How To: 3 Easy In-Flight Hacks for Hands-Free Movie Watching on Your Smartphone or Tablet

3 Easy In-Flight Hacks for Hands-Free Movie Watching on Your Smartphone or Tablet

The closest I've ever been to first class was when I was a young kid running up and down the aisles on a long international flight. I remember being in awe of how big the seats were and how much food was available. Ever since that moment, I've made it my life goal to earn enough money to make first-class flights a regular occasion.

Let's just say I have a ways to go yet.

I did get upgraded to business class once, and fell in love with that mini-TV screen embedded in the seat in front of me. Actually, personal televisions are becoming more and more common these days for everyone, not just the elite flier, but it's mostly only really long flights where you'll see them.

Thanks to smartphones and other mobile devices, who really needs airlines to provide them with cushy video entertainment? Using a variety of MacGyver-esque techniques, you can set up your mobile for hands-free, first-class viewing from any seat.

#1. Use a Ziplock Bag

Ziplock bags aren't just for sandwiches and packing your miniature toiletries. If you're about to take a long flight and want to watch a movie without have to hold your phone or tablet the entire time, try this clever setup.

The idea, posted on Reddit by claireadelie, was possibly inspired by the popular show The League (if you watch it you know what I mean). It features a smartphone strategically placed in a ziplock bag attached to the tray latch commonly found in economy class.

It's pure genius. You can poke a small hole in the side of the bag for your headphone wire. If you have a larger tablet, you can just use the larger freezer bags and enjoy the same benefits. And as a bonus, if you're sitting next to a crazy kid who spills his ginger ale everywhere, your device will be protected.

#2. Use a Barf Bag

If you're already on the plane and forgot to bring a ziplock bag, you can turn those hopefully unnecessary barf bags into an awesome smartphone holder.

For more details, check out our previous guide on creating the perfect barf bag smartphone holder.

#3. Use Your Wallet

No stand, no bag, no problem. If you have a standard wallet, bi-fold or tri-fold, you can create an impromptu stand in seconds. All you need to do is place the phone in the middle, so that its weight is balanced in the center. Take a look at the full tutorial here.

Images via

You can place this setup on your tray, then sit back and relax. For a more sturdy stand, you should push it all the way against the seat in front. If you have heavy turbulence (or one of those annoying people who likes to constantly move their seat), then you may have to adjust.

Got another in-flight hack we should know about?

Just updated your iPhone? You'll find new features for Podcasts, News, Books, and TV, as well as important security improvements and fresh wallpapers. Find out what's new and changed on your iPhone with the iOS 17.5 update.

In-flight movie image via Shutterstock

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