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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!


The Clemens ebay report for Apr-Jun 2007

"Dear baggists,
The development for air sickness bags at Ebay is on a change.
In course of the last 12 months prices for bags have gone up considerably and we can find 2 different kinds of auctions. First category is auctions with “ordinary” bag which are almost ignored. Now and then a bag is bought by the bidder hoping to get a variety.
Prices for these bags are far below €10. Second category is bags which are a “bit special”. Immediately the race starts and almost none of these auctions end at final bids lower than €20.
Even that I do not report about auctions lower than €20 you do not miss too much, as prices between €10 and €20 have become seldom now.
Let me start my report with 2 large collections.

  • An American offered a collection of 134 bags which included older bags. Final price for this collection was US$ 405 which is roughly €300.
  • An English collector put more than 300 of his spares on sale. Also here final bid was at about €330. I spoke with the buyer of these bags and he described it as a good buy.

Let me start now with the ranking for the period April to June 2007 as far as I could catch it.

  • Number 1 is a bag from Uganda Airlines at a price of €122.84. This former Uganda flag carrier went out of business in May 2001. Several local, regional and international firms expressed an interest in taking over but all later pulled out.
  • Everest Air came in as runner up at a final bid of €70.60. This airline was originally formed as Nepal Air Charter Service in 1992. Everest operated scheduled flights with Dornier aircrafts within Nepal. It was made defunct in 1998.
  • Freedom Air is an airline based in Guam which operates scheduled passenger services with Shorts and Piper aircrafts. Bag of this airline came in at # 3 at a price of €67.
  • In this period bags from Mexico have been very successful. First from this country is a bag from Republicair, an airline based at the Queretaro International Airport which was founded in 2005. The airline is currently out of service, one reason for a price of €57.73, bringing it to rank 4.
  • TAE Trabajos Aereos y Enlaces was on sale several times now. In this quarterly period price went up to €57.
  • Novaair is a Mexican airline based at Cancun International Airport. Price of their plastic bag was €56.73, which is rank # 6.
  • Kenyan Five Forty Aviation Ltd puts their numbers on a black plastic bag not very attractive but a rare one. Final bid of €56.10 is a proof of this.
  • On rank # 8 we find the low-fare airline Volaris which is based in the city of Toluca (Mexico City). Volaris’ first flight took place in March 2006. The name Volaris is a fusion between the word volar (to fly) and the North Star Polaris. Their financial background seems to be good as they just ordered about 20 Airbuses. And their air sickness bags needs a good financial background too; price was €55.73.
  • Not to believe on rank # 9 and # 10 is Mexico again. Click is the name of this low-cost carrier based in Mexico City. The airline started operation as Aerocaribe in 1975. In 1990 it was aquired by Mexicana de Aviacion. They serve now 23 Mexican cities. Prices were €55.73 and 54.73.
  • What do you think comes now? Allegro Air from Mexico! Since 1992 Allegro operates usually charters between USA and Mexico. Price was €54.73 and in a direct sale at a price of €53.73 which is rank# 15.
  • Tunisavia has his main hub at Aeroport de Tunis- Carthage. They were founded in 1974. Their bag came in as # 12 at a price of €54.14.
  • Air Jamaica was in the short list also in the first quarter of 2007. This time cost was €54.02.
  • Santa Barbara Airlines is an airline in Caracas, Venezuela, which was founded in 1995. 14 bids were made bringing price to €54.
  • Air Martinique is another airline from Central America. They ceased operation in 2000 then a fusion with Air Guadeloupe and two other airlines took place which formed Air Caraibes. Price for this bag was €51.19.
  • Bags from Korean Air are normally described as ordinary bags. But the offered bag showed a very different design which makes it so interesting to spent €47.90.
  • Son Air Airline Services is a subsidiary of the Angola state run petroleum enterprise Sonangol. This name is printed on a plastic bag used for flights mainly between Angola and USA. Despite the fact that such a bag was offered in the past price with €47.34 is still high.
  • Some years ago US Air spend a red bag with their name. Price now was €46.03.
  • On rank #20 we find the Indian airline Damania Airways. Their name now is NEPC which really does not sound nice. Price came up to €45.11.
  • Almost each province in Indonesia has his own airline. This is also the case for Riau Airlines which operates with 6 Fokker 50. The company is wholly owned by the government of Riau which is a province in Sumatra. Bags from this airline seam to be rare as the came in with prices of €42.59 and in another auction at €42.30 which are ranks # 21 and 23.
  • The Bangladesh airline Biman showed a new design bringing price up to €42.32.
  • A bag with blue planes from the former GDR flag carrier Interflug was sold at a price of €201 in August 2006. Such a bag was on auction again. This bag was kept as souvenir from a flight from Halle to Budapest in 1962 and when some clearing work was necessary bag was found by the son of the early passenger. Thanks to Ebay the bag was not thrown away but put on sale. Seller was very pleased about the unexpected result of €41.60 and the buyer was pleased too, as he got this rare bag at about a fifth of the previous price. Guess who it was?
  • A never-seen-before design on a Sunways bag found interest at €37.65. Also this Swedish airline which operated from 1995 to 1997 is gone.
  • Now we find a row of bags from ABAETE AEROTAXI, a Brazilian carrier. At prices of €35.23, €34.73 and €33.33 they came in as ranks # 26 to 28.
  • CAAC stands for General Administration of Civil Aviation of China, which managed all non-military aviation in mainland China since November 1949. Two bags with different designs came in our ranking, one bag at €34.18 and the other at €31.20, which are ranks # 29 and 36.
  • On rank #30 we find a bag from TAME, which is an airline from Ecuador. The blue plastic bag shows 4 aeroplanes on front and an advertisement for beer on the back. Price for the bag was €33,50.
  • From time to time a bag from the former French carrier UTA comes on sale. Because of small variations prices are always high. Last quarter price came up to €32.77.
  • Aviogenex is an airline based in Belgrade, Serbia, which was established in 1968. Due to UN sanctions international flights were suspended from 1992 to 1994 followed by the Kosovo conflict forcing them to cease operation again. They restarted in Nov 2000 again and it is planned that airlines will fly under the flag of Serbia and Sudan from Khartoum to 25 destinations on the west coast of Africa. What a change. Price for 2 different bags was €32.42.
  • Cameroon Airlines is an airline with a high number of variations which is caused by the fact that they are very long in service now. The airline was established in 1971 and is owned by the Cameroon Government. In Sept 2005 the French civil aviation banned flights to France because of safety reasons and bad maintenance which let to financial problems. Cameroon Airlines is currently reorganizing its operations to improve overall performance. Price of their bag was €32.26.
  • Another African airline is Air Malawi which came in as number 34 and at a price of €31.90.
  • TAN Transportes Aereos Neuquen is an Argentinean airline which operated from 1980 to 1990. Price of the bag was €31.67.
  • The Chinese airline Xiamen Airlines, established in July 1984 was the first airline company in PR of China run by private individuals. Today 60% of the shares belong to China Southern 40% to the local Xiamen Construction and Development Group. The bag was bought at €31.20.
  • Travira Air is one of the countless Indonesian Airlines. This one is an air charter company based in Jakarta which operates charter flights between Indonesian cities and Asian countries with more than 20 years of operational experience. Price was €31.11.
  • Has anyone of you ever heard of euralair? It was not surprising that a bag from this defunct airline was bought at a price of €30.98. But what is euralair? The company was founded in 1964 as Air Taxi Company. Later it operated as charter airline based in France which served also West Africa. In Nov. 2003 euralair had to file for bankruptcy protection. In Feb. 2004 they restarted as Air Horizons, which ceased operations in Nov. 2005 because of financial problems.
  • On rank # 40 we find a bag from Surinam Airways, based in Paramaribo, at a price of €29.23.
  • CUA stands for China United Airlines which is based on Beijing Nanyuan Airport a former military airfield. It was established in 1986 as arm of People’s Liberation Army civil transport division. Due to new regulations airline suspended operations and was reconstructed by Shanghai Airlines, which holds now 80% of the stake. Price was €29.06.
  • The national airline of Botswana is Air Botswana. Established in 1972 it operates between Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Price of the bag was €29.43.
  • Tikal Jet started as Guatemala’s national airline was. Later they were considered as Central America’s first low cost carrier. But it seems that costs were not low enough forcing them to cease operation in Aug. 2006. Price for their bag was €28.03.
  • TABA stands for Transportes Aereos Regionais de Bacia Amazonica which operated from 1976 to 2001. A plastic bag from this airline was sold at €27.35.
  • Wings Air started operation mid of 2003 as domestic passenger airline based in Jakarta. They are now owned 100% by Lion Air. But their red bag is different and with additional information bringing price up to €27.15.
  • On rank# 46 we find China Eastern, one of the important Chinese airlines with a lot of different air sickness bags. Price for a seldom piece came up to €27.14.
  • A Swedish operator for charter flights to Canary Islands and Phuket is Novair. The airline was established in Nov. 1997 and is wholly owned by Kuoni Travel Group. Their bag came in at €27.10.
  • Tajik Air formerly known as Tajikistan Airline is the national carrier of Tajikistan. The price for this fine bag was €26.61.
  • Not green or yellow was the colour for an Air Zimbabwe bag but black and red. And this was the reason that price came up to €24.71.
  • On rank # 50 at €24.60 we find the not well known StarFlyer from Japan. This airline was founded as Kobe Airlines end of 2002. In May 2003 name was changed to StarFlyer, which operates as low cost carrier mainly from Kobe’s new Kitakyusha Airport to Tokyo Haneda.
  • Paramount Airways, not the new established Indian airline, but the old defunct British carrier, which was established in 1986 came in next. This airline flew mainly between UK and Spain. In 1990 Paramount was forced to cease operation. Bag was sold at €24.60.
  • The Portuguese charter airline Air Sul operated just between 1991 and 1992. Their plastic bag was sold at €24.43.
  • Not much to my surprise Hong Kong Express Airways was founded in Hong Kong. At the beginning in 2004 Express served just 5 cities in mainland China. But in the meantime one can find a lot of other destinations within China and South East Asia. Hainan Airlines acquired 45% of shares in Aug. 2006. Price for a bag was €24.23.
  • Conviasa from Venezuela is on sale regularly. This time it came in as # 54 and # 60 at prices of €23.50 and €20.05 resp.
  • Vladivostok Air also Vladivostok Avia started operations in 1994 and in 2003 it merged with Khakasia Airlines. It operates scheduled domestic flights and international flights to China, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam. 2 bags were on sale at prices of €22.39 and €21.89.
  • A red bag from Indonesian carrier Lion Air was sold at €21.60.
  • For a bag from Cambodia Angkor Airline, €21.32 was paid.
  • SASCA stand for the Venezuelan airline Servicios Aereos Sucre which was founded in 1992. Dramamine is written on their bag, which originally is a formula against motion sickness. This bag was sold at €20.63, which is rank 59.

This is all what I could find at EBAY in the period March to June 2007.

Kind regards,"

Gerd Clemens

Sunday, July 29, 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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