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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, May 2007

Asia is home to some of the most exciting bags on the planet - just think of the rich variety of bags emanating from India, Nepal and Indonesia. Bags from Japanese airlines tend to be rather staid (though there are exceptions - think of Harlequin's joker bag), but are still a welcome contribution to world bagdiversity.

Asian baggists, though, are few and far between. Which is why it is such a pleasure to give the May 2007 Bagsite of the Month Award to Japanese collector Toshiaki Anan's site.

"The administration of the Exhibition of Airsickness bags to inform you that this site represents to be the biggest collection of Japanese airsickness bags in Internet", says the intro to this fine site.

Handy regional maps lead visitors to Toshiaki's collection, complete with logos of the airlines and clickable thumbnails of the bags. And his swaps list is well worth browsing if you want to beef up the Asian side of your collection.

Monday, April 30, 2007 in TripCart

TripCart, "the newest travel guide on the web presents a religiously updated blog full of advice and tips for trip planning".

Including a side visit to "Everybody likes airbags", says a TripCart posting on 26 March 2007. "You can throw your trash in them, you can puke in them, some of them you can even use to keep score while you play gin-rummy. If you're into air bags, and want to see some examples of airlines from around the world, head over to", it says.

No wonder my visitor counter has been whizzing round lately - 58,000 visitors with nothing better to do so far.

Monday, April 30, 2007 

Tired of bags?

Pining for a new, more worthwhile hobby? Want to free up valuable space in your house? Wife threatening to leave if you as much as look at another bag?

If you're in the unhappy position of having to dispose of your bag collection, you have a range of options open to you.

You could sell your bags on ebay. You could donate them back to the airlines you stole them from. You could use them to hold your goldfish while you clean out their fishbowl.

One thing you should not do is to try to flush them down a plane's toilet. This disposal technique is specifically banned by Bolivia carrier Aerosur (see the picture on the left). Presumably other airlines also do not welcome bulky bundles of bags clogging up their on-board sanitary facilities.

The preferred way to dispose of unwanted bags, of course, is to pack your collection into boxes and ship them to me. I'll make sure they get a good home.

Saturday, April 28, 2007 


German dictionary producer Langenscheidt is the first publisher to have realized the value of barfbags as an advertising medium.

Langenscheidt has issued this fine bag in conjunction with its latest reference work, Chef-Deutsch, Deutsch-Chef, a bilingual Boss/German dictionary aimed at helping German speakers understand their superiors.

The dictionary is authored by "Bernd Stromberg", a fictional character played by actor Christoph Maria Herbst in the German version of the BBC comedy series "The Office".

We eagerly await further bagpublishing ventures from Langenscheidt.

I still have a few of these bags left for collectors. Contact me if you're interested.

Thanks to Simone Kohl for this bag.

Friday, April 27, 2007 

Bagsite of the Month, April 2007

Bagsite of the Month for April 2007 is American collector Ernest Cox's Barf Bag Central.

One of the oldest known bagsites, this "Central Repository of Knowledge for Barf Bags" disappeared for a while, but has returned with a trimmed-down set of pages.

These include a handy listing of collectors and their email addresses, a "barfbag university" featuring other bagsites, and an urgent call to combat boring generic bags.

Sadly, Ernest's own 20-year-old collection and swaps list is not on display.

Worth a visit just to see the world's only barfbag carousel.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 

Enter the deathtrap that is featured on, the "pop culture travel guide" on 23 March 2007.

"Webmaster Paul Mundy supposedly has a wife and a life outside of the barf bag world, but you might not guess it from his pet project."

The Jaunted story carries a photo of me and fellow baggist Walter Brinker displaying several items from Walter's prime collection, including an ancient Lufthansa bag that enjoins passengers to place the used bag on the floor rather than throwing it out of the window.

Thanks to Steve Silberberg for this alert.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 

Cheaper than maintaining the loo?

James Whipple has found a new way to save airlines money

In a further bid to reduce costs, China Southern Airlines is asking passengers to go to the toilet before boarding the aircraft.

"The energy used in one flush is enough for an economical car to run at least 10 kilometers", says one China Southern pilot.

Utah-based SkyWest Airlines has taken this one step further: they ban passengers from using the lavatory while aloft.

During a SkyWest flight from Boise to Salt Lake City, the pilot kept the "fasten seat belts" sign on because the toilet was "out of order". Nothing to do with the sanitary facilities: the light was not working.

Desperation leads to creativity. Repeatedly ordered to stay in his seat, passenger James Whipple, who had drunk two large beers before the flight, resorted to peeing in his barfbag.

The flight attendant noticed this and reported him to the pilot. When the plane landed at Salt Lake City, police were waiting to interview Mr Whipple for suspected indecent exposure.

Congratulations to Mr Whipple for inventing a new use for barfbags, and to SkyWest for saving a litre of precious fuel - and reducing its carbon dioxide emissions.

The litre that SkyWest saved through its bathboom ban is about the volume of liquid that a standard barfbag can safely hold. Coincidence?

Click here for more on this item.

Sunday, April 15, 2007 

Little brown barf bag

Here's another example of a non-collector cashing in on our hobby.

Canadian artist Sarah Nicole Phillips has produced this spoof (above) of a shopping bag available at Bloomingdale's, an American department store chain (below).

Ms Phillips' other work features "rainbow goo", which she says is much preferable to "grey goo" - self-replicating nanomachines that doomsayers predict will take over the world.

Her Little Brown Barf Bag is presumably designed to hold your personal supply of rainbow goo.

Thanks to Steve Silberberg for this alert.

Saturday, April 14, 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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