Not every airline has seatback TV screens to enjoy entertainment when you fly. American Airlines has been quite vocal about their decision to actually remove them from planes to reduce weight. The airline’s opinion is that passengers want to watch entertainment on their own devices. Whether or not that is the consensus, The Airhook 2.0 could be your new best friend.
I tested out a couple of their products on recent flights and was truly impressed. It comes in different sizes and models, but each is designed to suit all kinds of electronic devices as large as 8.5 inches like a Kindle, iPad, iPhone, and Android (no matter what the model). It comes with a built-in drink holder since you have to hook it to the top of the tray table with a sturdy clamp, which renders the tray unusable. Who cares; it’s dirty anyway.
The cup holder fits most airline standard cups or cans, and features a mini tray to support the cup at the bottom. Of course, if there is turbulence, you’ll want to make sure that your cup is not full to the brim (especially if it’s coffee). If not using the cup holder, you can fold it down to keep it out of the way. If you have a full can of soda, it can pull down the screen just a bit due to the added weight, which is the only minor issue. Luckily, the table clamp keeps it secure without worrying about it falling.
Another unique feature is that you can attach it to your luggage handle bar while waiting in the terminal for your flight. If you’re like me, I notice a bit of strain on my wrist, fingers, and hand after holding an iPhone for quite awhile to watch a program. And by placing your screen at eye level, you reduce neck and back strain that could result from staring down for long periods of time. It is super easy to set up and take down, which at first I was worried about figuring out awkwardly in front of my seat mates.
At first, I thought the contraption looked quite clunky, and I was also concerned that when the passenger in front of me reclined that it would fall off. Another concern I had was that flight crew would alert me that they would allow me to use this. On the contrary, they were fascinated and wanted to know the brand so they could get one for their next flight as a passenger!
It also works quite well for road trips or when you’re riding a bus with standard passenger seats. The product actually got its roots via a Kickstarter campaign that was successful enough to all the product to launch. One nice touch is that for every unit sold, the company donates a percentage to cancer research in honor of the founder’s mother.
The device is easy to fold up and place in a small carry-on Neoprene pouch to keep it together in a carry-on bag or briefcase. It does not clamp down too hard on your device so there is no need to worry about it scratching or breaking the screen. You’ll find you have more stretching room since the tray table is stowed giving a greater sense of space. There’s also a small hook for you to dangle lightweight headphones or ear buds so they don’t get tangled or in the way of your personal space.
The Airhook 2.0 is available on the company’s website or via Amazon for $28 and makes a great gift for frequent travelers. It’s also ideal for families with kids because it’s a cheap solution to keeping them entertained for hours on long car drives.