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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!


Need bags? Get pregnant

Want to look chic while you throw up? Easy - all you have to do is to get pregnant, then find someone to order some of these Morning Chicness Bags for you.

"Morning Chicness Bags are excellent gifts for your pregnant friend or wife", says the vendor's site, "Help her make this difficult time a little easier for her. She will love this thoughtful and unique gift."

Morning Chicness Bags are "convenient, disposable, affordable and yet stylish", says this review. We might add that they also make excellent gifts for your unpregnant baggist friends. Have pity on baggists - the vast majority of them are male, so have few chances of experiencing the joys of Hyperemesis Gravidarum, or receiving these delectable items from sympathetic acquaintances. Perhaps they could simulate pregnancy by stuffing a few of their spare bags under their pullovers?

Morning Chicness Bags come in six feminine pastel designs: Lavender Lulu, Tickled Pink, Baby Bubbles, Bambooboo, Labor of Love, and Rosebuddies. This last design carries the text "Live, Laugh, Love". Shouldn't that be "Spew, Barf, Heave"?

A pack of ten bags will cost you a mere $7.50. Unfortunately it's possible to order only one type of design at a time, so you have to buy 6 packs of 10 to get a full set. That will cost you $45. Feel free to donate your unwanted extras to me for my Biman Bangladesh Appeal.

Thanks to Gilles Beger for this alert.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008 

Get ready for an expensive October

You're going to use up an awful lot of your frequent flyer miles if you want to hunt for bags at all October's airline collectible shows.

According to veteran showgoer Niek Vermeulen, no less than five North American shows open their doors between 4 and 25 October: in Minneapolis, Toronto, Seattle, Atlanta and Houston. You have a problem on 18 October, though, as the shows in Atlanta and Brussels take place on the same day.

A tip from find out whether Niek will be at Atlanta or Brussels, then go to the other show. You'll have more chance of picking up a bargain bag if you don't have to compete with him.

Thanks to Niek for these dates. See the Shows page for more details.

Monday, August 25, 2008 

The Clemens eBay report for 1st Quarter 2008

"Compared to last quarter of 2007, the year 2008 has started with a far higher number of auctions at Ebay which exceeded the barrier of €20", writes our Senior Markets Correspondent Gerd Clemens.

"Winner in this quarter is a bag from the Namibian Charter Flight – Skeleton Coast at a price of €87.40.

Runner up is a bag from the first low cost carrier Laker from UK which is dated with 1976. The extraordinary thing is this bag can also be used to send films for processing which makes this bag very rare. Final bid was made at €79.10.

In course of this quarter a plastic bag from TWA which was offered in their 1st class was on sale very often. At the beginning price came up to €70, but at the end even at prices of €2 could not find a buyer.

On rank #4 we find a very interesting German specimen which is more than just an airsickness bag. It is an airmail letter from 1925 with all the stamps but as envelope an airsickness bag was used. On this bag a small poem is printed and for some of you which want to improve their German here the text:

O, brich die Knospe nicht in ihrem Jugendtraum,
Erbrich von fremdem Brief das Siegel nicht,
Erbrich dich selber nicht in diesem Raum,
Brich in die Tüte, sie ist stark und dicht!

(Unauthorized translation:

Oh, break no blossoms in your youthful gloom
Break open no other's letter - 'tis wrong,
Break not yourself in this room,
But break in the bag, it is tight and strong!)

I guess that this poem would have had good chances to win the poem contest which was organized by Paul some years ago. Finally the auction was won from a member of our group against strong competitors which were philatelists at a price of €62.00.

Now Andemar is an Argentinean first class bus service which operates with the slogan “the best way to know Argentina”. About 15 years ago Andemar operated also as airline which flew over the Andes. Price for this bag came up to €61.64 and as direct sale to €60.30.

Not much to our surprise Republic of China (Taiwan) has a national air force. But a bag from this organisation is very rarely seen. So price went up to €60.65.

Bolivia operates an airline called TAM which stands for Transporte Aereo Militar Boliviano. It was founded in 1946 and operates on domestic flights. Price for this bag was €51 and in a further auction price came up to €23.60, which is rank #37.

A bag from the Israeli an carrier EL AL from the 1970s came in at #9 at a price of €50.93.

TAN Transportes Aereos Neuquen is another Argentinean airline which operates from the region Neuquen. As this is a very unusual air sickness bag price was €50.74.

United Eagles Airlines is a privately owned Chinese airline based in Chengdu, Sichuan. It operates domestic passenger services and was established in 2004. Price of this bag was €50.55.

Another privately owned Chinese airline is East Star Airline which operates from Wuhan, Hubai. They started operation in May 2006. Final bid was made at €47.60.
For a bag with another design €40.50 were paid which is rank #19.

The Korean airline Jeju Air connects Seoul and Busan with the small honeymoon island Jeju. From time to time a bag from this carrier is on sale. This quarter their bag reached rank #13 at a price of €47.23.

And again a bag from Argentina, Andes, an airline which offers regional services as well as charter flights since June 2006. They are based in Salta connecting this city with Buenos Aires. Price for this bag was €46.59.

China Express Airlines was established in May 2006. Based in Guiyang they operate with 2 Bombardiers. The price was €46.55.

Belavia is the national airline of the Republic of Belarus. Main base is Minsk the capitol of Belarus. Price came up to €45.52.

VIM is an Russian airline based in Moscow, which was established in 2000. Later they acquired Chitavia, Aeobratsk and Russian Sky Airlines, which made them very strong in the charter flight business. Just recently they bought 12 Boeing 757. Price for their bag came in at €45.50.

At rank 18 we find a bag from the African carrier Air Malawi at a price of €44.84.

China West Air is a start up airline based in Chongqing. It was established in March 2006 by Hainan Airlines and operates domestic flights. Price was €35.61.

On rank 21 we find Santa Barbara Airlines which is based in Venezuela at a price of €34.78, moreover on the ranks 26 to 29 in direct sales at a price of €32.36 and in an another auction at prices of €25.01 and €23.87.

A bag from Kenya Airways issued mid of the 1970s was bought at €34.55.

Chosonminhang is the former name of the North Korean carrier Air Koryo. The bag came in as #23 at a price of €37.04.

Air Cairo is from Egypt. According to the name this charter and low cost carrier is based in Cairo. Operation started in 1997. In 2005 Egypt Air acquired 40% of their shares and operation was transferred to a new company: Cairo Aviation. Later Air Cairo was re-positioned as a new low cost carrier which belongs to Egypt Air. Price came up to €35.50, which is rank #25 and in another auction at €24.60.

With a bag from 1976 British Midland came in at a price of €32.07 which is rank #30.

A defunct Indian airline is NECP. For a bag from this airline €31.03 was paid.

China Southwest was an airline which had their headquarters in Chengdu, Sichuan. In 2002 China Southwest was merged into Air China. Bag offered was a very nice one as it shows a panda bear carrying the logo. Price for this scarce bag was €30.60.

Next bag comes from Spain. It is an original red TAE bag with a white Hispania sticker. Hispania was founded in 1982 for charter flights from Germany, UK and France to Spain. In July 1989 when liabilities were more than their assets Hispania was forced to chease operation. Price of this special bag came up to €27.47.

A paper bag with a smiley and the words “Have a happy day” was sold at €26.45.

Siem Reap Airways, wholly owned by Bangkok Airways, started operation in Nov 2000. It is based in Phnom Penk Cambodia. A severe fight started for their bags with a totally new design. In the first auction price came up to €26.38, which is rank #35, another auction was finalized at €21.04. But within short when more and more of these bags were offered a strong price erosion took place. Now you get this bag for some euros.

Far Eastern Air Transport is based in the Republic of China. A bag with a new design was sold at €26.38.

An older bag in light green from MAS Malaysian Airlines, offered together with some safety cards was sold at €23.00, which is rank #41.

Oasis Hong Kong is an airline with a very short time of operation. Founded just about 2 years ago they made a lot of noises by offering very low prices for flights between Hong Kong and London. But it seems that calculation was not made carefully enough as they were forced to cease operation because of financial problems on the 9th of April.
One of their last bags with a new design was sold at €22.99.

SAETA means Sociedad Anonima Ecuatorian de Transportes was a privately held airline of Ecuador which began operation in the 1960s. The collapse of Ecuador’s economy in the late 90’s forced the airline to cease operation in 2000. Bags were bought at €22.80.

A plastic bag with pull strings from Royal Nepal Airlines, which is quite unusual was sold at €22.50.

2 bags from Luxair of which one was scarce were sold at €22.00 which was rank #45.

Aigle-Azur which serves France with North Africa is a French airline. Much to my surprise price came up to €21.50 as 2 gentlemen fought very hard for this bag.

Bags from the Brazilian carrier NHT is on sale during the last few quarters. This time prices were €20.87 and €20.50.

On rank #50 we find a Japanese bag from Osaka Airport Transport which is available on busses on this airport. Price came up to €20.71 and another bag in direct sale at €20, which is rank #53, the last bag on this list.

Air Algerie normally is nothing special. But an older bag with a slightly different design was attractive enough to spent €20.50.

A British Airways sick bag from 1976 was #52 at a price of €20.11.

Maybe you can agree that first quarter of 2008 started not too bad. Let us se what the next months will bring. Kind regards from sunny Germany."

- Gerd Clemens

Sunday, August 17, 2008 

Biman needs bags

Bangladeshi flag carrier Biman is in the market for some new bags.

Not just a few: the tender has gone out to supply them with 13,75,000 bags.

That's 13.75 lakh, or 1.375 million bags. At five grams a bag, that lot would weigh nearly 7 tons.

Anyone want to come together with me for a joint bid? I'm still a few crores and lakhs short of the number of bags they need. But if enough baggists pool our spares, perhaps we can put together enough to compete.

Still short of spares? Then one way to get enough bags together would be for each baggist in this group to steal as many bags as we can from each plane we board (yes, I know we all do this anyway...). With (say) 70 baggists contributing (say) 10 bags a month to a common pool, we should be able to get the number of bags we need to fulfil the order in a little over 160 years.

Sunday, August 17, 2008 

French textbook to feature bags

Rejected: Finnaviation and Jaromir Kral's design (used here by Aviateca)

Exclusive to A fifth-grade French-language textbook in Canada is to feature bags and baggery, has learned.

The book will follow the exploits of "Keiko", a young girl who supposedly lives in St John's in Newfoundland. Keiko travels a lot, so has amassed a barfbag collection.

A representative of the publisher contacted for publication-quality images of the bags in Keiko's fictitious collection. Plans originally called for the book to include Finnaviation's iconic barfing reindeer design, as well as Jaromir Kral's wondrous happy full barfbag.

But Finnaviation's copyright holders refused permission to use the reindeer image, and Jaromir's design was judged "not cutesy enough".

The book will now feature bagdesigns from Virgin Atlantic's Design for Chunks Limited Edition series.

The French reader will be published in March 2009. has been promised an exclusive copy.

Sunday, August 17, 2008 

Baggist in photo exhibit

Hamburg-based baggist Oliver Conradi stars in a photo exhibit by rising photographer Hannah Schuh.

Part of Ms Schuh's exhibit features "Wunderkammer" (magical chambers): "collectors and their treasured objects".

The shot of Oliver shows him seated at a table strewn with his treasured bags, tossing a handful into the air. Not advisable for fragile or vintage bags, though Oliver has so many that he can afford to chuck them around.

Ms Schuh's photos were exhibited in The Hague from 28 June to 6 July 2008, and in Amsterdam from 10 to 16 July.

Click on the photo to see the full collection (of Hannah's photos, not Oliver's bags).

Sunday, August 17, 2008 

Baggist breaks bagprice record

An anonymous bag collector based in Belgium has broken the world record for a bag price.

"Kiekeboecollector" has shelled out €430 for two identical barfbags erroneously marketed as "DDR". That's €215 each. Probably 1930s vintage from Lufthansa, the pricey bags sport the text "Nach Gebrauch nicht aus dem Flugzeug werfen, sondern schliessen und auf den Boden stellen."

That's "After use, do not throw out of the window but close and stand on the floor." Useful advice even today.

But are they real? After all, given the prices paid for vintage bags, it would be tempting for unscrupulous bagforgers to find a brown paper bag of the right size and have the appropriate text printed on it.

And the lack of a logo means that these bags, however costly, cannot be counted towards a world record using the Guinness World Records criteria.

That presumably does not matter to Kiekeboecollector, well-known as a high roller among knowledgeable eBay bidders.

Sunday, August 17, 2008 

Italian parliamentarian into bags?

Irene Pivetti, broadcaster and politician, and former president of the Italian Parliament, is interested in bags, reports Italian baggist Guido Debenedetti.

Ms Pivetti interviewed Guido about his bags for Radio Monte Carlo on 21 October 2007.

Saturday, August 16, 2008 

Baggists active in Dallas

A trio of the world's leading baggists was active at the Airliners International show in Dallas in July.

The photo on the left shows Bob Grove (centre), beaming at having grabbed a Lina Congo bag (click on the picture for a closer view).

He would have been even happier if he had got to a Budget Airways bag before Niek Vermeulen (right).

The third member of the trio, Bruce Kelly (left), seems to have emerged bagless despite a long trip from Alaska. He had to make do with what appears to be a boxful of pork pies by his elbow.

Thanks to Bob for the photo.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 


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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