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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!



Passengers will soon be able to puke into designer bags on Virgin Atlantic.

Oz Dean, owner of the much-admired Design for Chunks barfbag design site, has struck a deal with the airline. Graphic designers can enter the annual Design for Chunks competition. This year, there's a difference: they can see their artwork exhibited on 500,000 real Virgin Atlantic inflight sickbags.

The top 20 designs from this year's competition will be printed and distributed globally on Virgin Atlantic flights for a period of 6 months. The potential audience is 2.1 million passengers.

Do the maths: that make one bag for every 4.2 passengers. A pretty fair usage rate. predicts a surge in Virgin ticket sales, with avid bag collectors ransacking seat pockets in search of mint-condition bags.

Thanks to Rune Tapper for this news.

Thursday, August 12, 2004 

Barfbag grounds flight

A barfbag with the letters "B O B" written on it, found in the toilet of a United plane to Los Angeles, forced the 747 to return to Sydney.

"B O B" might have meant "best on board" (flight attendants' slang for attractive passengers). Or it might have been "bomb on board" (which is why the pilot did an about-turn).

But it might just have been a reference to Bob the Barfbag (left), who stars in Graham Curran's website.

According to The Age, Aussie prime minister John Howard supported the pilot's decision. The first time a barfbag has attracted official recognition at Head of Government level?

Perhaps if United were to provide decent bag designs, they would have fewer problems with bored passengers and crew graffitizing their bags. A well-designed bag would cost a fraction of the $1 million cost of diverting the aircraft.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004 

Bagsite of the month

Jablos Kotzt├╝ten-Museum, an excellent virtual museum devoted to the humble airsickness bag, curated by Georg Jablonowski. Sadly, in German only. Includes not only Georg's collection, but also informative and witty displays to entertain young and old alike. Entry is free -- click on the ticket on the museum homepage to enter. Don't miss the museum shop, which has all the items you need to make, store and display your bags.

Sunday, August 08, 2004 

Bag names rationalized



Check any bag in the Gallery, and you'll see a name underneath it, like the aces01 on the left.

That's the name of the bag image in my filing system. The scan of the bag front is called a (as in aces01a.jpg). The back is called b, and other parts are c, d and so on.

The second bag from a particular airline is 02, as in aces02a.jpg.

Logical, eh?

But why go to all this trouble?

To help other bag collectors identify and compare bags. The world bag collecting community (a small but, er..., elite group) wants to put together a worldwide directory of bag designs. And has been designated as the reference collection.

Would make my mother proud...

Sunday, August 08, 2004 


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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