Passenger branded 'genius' for turning economy seat into private VIP section

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The simple trick can transform the economy cabin (stock photo) (Image: Getty Images)
The simple trick can transform the economy cabin (stock photo) (Image: Getty Images)

A passenger has worked out how to turn economy on a plane into a 'VIP section, leading some to call them a genius and others to raise concerns about the makeover.

Giga Vashakidze, from California, was on a flight from San Diego to Venice, Italy, when he spotted a fellow passenger using a blanket to foster a level of privacy difficult to achieve on a plane beyond the walled off pods found in first class.

The passenger tucked had tucked part of the blue blanket in the overhead compartment and left it hanging down, creating a shield a little like a shower curtain. The fabric defence completely obscured her head while also stopping some light from the cabin hitting her.

Giga Vashakidze, who took a video of the contraption and shared it to TikTok, said: "Caught my neighbour turning economy class into a VIP section. Has anyone else experienced this on their flight?”

The clip has been viewed half a million times with many left impressed by the passenger’s VIP scheme and engineering skills, with one commenter declaring it as 'genius'. Another labelled it as 'smart' and said they would try the invention out on the next flight they were on.

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A third person argued that planes should have such a mechanism installed as a matter of course, suggesting: "Planes should have an option for a curtain to drop down."

There were others who expressed shock that this kind of things was allowed on a plane, where flight attendants are typically very quick to remove poorly placed bags and clear the aisles of wandering legs. "WTH? Why is the airline allowing this?" one person asked, while another added: "Nothing surprises me anymore about people."

“Emergency evacuation might be an issue would be my guess,” one person wrote when another commenter questioned why anyone would take issue with the contraption. It is not cleat whether the passenger was asked to take the curtain down.

If you are looking for a more comfortable plane experience without forking out for it, then following in the footsteps of one flight attendant may be wise. Recently a member of a cabin crew snapped themselves tucked up in a comfy looking blanket with plenty of room to stretch their legs out in front. They posted the photo on Reddit and said it was the "best" that could be bagged.

On close inspection is becomes clear that the seat is situated by the emergency exit door, meaning more room is afforded to the lucky passenger who bags it so fleeing customers are able to get out in the event of an emergency.

Not only is it comfortable, the seat may also be cleaner than others. As one person pointed out on the comment thread, "it’s also probably one of the cleanest because kids can’t sit there".

They are not wrong, at least when it comes to UK flights. The Civil Aviation Authority has ruled that some passengers are not allowed to sit in the emergency exit seat for safety reasons. "If the emergency exit is needed, it is important the exit can be opened and the aircraft evacuated as quickly as possible," the aviation body writes.

Milo Boyd

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