The $39 Gadget That Makes Flying As a Short Person so Much More Comfortable
We hear a lot about the woes of tall people on planes, but if you’re like me, sizing up on the smaller side of the height chart, you’re probably already aware of the dreaded “dangle” – when your feet don’t reach or never fully rest on the ground and your legs begin to ache.
For frequent travelers, the dangle is not only uncomfortable, it’s downright unhealthy, too. The lack of blood circulation contributes to swelling and puts extra pressure on the thighs, which on long-haul flights could – and I’m getting serious here – contribute to Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
I suffered in silence until a colleague, 5’1” travel photographer Korena Bolding Sinnett, showed me a simple device that changed my long-haul life – the expandable, foldable, Econo High Portable Footrest.
By simply raising my feet five inches, the footstool improves my circulation, reduces leg swelling, and I’m able to position myself more ergonomically in the seat, taking stress off my hips and back, thus improving my quality of sleep overnight in economy.
The Econo High is made of durable plastic, extends on both sides, folds flat quickly, and weighs in at only 1.5 pounds. I can easily slip it into my backpack against my laptop, where it doesn’t take up any extra room or add significant weight.
To buy: amazon.com, $39
“Will people stare at you when you use it? Yes,” says Sinnett. “Is it the best travel product ever? Absolutely.” She’s right. Every time I unfold my Econo High I do get looks – of envy. Almost every use garners questions from fellow passengers who are sick of the dangerous dangle.
Last but not least, and this may be obvious, but the Econo High Portable Footrest is also great for children. On a recent flight from Egypt with my 10-year-old son, he commandeered the Econo High and was happy for the 12-hour return flight home. My only regret was not having two.