Dreaming Of Privacy On Packed Flights? Israeli-Designed ‘B-Tourist’ May Be The Solution
Tired of the “nosy parkers” interfering with your peace of mind on packed flights? Envying the privacy afforded by the large chairs in Business Class? Meet the b-tourist, the new method to secure in-flight isolation, even in Coach.
“We found that we can create a super sterile private space by covering a very small area around the passenger,” says Idan Noyberg, who along with Gal Bulka, created the elastic, twistable fabric that covers the upper section of chairs to suit the needs of his wife, who is a flight attendant.
The band is hooked onto the back of the passenger’s own seat and the seat in front of them, making sure that all facial expressions, food and embarrassing sleeping postures are hidden from the eyes of the other 188 passengers, give or take. The b-tourist is also equipped with plastic rings that allow the band’s width to be adjusted when they need to order food or in the rare occurrence that they may actually want to communicate with their fellow travelers.
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The b-tourist is equipped with other features that aren’t only geared towards the introverted among us. Between the two sides of the fabric, there are clips that when clasped together create a comfortable and soft surface to rest your head and there’s even a small pouch for storing valuable belongings.
Is personal space too much to ask for?
Yet airplane privacy comes with a price. Assembling a b-tourist in your row could sincerely bother other passengers, blocking the TV screen of the person sitting behind you or prevent someone in the window seat from going to the restroom. In addition, hiding behind the band may seem arrogant or anti-social to other passengers. Most importantly though, it could be a real hazard in case of an unexpected emergency during flight, although it is made of flexible, easy to store fabric that Noyberg asserts, “takes the same time to disassemble as folding and removing things from the tray table.”
Noyberg and Bulka, graduates of the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Israel, say they hope to market the product soon for personal use and will charge about $40 a pop. However, the team is still testing the waters for responses to the product, and anticipates that some changes will be made to make it more comfortable to use on all kinds of airplanes and to minimize its impact on other passengers.
Photos: courtesy of Idan Noyberg and Gal Bulka