Passion Points: Style
It seems impossible to read a Sunday newspaper, lifestyle magazine or globetrotting tumblr blog without encountering the ever-present, often-bemoaned gripe about ‘air travel these days’. Everyone has their pet peeve, a particular horror story and endless rhetorical questions; How is that child still kicking my seat? Who are these airplane designer sadists? Why is my seatmate talking to me? And while most of us grin (or grimace) and bear it, two men are trying to bring a level of cheerfulness to the dreaded flight. Fifteen years ago, business partners Brad John and John Sencion created Flight 001, a shop dedicated to products that make travel easier, tidier and chicer. Items like the multi-colored, multi-outlet convertor plugs have devoted fans returning to the stores (located in North America, Australia and throughout Asia). Co-founder Brad John spoke to Indagare about future products, favorite in-flight entertainment and some well-tested tricks to battling jetlag.
What annoyances in travel haven’t you been able to create a solution for (yet)?
We are always working on solutions to make traveling easier. We have just introduced a color-coded adapter, which is easy to use and easy to spot so you will not forget it in your hotel room. We are working on other items to help travelers get through security faster and to more easily organize all their travel documents.
What is your biggest travel pet peeve?
Being around travelers who are not enjoying the journey. I see so many people getting upset and stressed about things like security lines, crowded planes, long waits at airports. I believe in making the best of it, trying to enjoy yourself and turning travel into a positive experience. One of the things that bothers me the most is seeing passengers being inconsiderate to flight attendants. Why should anyone be disrespectful to a flight attendant because the bag they brought is too big to fit into the overhead compartment? I am super friendly to flight attendants and, in return, they are to me as well.
How do you combat or avoid jetlag?
I travel a great deal internationally; having some jet lag is unavoidable. I am a good sleeper on the plane (especially after several drinks, even though most people say to not drink alcohol while flying). I try to put my mind in my destination’s time zone as soon as I get on the plane.
What’s your in-flight entertainment of choice?
I love to catch up on movies that I have missed in the theaters. I also like to watch foreign films, especially Indian, which I never do at home. I never work on a plane even if I am traveling for a work trip. For me, flying is great, and I find it an ideal time to relax, not to worry about things and to disconnect from the world.
Would you consider a partnership with an airline to create fresh designs for boarding passes or offer products for sale in-flight, for example?
We have spoken with airlines in the past, and yes we would like to have a partnership with one or more. Several have asked us about doing amenity kits for them but while we are not ready to do that right now; we will in the future. Our Flight 001 partner in Australia is making co-branded bags for QANTAS airlines, which we are happy about.
Which Flight 001 products are you most proud of?
Our Spacepak system is a packing cube that we invented. It is a compression system with a clean and laundry side and it has changed how people pack and made travel so much easier. It is our bestseller in the stores as well as online. Once people buy one, they come back and buy more and tell their friends.
Other items that I am very proud of are our F1 SEATPAK, which has multiple zipped pockets ideal for storing essentials in the plane’s seatback pocket. We have just introduced F1 AVIONETTE, a retro-style luggage that has a modern feel.
What is your favorite place you’ve ever travelled?
My two favorite destinations are Beirut, Lebanon and Tokyo. My heritage is in Lebanon so I find it very comforting to be there. And Tokyo, well it is the most exciting city in the world to me. I recently visited Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia for the first time and found it fascinating.
Where to next? Where are you dying to go?
Two places that I have never been to and would really like to visit are Finland and Norway. In the winter, of course.
Learn more, and shop Flight 001 products here.
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