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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!


Worth a thousand words

Barfbags make delightful subjects for cartoons. Here is an example (from

See's new Art section for more.

Anyone know of any others? Email me!

Thursday, January 26, 2006 

Christmas Poetry Contest winner

The winner, with a massive 5 votes, is... Barbara Kneiding, for her poem "Ach du meine Güte" (Oh my good Lord):

Ach du meine Güte!
Wie sieht es hier denn aus -
Tüte neben Tüte
füllt das kleine Haus.

View the other six stanzas of her prizewinning poem - in German and English - on the Poetry page (where else?).

Frau Kneiding was awarded her prize - a bag of her choice from my swaps list - by a high-level delegation of executives on Sunday 22 January 2006.

Our picture shows the poet holding her selection: a tasteful floral design from Air India.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 

Dolph who?

"The legend that is Dolph Lundgren, has signed two Bulgarian Air sick bags", breathlessly announces this auction on eBay.

Mr Lundgren is a Swedish actor who has played a KGB heavy in the Bond movie A view to a kill (left), and a muscular baddie in Rocky IV. (No, I'd never heard of him either.)

Now in a bid to boost his fame, he's been spotted signing Bulgarian Air barfbags at London's Gatwick Airport.

In December 2005, a plain white bag with some scribbles by Bobby Kennedy fetched $125 on eBay.

In September 2005, a sanitary bag signed by German conceptual artist Joseph Beuys fetched an eye-watering €850.

Could it be that bags signed by famous people are a new trend in baggery?

Monday, January 23, 2006 

The Clemens eBay Report for December 2005

"The year 2005 brought us a high number of interesting activities and fierce bidding for barf bags at Ebay", says German bagwatcher Gerd Clemens in his monthly report on eBay bagprices:

Especially December was really turbulent with prices never seen before. Maybe this was an indication for more days off from the office because of Xmas, or did some of us squander their money instead of buying Xmas gifts for their beloved family?

  • An old bag from British Midland was #1 at a price of GBP 62.64 which is about €91.50. Actual this old one was offered together with an ordinary BM bag. But it is obvious the 18 bids were made because of the older one.
  • A newcomer came up as numbers 2 and 3. This was a bag from Armenia namely Armavia Airline, which was founded in 1996. Their first flights took place in 2001. The winner got the bag at €52.10. As the seller had 2 bags more he offered them to the runner up, who took his chance getting it at €51.10, and the third one in this ranking was a lucky loser. He got it offered at €15 but he refused. So another one took it at €15. Three bags for €118: certainly not a bad day for the seller.
  • Number 4 in our hit list is a bag from a Spanish airline, Air Madrid, at a remarkable price of €39.20.
  • Interflug, the airline from the former GDR comes to auction regularly. This time it was a bag from the early 70s with an additional logo on it, which most of us have not seen before. This was the reason that 5 bidders tried to secure this bag, and the price went up to €25.60, bringing this bag to number 5 in the December ranking.
  • At number 6, another European bag at a price of GBP 13.90, which is €20.56, namely Niki's Kids Club bag from Niki Lauda's new airline.
  • Omni Air from the USA is still around. Beside some direct sales one aution took place with a starting price at US$ 19.95 equal to €16.83. At this price one bidder took it.
  • An American lady started to put her barf bag collection on sale. Some really interesting bags were offered, which attracted the interest of most of us. That's why prices went up, so for a bag from LAN Chile up to €15.80, which was rank number 8.
  • For an older bag from Japan LAL Airlines €13.92 was paid, which was rank # 10.
  • At rank # 9 a bag from Kuwait Airways which was used as a letter. This made it interesting bringing price up to GBP 10.54 equal to €15.40.

The further ranking is as follows:

  • # 11: A bag from Ecuador ICARO Airline at €13.60 with 12 bids.
  • # 12: Another bag from South America, AVENSA from Venezuela at €13.26.
  • # 13: Hawaiian Airlines is still around, this time at €13.03.
  • # 14: An older bag from Monarch Airlines a carrier from the UK at GBP 7.75 equal to €11.50.
  • # 15 is not an barf bag from an airline but a promo airsick bag from Disneyland's Star Wars ride at €11.14. I consider to exclude these types of bags from this list in future.
  • # 16: a bag from a Chinese airline named Jian Su Kuailu Motor Transport, which will be known to most of us?! The bag is very special as it is totally transparent, making the content visible after usage. Price came up to €11.00, for the bag of course.
  • # 17 and #18 are 2 bags from Portugal, namely the new bag from TAP with logo in green at €10.30 (but prices have gone down in the meantime), and from a charter airline named White at a price of €10.

These are the results for single bags during December.

Normally I do not care about auctions in which several bags are offered together. For the month December I would like to make an exception as too many interesting autions took place.

  • A British seller offered 7 bags from Egypt Air plus 3 bags from Memphis Air. It seems to me that Memphis Air, a small local airline which operates from Cairo to Abu Simbel, was so attractive and rare that price climbed to GBP 83.10, equal to €121.43 a really remarkable aution.
  • In another auction a lot of 180 air sickness bags from all over the world were on sale. Especially some offers were made by bidders who wanted to boost their collection in one go. The final bid was made at US$ 110.50, equal to €93.45.
  • Very special was the offer for bags which comprised 2 times Eco Air International, 3 times EMC and one bag from Air Algerie. The auction closed at €42.31.
  • Also an interesting bid for 3 bags in total was made for new style Syrianair, Bellview from Nigeria and JAL, which came up to €34.

And finally there were the 4 curious auctions for Virgin Atlantic sick bags. The seller claimed that total sales price would be donated to Virgin Unite, which is the independent charitable arm of the Virgin Group. None of the names that normally appear on the list of bidders for sick bags took part in these auctions.

Even though this bidding was quite abnormal, it is interesting to know the results:

  • For a limited edition boxed set of 20 bags with the Design for Chunks it was GBP 155, equal to €230 and GBP 75.41, equal to €110.
  • For the Limited Edition with the 4 Star Wars sick bags, GBP 56 (€81.76) and GBP 31 (€45.26) respectively were spent.

This was all what I could find during December 2005. The year 2006 has started very slowly, and it seems to me that some have to recover from high spending at the end of last year. Or maybe their wives have become aware what they have spent before.

Monday, January 23, 2006 

Chnia Eastren gtes its speling worng agian

Chnia Eastren cna't seme to get its speling rite.

It cmae up wtih an entretianing sereis of spelilngs on an odler vresion of its bgas.

It wnet thorugh "water-prooed" and "water-prfooed" bfeore it fnially got it rihgt with "water-proofed".

The smae dysxelic exceutvie semes to be in chrage of Chnia Eatsren's new maoron balgine. The frist bag had the splleing crroect, but theer's alos one at lrage wtih the spllieng "water-prfooed".

Has anoyne spttoed a veriosn with "water-prooed" yet?

Thnaks to Brcue Klley for tihs ietm.

Sunday, January 22, 2006 

Polish public exposed to bags

"I was honoured to take a small box on the 9th page of the Polish edition of the Focus Magazine, December edition", says Polish baggist Janusz Tichoniuk. "I think it is the first time barf bags have made an appearance in the Polish press", he adds.

Focus's reporters evidently researched the topic thoroughly: they give a link to US baggist Steve Silberberg's Air Sickness Bag Virtual Museum, but sadly, not to Janusz's own Yaho de Ville site.

Thursday, January 19, 2006 

Use your bag to clear space

You're just settling into your limited-legroom economy-class seat, when your seat neighbour arrives with far more carry-on luggage than is allowed under IATA rules. He or she proceeds to fill up the overhead bins and surround your feet with baggage. What to do?

Simple: pull out the barfbag from your seat pocket, hold it in front of your mouth, and look ill.

Chances are your overladen friend will even ask to change seats.

This and more travel tips from Mayne Travel.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006 

Bag paintings

Yet another use for plain white bags: as a painting canvas.

Artist Richard Winchell has used plain whites, plus one of those boring Delta bags, as background for a series of graphics.

Next time you take one of those plain-white airlines, smuggle your paintbrushes past the security check, ask the stewardess for a glass of water to dip your brushes in, and let your imagination fly.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006 

Christmas Poetry Contest voting now closed

Sorry, it's now too late to vote for your favourite poem in the Christmas Poetry Contest.

Results (number of votes in red) are below. See all 17 contest entries on the Poetry page.



Guido Flohr



Oh my good Lord!

Barbara Kneiding



A miserly collectress

Gerhard Lang


Ode to Mundy

David Shomper


The man from Nantucket

David Shomper



Horror on the redeye

Chris Hays


Bags are no substitute for Mama

Tom de Kort


Puke on the plane

Homer Goetz


The collector from Cologne

Walter Brinker


The German baggist

Homer Goetz


Not much to say

Eva-Maria Mathias


The young lady from Turin

Steve Silberberg


The young lady from Delhi

Walter Brinker



The baggist from Boulder

David Shomper



Wholly unattractive?

Steve Silberberg



The baggist from Crewe

Paul Mundy


If into the bag...

Rolf Thalmann

Friday, January 13, 2006 

Bagsite of the Month

Bagsite of the month for January 2006 goes to... The virtual museum of ralphing receptacles.

It's only three pages, but packed full of clickable bag images.

There's no contact info on this site, but Homer Goetz says this site belongs to US-based collector Harry Robertson. Any ideas how to get in touch with him?

Thursday, January 12, 2006 

Airlines to charge extra for airsickness bags

Carriers Assess $100 ‘Flotation Fee’ for Use of Seat Cushions

By Andy Borowitz, Intervention Magazine.

Air travelers returning home from their summer vacations were in for an unpleasant surprise this Labor Day, as all major U.S. airlines announced a decision to charge extra for air sickness bags on board their planes.

“As we battle rising aviation costs, we have concluded that getting nauseated on board American Airlines is not a right, but a privilege,” said Tammy Connors, a spokesperson for American.

While some critics called the decision to institute a $25 airsickness fee shortsighted, a spokesman for United said the airlines would eliminate the need for airsickness bags by taking measures to nauseate fewer passengers in the future.

“It is hard to become nauseated if you have not been fed, and we have no intention of feeding anybody anything ever again,” the spokesman said.

The airlines’ controversial “no food, no bag” rule -- and their decision to assess a $100 “flotation fee” for the use of seat cushions in the event of an emergency water landing -- represent only the latest in a recent series of service cuts announced by the major carriers.

Last week, Northwest announced that it would no longer show current movie releases on board their flights, and instead would screen the Adam Sandler film “Little Nicky” until the year 2007.

And a spokesman for Delta said that its flight attendants would no longer spill scalding coffee on its passengers as they have in the past.

“From now on, any Delta passenger who wishes to have scalding coffee poured on him will have to pour the scalding coffee on himself,” the spokesman said.

Thursday, January 12, 2006 

Swinging Sixties

Alaskan baggist Bruce Kelly is whiling away the long Arctic nights scanning all his old bags.

Check the Olde Bagges section for pictures of his bags from the Swinging Sixties - that era of long hair, powerful flowers, and brown paper barfbags.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006 

Old Pretender

Bad news for German baggist Walter Brinker: his prize Aeronaves de Mexico bag (featured on the Olde Bagges page) may be a lot younger than he thinks.

The person he got it from claimed it was from 1938. Walter was sceptical, but had no evidence to the contrary.

Corroboration for his suspicions comes from Leticia Landeros, who says "The Aeronaves de Mexico air sickness bag dates from the 1960's, can't specify the year but it's from the period 1960 to 1971."

Thanks to Leticia, and sorry, Walter.

Monday, January 09, 2006 

Bags of cash?

Baggists may find themselves inadvertently paying for other people's Himalayan trekking holidays.

The August 2003 edition of the Bhutan Society Newsletter contained an article inviting readers to collect Druk Air bags for sale to collectors. It cited the sale of a Druk bag on eBay to an American collector for the princely sum of $106.

And to think that last year I traded my supply of Druks on a one-for-one basis!

Thanks to Oliver Conradi for this item.

Monday, January 09, 2006 

Imagine there are bags

"Just imagine," writes Hamburg-airport-based baggist Oliver Conradi: There is an aircraft coming from Russia to Hamburg... the aircraft is huge, and you have never seen any bags from this airline. I'm on duty this day!

The doors are open, the aircraft has many seats with pockets... perhaps with new air sicknessbags.

I am just 1 cm away from the seatpocket... just 1 cm away from brand new, really rare bags - heaven!

Reality crashes in: the seat pockets are empty! All the bags have gone!

Sunday, January 08, 2006 

The Clemens eBay Report for November 2005

"Just before 2005 ends I would like you to inform about the bids for barf bags during November", says veteran bagwatcher Gerd Clemens. Here is his report:

It was really a very moderate month. I just could find 21 auctions where bids surpassed €10, and the highest offer at €36.89 was also not spectacular.

  • Number one during November was a bag from Egypt, Kairo Airlines, at this price. Surprisingly, this was a direct sale, so no other offers where made.
  • Runner up was an Iranian bag from Aria Air at a price of US$ 34.53, which is equal to €29.40.
  • Hawaiian , an airline from the USA, appeared twice this month at rank #3 at €28.03 and at rank #12 again at a price of €15.65.
  • At #4 was a bag from Thailand offered by an airline with no good reputation Phuket Airlines at a final bid of €26.60.
  • It continues exotic as Airblue, the Pakistani airline, came in at #5 at €26.58. Seven different bidders tried to secure the bag; 12 bids were necessary to get it.
  • Hello Kitty - what a nice name for a barf bag - only available on EVA Airline's flights from Taiwan to Fukuoka in Japan, was the bag of the month. Auction prices rose to US$ 26.10= €22.23; then this bag was offered to the runners-up, who took the opportunity of paying €21.17 and €16.94. In the meantime this bag is offered as a direct sale at US$ 9.99.
  • A strange-looking sickness bag from SAL Leipzig came in at #6 at a price of €21.50.
  • As usual a bag from China is in the top 10, at #9. The bag from China United Airlines cuA was worth £14.50 equal to €21.15.
  • Another bag from Egypt, Scorpio Airways, was #10 at a price of €18.40.
  • At rank #13 a bag from Privilege style at €15.50. Does anybody know where this airline comes from?
  • Again a bag from China, namely China South West Airline CSWA came in as #14 at a price of €15.32.
  • On the following places 3 bags from Europe namely Aegean Flying Dolphins, the new one from Air Dolomiti and Linjeflyg at prices between €13.05 and €12.51.
  • A plastic bag from Air Maldives at a price of €11.61 came in at #18.
  • At rank #19 there is a bag from an airline I do not know where is from - Grandair - at a price of €10.80.
  • An old British Airways sickness bag from the 50s came in as #20 at a price of €10.59.
  • And last but not least, Hapag Lloyd Express hlx is going on with their yellow bags with funny and good slogans. This time: Übergeben ist seeliger als nehmen. The slogan plays with the German saying: "One who gives is more blessed than the one who just takes", and it is a pun using the fact that Übergeben in German has a double meaning: to give or hand over, and to vomit. I am not prepared to give further explanations other than that last bid was at 10.50.

For bidders on Ebay it was almost a boring month. But I can assure you December becomes far more better.

All the best to all of you and a prosperous New Year for 2006.

Sunday, January 08, 2006 

Bags for non-collectors

I frequently get requests for information from people who want to buy (yes, buy) bags instead of stealing them or swapping them.

They include people who need a stash of bags to put in their car (carsick children?), people who want to use them for promotional purposes (weddings etc.), and buyers who need to order supplies for airlines.

I normally refer such people to the Bagmakers page. But I don’t have any good recommendations.

For example, where can someone get (say) 20 plain white bags for their car? Where could they order 100 printed bags to hand out to wedding guests? Any ideas?

Saturday, January 07, 2006 


Old MacDonald had to barf, E-I-E-I-O
Spoiled a bag and earned a frown, E-I-E-I-O
The plane boo-booed here, and boo-booed there
Here a boo, there a boo, everywhere boo-boo
Old MacDonald had to barf, E-I-E-I-O

Guido Flohr

Guido adds that "I-O" is a computer term and stands for "Input/Output"

Thursday, January 05, 2006 

Baggery adpower

Virgin Atlantic has discovered the advertising power of baggery.

The latest in the British carrier's bagline are bags advertising five attractive new destinations where you can throw up.

The bags feature items typical of each destination: a teacup from Shanghai, a Cuban cigar, parrots and pigeons (huh?) from the Bahamas, and a cowboy from Las Vegas.

The most informative bag promotes the route to Delhi and Mumbai: it shows a swami demonstrating how to deal with the limited legroom you may encounter on overfull flights.

Enterprising bagsalespeople have started offering these bags on eBay. My strict ethical code (and my wife) prohibit me from bidding for them. So I'd be delighted if some kind soul would like to send me a set.

Thursday, January 05, 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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