Would you buy this to shield yourself from germs on the plane? (Courtesy: Yale Scott)
If you’re having a tough time sitting in your plane seat without wanting a shower immediately after your flight, a guy who has commuted on Air Force One is offering a way to shield yourself from germs.
Yale Scott recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to support his idea for a plane seat cover that doubles as a blanket, calling it the Germ Free Bee. The name stems from the cover’s “wings” that you can wrap around yourself. If Scott meets his goal of raising $50,000 by Oct. 24, the cover will go into production with an estimated December delivery. To date, he’s raised over $8,000.
The cover is available on Indiegogo for a $59 contribution. For $115, both you and a U.S. service member returning from duty will get one.
Scott, whose day job is as a marketing manager in Los Angeles, thought of the idea about six years ago when he was living in Washington, D.C., where he worked several government jobs. One of them was with the White House advance team, preparing logistics along with the Secret Service and others for President George Bush in about 25 countries. He saw a lot of plane seats during that time — some amazing, some disgusting.
“Flying from the best situation to the worst, I really saw a need (for protection) when I was flying, and I was always grossed out by airplane feet,” Scott said. “And I felt there had to be a way to solve this.”
You can watch Scott’s DIY ad to see how the Germ Free Bee works, which is worth seeing just for the country jingle he and his brother wrote, which ends with the lyrics, “So I don’t have to lay my head on someone else’s pubes.”
Whether it’s germophobia run amuck or a simple result of plane seats being cleaned less frequently to accommodate tighter flight schedules, there’s no shortage of gross-out airline stories these days, from vomit to blood being reported on plane seats. Other undesirable behavior have been reported, too, like passengers lounging with bare feet, which has sparked a passenger-shaming website, and a mother letting her child pee right from his seat.
While airlines insist they routinely clean their planes after flights, Scott points to a study finding that germs can live in plane cabins for days, in addition to his personal horror stories of seeing passengers wipe their greasy hands on plane seats after eating, as justification for his seat cover. He likens the cloth seats in coach to “wearing the same pair of jeans thousands of times and never washing them.”
For those who go shirtless on the plane. (Courtesy: Yale Scott)
As for what exactly his seat cover will be made of, that depends on the amount of funding it gets. Scott says his prototype is a polyester-fleece blend, but he insists the new material will be “high-quality” and washable. He also says it can fit larger seats than coach.
There’s also the question of plane etiquette, a major issue these days thanks to the Knee Defender. And there have been several questionable travel accessories coming down the pipeline. But Scott insists his seat cover, which works like a bed sheet covering part of the seat head, won’t inconvenience the passenger sitting behind you or cover the monitor behind your seat. He says it can be easily installed, pointing to his ad as a demonstration on how to install the cover.