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Can This Gizmo Make Flying Coach Actually Kind of Bearable?

The makers of this low-tech product swear it can help you actually get comfortable in coach.

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BY Jessica Stillman - 16 Jun 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Let me paint a picture for you:

You're heading off on a much anticipated vacation with the kids. You conquer a malfunctioning self check-in machine, wrestle your bags onto the appropriate conveyor belt (after paying an outrageous fee for the privilege) and settle into a cramped seat only to toss and flop for the duration of the flight praying for sleep that never arrives while your children fight over your iPad. (That is, if no one physically drags you from your seat because the flight is overbooked.)

Ah, the pleasures of flying! Can anything make the process of getting to your vacation (or cross-country meeting) this summer less of an unmitigated nightmare?

Airlines changing their awful policies would help, but until that day comes (and don't get excited, I hear the weather remains reliably hot in hell), is there any other solution for the discomfort and sleeplessness that often make long-haul flights a minor form of torture?

It's possible to actually sleep well in coach? Really?

Yes, claims Fast Company's Melissa Locker in a recent post. The solution to many of your flying woes is a gizmo called Fly Legs Up, she writes. Decidedly, low-tech, the gadget is essentially just a hammock for your feet that attaches to your tray table and makes it possible to actually stretch out and relax a bit more when flying cattle class.

"It looks and feels like a nylon bucket, but thanks to a few inflatable pillows, that bucket works wonders, making it easier to get comfortable on a long-haul flight. For kids, Fly LegsUp can turn an economy seat into a cot, meaning kiddos can actually sleep," she reports after trying out the product on a recent New York to London flight. (That mad clicking you hear is the sound of thousands of desperate parents frantically Googling the product.)

If you're one of those people, like me, who struggles to sleep on airplanes even with the help of a a good seat, favorable flight times, earplugs, an eye mask, and a large glass of wine, then this product probably sounds like, essentially, the answer to your travel prayers (at least until some kind and business-savvy soul finally manages to figure out how to offer affordable supersonic flights).

The only catch, of course, is that the thing actually has to work. Locker swears it did for her, but if you need more convincing here's the product promo video.