When I got my first full time Business Aviation job, I told myself I am going to FINALLY get myself two things, one being a nice piece of luggage and the other being the perfect inflight tote.
Your inflight tote is important because it will be your Mary Poppins Bag of goodies and more importantly, keep your essentials close by like your passport, hand sanitizer, and breathe mints ( yes people, these are my beloved most treasured items, in that order too)
I always purchase black totes because they are the most industry-wide approved to wear with crew uniforms
I like to keep my inflight tote with me in the galley if possible (potentially stowed in FWD cupboard, closet, LAV, etc) so that I can touch-up my make-up on red eye flights, have easy access to my Airpods so I can listen to a podcast while washing dishes, checking expiration dates, or sorting inventory. Most importantly, if landing in a foreign country to have my passport nearby and ready for when customs comes onboard.
What I look for in a good inflight tote:
- Longevity– What’s the quality? Will this last thru being on the floor, stuffed, shoved, bumped and all sorts of gauntlet travel? Is there warranty?
- Organization– Does it make good use of the space? Am I going to constantly be digging looking for my crap? Does it have a top zipper to keep my stuff from spilling out and ward off pick-pocketers?
- Aesthetics– Is it smart looking? Will it add to my polished appearance when in uniform? PLUS! Is it versatile/trendy enough for me to use when I’m on layovers?
- Comfort– Can I carry it crossbody to distribute the weight? or is it at least lightweight?
Here are a few of my solid finds & reasons why they work:
- Currently 20% off sale on Tumi.com!
- Has a slot for your laptop (fits up to 13″ laptop)
- Nylon is easy to wipe-down and keep clean
- Has a shoulder strap so you can wear it cross-bodied and distribute the weight more evenly
- Has a back pocket slip that allows you to slide over the telescope handles of your wheeled luggage
- Tumi also has a 5 year warranty (which I can personally vouch for!)
- To buy, tumi.com, was
$325on sale now $260
- Leather is always more versatile and nicer looking to use casually on layovers and when in uniform
- This tote bag is unlined which makes it lightweight for leather but there is a supplemental insert you can purchase for organization pockets- which allows you to control how heavy your bag is- trust me, if you let it get out of hand, these inflight totes can sometimes weigh 20lbs!!
- There is top zipper which is hard to find on nice leather totes
- Optional monogram – personally, I love a good, subtle monogram moment, so classy!
- To buy, Cuyana.com, $195
- Has a pocket for 15″ laptop
- Super convenient exterior slip pocket for cell phone
- If you’re someone who goes to workout classes on your layovers (Classpass is a Flight Attendants dream) , this tote is perfect because it doubles as a gym bag
- To buy, lululemon.com, $128
- Top zip closure
- Adjustable shoulder strap makes it easy to be hands free ( I personally love this feature while traveling)
- Fits most 13″ laptops
- Calfskin leather
- To buy, Nordstrom.com, $595
- Sometimes you just love something even when it’s flawed for your intended purpose. This bag is not lined with pockets BUT that does mean its lightweight
- The gold hardware shows off the quality
- Should strap is removable so it can simplified
- I just love this bag- even though its not the most perfect FA approved tote, it’s a timeless, trendy piece
- To buy: Nordstrom.com $995
My Inflight Tote Essentials
Whether I need to touch up my makeup, hide my dirty hair, hydrate my skin, or jot down some notes with a super inky pen– these items are my favorite
Never underestimate the power of a Passport Cover
There are countries that give you a very important paper visa or card (like Israel for example) when you enter the country and you are liable to hold onto it until you leave, I find it imperative to have a passport cover to keep all of my important documents together like my yellow fever card, supplemental stamp pages (if you frequent a country multiple times a week), etc
Comment below your one MUST-HAVE you always keep in your inflight tote!!!