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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!


Bagsite of the month, November 2007

Monoglot anglophone visitors (that's you plebs wot speak only English) may be disappointed by their visit to this month's Bagsite of the Month, Wolfgang Franken's

Just three links on the homepage: "Collectors", "Information Deutsch", and "Information English". Is that all? the first-time visitor asks. Just one page of English text, no bagshots, not even a listing of Wolfgang's collection?

Look again. Click on the "Information Deutsch" link, and you'll be rewarded with a much fuller set of information on bags and baggery (try dumping it into Google's translation service to get the gist). Plus a fascinating set of bag pictures in the links on the left side: batches of bags categorized by theme (birds, animals, flowers...), along with a couple of newspaper stories on baggery.

Wolfgang is exceptionally modest about his own sizable collection. You have to dig to find it: try clicking on Collectors, then scrolling down the substantial list of baggists until you find his name. There's still no pictures of the individual bags, but there's a list of items in his collection, plus a list of his swaps, with links to scans in the definitive Baghecht internet collection.

Criticisms? Well, the link to the baggist mailing list still goes to a now-defunct mailing list, rather than its successor, the vibrant barfbags egroup. And it would be nice to see some pictures of Wolfgang's own collection.

Still, Wolfgang's site, one of the oldest in bagdom, is still worth a detour, and perhaps even a return visit, on your travels through bagland.

Monday, November 12, 2007 

Bagfest rocks world

€200 for one? No deal!

Find that rare bag among this lot - and beat other baggists to it

Baggists in the bar. Left to right: Oliver Conradi, Thorsten Hecht, Aidan Stradling, Jaromir Kral, Gerhard Lang, Dr Walter Brinker, Gerd Clemens, Dr David Bradford, Roger Macrae.

Click on the pictures for a closer view.

The sleepy Frankfurt suburb of Schwanheim was rocked to its core over the weekend of 3-4 November 2007, when many of the heavyweights of international sickbagdom converged on the town.

Among them were senior figures who between them in their collections could sport more bags than a fleet of A380s would use in a year. The event was the 22nd annual international aviation enthusiasts' fair - Internationale Tauschtage der Luftfahrt - but this year saw a huge gathering of vomitological luminaries, both in the exhibition hall and in the Kneipe (pub) next door.

Hot news at the fair, and the subject of much discussion, behind-the-scenes wrangling and furious bargaining, were two ancient Deutsche Lufthansa (DDR) bags from the 1950s. The specialist seller - not a sick bag man himself, but a DDR/Interflug collector - wanted 200 Euros each. However, the consensus among the hotly flushed sickbagistas was that this was too high. At the end of the day, no sale was made, but we have his details for future negotiations

At the fair, some senior baggists had tables selling a wide selection of wares. Jaromir Kral from Prague, Hamburger Oliver Conradi, and Dutchman Niek Vermeulen were all doing business, as well as regular bag contributors Ademar and Denir from Brazil. Besides sick bags, you could find all sorts of aviation ephemera on the numerous and well-laden tables. Airliner models featured highly this year, as did timetables, postcards and airline crockery.

After a frantic ferreting feast through boxes and piles around the show, many of the weary baggers repaired next door for a feast of a different kind - well, lunch and a beer. Tips were swapped on bag care and storage, and many a historical anecdote was rehearsed. During the repast, the cunning collectors hatched a plot to organize a joint trip in 2008 to one of the sick bag factories.

As the collectors left the show, holdalls bulging with new sick bag acquisitions, the consensus was that this had been an excellent event, especially so because of the cameraderie and pleasure of meeting face-to-face.

Thanks to Aidan Stradling for this report.

Monday, November 12, 2007 


Gamers can buy this handsome sign to guide fellow gamers to their online bag collections.

Available in a range of formats, the sign is sure to attract hordes of atavars wishing to disgorge their virtual digestive tracts. Order now from the ModelBank - only $25.

Related items also available include a range of foods, a stretcher, and a complete hospital.

Thanks to Steve Silberberg for this alert.

Friday, November 02, 2007 

Guinness chucks bags

The 2008 edition of the hallowed Guinness World Records book has dropped the traditional entry on barfbags.

Longstanding biggest baggist Niek Vermeulen, who has graced the Guinness book since the younger generation of baggists was in nappies, was awarded a complete half-page in the 2007 edition.

But Guinness clearly thinks that the baggist sector has been getting too much publicity, and have dropped Niek and his bags from the latest edition. They seem to view glow-in-the-dark pages and "giant gatefolds" as bigger sales draws than bag collections, however dizzyingly large.

To find out who the Guinness sages now recognize as the world's bagchamp, you have to go online. Visit and search for "sick bags".

Or if you cannot see the keyboard because you are choking back your tears at the slight to baggery, you can just click here.

Friday, November 02, 2007 


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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