became #7. BIA British Island Airways is the name of this company, which was founded in 1962 as British United Airways BUIA, renamed as BIA in 1980 and then forced to cease operations in 1990 because of financial problems. The price of £34.53 or €50.32 is a proof that bag is scarce.

Bulgarian Airlines normally offers ordinary bags and I guess that most of us have some bags from them. But in May a bag was offered which was quite different to all the others, and this brought price up to £32.10 which are €47.13.

Chunqiu or Spring Airlines is the first Chinese low cost carrier situated in Shanghai. It started operation in July 2005. Their bag was offered in a direct sale at US$ 52.88 or €41.03. In course of May another deal with this bag was made at €19.50.

#10 is a further bag from China, an old one from CSWA at a price of €33.33, followed by an Ukraine bag Aerosvit at a price of €31.60.

Bags from Iran are always of interest, this time it is Eram Air, an airline which still operates with Tupolev TU-154M. The bag, not the plane, was sold at €30.49.

Nature Air from Costa Rica found strong interest and price went up to £18.53, which is €27.01.

A bag from Uruguay from the airline Pluna was sold at £17.55 equal to €25.77. It was a plastic bag and not one of the paper bags, most of us have already.

#15 is another bag from South America, this time from Colombia, namely Satena, which is an acronym for Servicio Aereo Territorios Nacionales. This airline was established in 1962 and still exists. The bag was sold at €25.04. Later in May same bag was sold at €14.59 which is rank #32.

Canadian North is one of a high number of regional airlines in Canada, which was founded in 1989. Since 1998 the airline belongs to an aboriginal-owned holding company. Their bag was sold at US$ 28.53 or €22.63.

Still new editions of bags are of interest. The French carrier Star Airlines gained the ranks #17 and #19 at prices of €21.60 and €21.10 for its deep blue bag.

In between another new bag from Italian Blue Panorama in plastic at a price of €20.51.

#20 is a further bag from IndiaAir Sahara at €20.50, followed by a grey Uzbekistan Airways bag at €20.49.

Azteca is a Mexican airline, formed in 2001, serving primarily Mexico and USA destinations. Their plastic bag was bought at a price of €19.16.

An African bag from Air Malawi was finally at a price of €19.05, followed by rank#25 which is Air Caraibes at a price of €17.50.

White Eagle Aviation is a Polish airline which started operation in 1993. An older bag was sold at €16.35.

TAP from Portugal has a lot of varieties with their, mostly, plastic bags. A red printed bag was bought for €16.05.

Two Brazilian bags came in as #28 and #29 which are Jet Sul Taxi Aereos at €15.51 and Inter Brasil at €15.50.

On ranks #30 to 40 we can find:

  • Japanese JTA at €15.50.
  • 2 Nato military bags with 2 different stock numbers at €14.72 and Satena from Colombia again at €14.59.
  • Air Polynesia at €14.35, and at the same price ERA European Regions Airlines and LAC from the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • Another design of Balkan Airlines came in with €14.10.
  • The Lagos, Nigeria-based ADC Airline was sold at €13.75, followed by Formosa Airlines from Taiwan and the Peruvian airline TANS, based in Lima, which was suspended in 2006 by government, all at a price of €13.35.

The forties start with Australian TAA at €13.26 followed by a bag from Antigua LIAT which means Leeward Islands Air Transport at €13.19.

  • China United Airlines CUA was at €12.99 and another bag from Air Malawi at €12.90.
  • Macedonian carrier MAT was also of interest at €12.55, slightly in front of an old bag from BEA British European Airways with red printing at €12.54 again slightly above an oldie this time from Japanese ANA at €12.51.
  • In 2 different auctions bags from an airline which serves Galapagos Islands namely Aero Gal came in at precisely same price of €12.50; and at the same price we find Aria Air from Iran and Oman Aviation at rank #50.
  • Maldives Hummingbird came in as #51 at a price of €12.35.

And these are the ranks in the fifties:

  • SCAL a Chinese airline at €12.12.
  • Aerocancun, a Mexican joint venture between a hotel chain and the airline Oasis which was established in 1989. When Oasis went bankrupt in 1996 Aerocancun was forced to cease operation, nevertheless bag was bought at €11.75.
  • ALM Antillean Airlines at €11.62.
  • An old bag, but already with the blue and red logo, Royal Nepal Airlines at €11.61.
  • Another Iranian Safiran Airlines at €11.11.
  • Angel Air, wherever this airline is based at €11.00.
  • At a price of €10.75 each we find IDG Technology Airlines from Czech Republic, French Blue Lines Airlines and LTU/ LTS from Spain.
  • At rank #61 Lao Aviation Air from Laos at €10.61.
  • 2 different bags of Avensa at €10.75 and €10.25 are on the ranks #62 and #65. Avensa is an airline in Venezuela which are in a process of financial restructuring, which is forcing them to operate just domestic routes. Avensa means Aerovias Venezolanas Sociedad Anonima.
  • In between we find LanChile at €10.35 and Aero Asia, an airline in Pakistan, which was forced to stop operation in May 2006 due to financial problems. The airline was acquired by an English group on 12th of June 2006.

I hope that I did not miss too many auctions in order to have presented you a comprehensive summary of auctions at Ebay in May 2006.

Gerd Clemens

Thursday, June 15, 2006 

Where do Polish pilots puke?

Here's the answer to one of those questions that dogs baggists' sleep at night: what do fighter pilots do when their stomachs can't keep up with all those spins and loops in a dogfight?

Baggist Janusz Tichoniuk asked a Polish aviation egroup this burning question. Here's what they said:

"...pilots (of course not all of them) take with them plastic bag, which they put to a pocket of a flying suit - the one at the low end of a leg-sleeve, they do it in the way that the bag handles are jutting out of the pocket for easier access... just in case."

All goes to explain why Polish Air Force bags are significantly missing from bag collections worldwide, and perhaps accounts for the shortage of plastic bags in supermarkets near major airbases around Warsaw.

If you can read Polish, you can follow the discussion at

Thursday, June 15, 2006 

Saving it for later

"I had an offer from a large company and they offered to fly me out to the meeting on business class. During the return flight we were given gourmet brownies and cookies. Not hungry, I decided to save them for later, so I placed them in a vomit bag.

After the plane landed I got up to leave and a stewardess approached me. She asked, 'Sir, would you like for me to dispose of that for you?'

I said, 'No thanks, I'm saving it for my kids.'"

Thanks to Chris Hays for this bagjoke.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006 


New York Air came out with this witty advertisement comparing their inflight service with that of Eastern Airlines.

The negative advertising didn't help them much: New York Air closed in 1987, says Homer Goetz, the source of this item. "I can't remember which German newspaper this clipping came from", he says, "but it must be at least 20 years old."

Eastern lasted until 1991, when it sold its routes to American and Continental.

Oliver Conradi has a real barfbag from New York Air: depicted below the advert. Just goes to show that this carrier could not rely on all passengers to be able to keep that delicious "Flying Nosh" from actually flying. It's one of the few bags that tell you where the plane you're on might be taking you.

Thanks to Homer and Oliver for this item.

Sunday, June 04, 2006 

How can you tell you're over Africa?

Just look out of the window.

Picture source

Sunday, June 04, 2006 

Bagsite of the Month

It's time to recognize Steve Silberberg's Airsickness Bag Virtual Museum, without doubt one of the finest bagsites on the web.

Winner of countless awards, including the Official Pointless Website, the Slacker Approved Website from, and a No Brainer award, this site has much to offer both the bored surfer and the serious baggist.

Features include a Patrons of Puke listing and a Progressions window enabling you to see how bag designs of individual airlines have progressed over the ages.

Browse Steve's site and see if you can spot the shot on the left of a group of Missouri quilters adding flavour to some Delta bags.

Saturday, June 03, 2006 

Puppet competition

Got a spare plain white bag? Then grab your marker pens, scissors, glue and scrap cloth... and turn it into something more memorable.

British baggist Chris Hays has announced a bag puppet-making competition. Details on his website here.

Saturday, June 03, 2006 

Show me your bag...

...and I'll tell you who you are

Gerd Otto-Rieke, author of the bagbible Izmirübel: Das Buch zur Tüte, penned this piece in the 2 March 1999 edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany's premier quality daily.

Why is this news item so out of date? My sister-in-law saved the newspaper clipping but "forgot" to give it to me for more than 6 years.

Click here to read the article in the orginal German, and here for an automated translation into English.

Saturday, June 03, 2006 


What do Latvia, Liberia and Lesotho have in common? Yes, they all start with an L. What else? They're all missing from my barfbag collection.

What's the biggest country not represented? Chad. In terms of population? Burkina Faso. Other prominent absentees (coloured red in the map): Georgia and Rwanda. 

Major underrepresented portions of the globe are a swathe of Africa and chunks of Central Asia and Central America.

Donations from these areas especially welcome!

Centres of megabagdiversity are the USA (though many US bags are distressingly plain), China, the UK, Canada, Germany, Brazil and Indonesia. 

Click here for details.

For new baggists only


New to the world of bag collecting? Want to get a head start on your collection? Then send me an email, and I'll send you a randomly selected free starter pack from my surplus bag stock. There won't be anything rare, and you may end up with some duplicates, but at least you'll be able to show your friends a few more of these lovely cultural artefacts. Make sure you include your mailing address in your email. Offer good as long as stocks last.

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