Essential gadgets: The long-haul flight survival kit

Hopping aboard a jet for heaven knows how long? These five tech items will help ease the airplane pain

It’s the summer, which means the UK is “basking” in roughly one day of sunshine for every three of drear and drizzle.

The solution for many of us is to hop on a plane and hotfoot it to warmer climes – and that means enduring several hours cooped up in cattle class, bashing knees with a heavyset child and listening to neighbouring travellers complain about the coffee.

But there are ways to make this necessary evil much less painful. Techie ways. Read on and we’ll reveal all.

Image credit: Vox Efx

Griffin SkyView

The SkyView (US$30, is a universal hands-free mount that fits over the locking latch on a plane seat’s tray table, and will also work as a stand on most flat surfaces. It’ll hold a smartphone, Kindle or compact tablet like the iPad Mini in either landscape or portrait configuration, as long as the device is between 5.25in and 8in in length and 4in and 5.25in in width. It hasn’t reached Griffin’s UK site just yet, but keep an eye out in the coming weeks.

Mophie Juice Pack Air

Watch videos or play too many games and your smartphone battery life can drain far too quickly on a long haul flight. Some planes have power sockets handy, but for those that don’t there’s the Mophie Juice Pack. Available for the iPhone 4, 4S and 5, the HTC One and the Samsung Galaxy S3, the Juice Pack is a slim, lightweight protective case that holds an extra battery able to deliver up to 100 percent more on-the-go use. The latest model is the Juice Pack Air for the iPhone 5 (£90,, available in three colours and featuring pass-through controls for volume, power and mute. For those without a compatible phone, the Juice Pack Powerstation works with any USB device.

More after the break...


A good pair of noise-cancelling headphones can make a long-haul (or short-haul) journey 100 percent more bearable, shutting out the background babble and leaving you isolated and free to listen to the dulcet tones of whatever Norwegian black metal band tickles your fancy. And the PSB M4U 2s (£300, fit the bill, delivering highly effective noise cancellation that, interestingly, can be turned on or off to prolong battery life. Sound quality, which is excellent to begin with, improves when draining the AAA batteries as they power a built-in amplifier.


Unless you’re minted enough to fly in a better class than economy, sleeping on a plane is damn near impossible without a truckload of prescription meds and/or alcohol. But the J-Pillow (£20, is here to change all that: it’s an orthopaedic inflatable travel pillow that eschews the standard U-shaped design for, yes, a J-shaped one. This keeps your spine straight and supports your chin as well as the back and side of your head. Sweet dreams, traveller.

Samsonite Micro Scooter

One to reduce the stress of a journey once the flight is over, Samsonite’s (£250, hybrid gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “roll-on luggage”. A micro scooter pops out of a secure compartment, allowing you to skim merrily through the airport terminal arrivals hall like a tweenager after a gallon of Sunny D.

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