I’ve been flying more than usual the last couple of years, partly thanks to my job, and my iPad has made these travel experiences so much more enjoyable. I just load up my iPad with episodes of Top Chef, Downton Abbey, and other stuff and immerse myself for a few hours. Even after an intercontinental flight, I have plenty of charge left.
Unfortunately, an iPad propped on a seat tray doesn’t provide a very good viewing angle. You’re forced to crane your neck downward quite a bit. During longer flights, this can get uncomfortable. The best position is obviously eye level: right where a seat-back video screen is always mounted.
Earlier this year, on a flight to London on Virgin Atlantic, it occurred to me that I might be able to use a piece of string to hang my iPad’s case from the crevasse at the top of the seat in front of me. Since I didn’t have a piece of string, I used my iPhone earbuds cable instead. It worked great:
A few weeks ago, for another trip to London on Virgin Atlantic, I made sure to pack a piece of string. Voilà:
The screen isn’t quite eye level, but it’s a big improvement.
This trick won’t work on all kinds of planes, because airline seats often don’t have the crevasse at the top. On that same overseas trip this month, I flew to Reykjavik on Iceland Express and was out of luck:
I can imagine other tricks like this — for example, a lightweight iPad holder that could be attached to the left and right sides of the seat-back cushion via nondestructive pins or clips.
Better options will eventually emerge. Until then, I’m pretty happy with this.
(On another note: Go to Iceland. It’s amazing.)