Spit bags

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Unused spit bags from Thai Airways and Lufthansa
Spit bags
Spit bags for the health sector

A spit bag , usually called a puke bag (Austrian Speibsackerl ), is a liquid-tight bag made of paper or plastic into which people can vomit without their surroundings being affected by odor nuisance or vomit.


Already in the early days of commercial flying, bags were used in case of nausea. In 1949, however, Gilmore T. Schjeldahl invented the first plastic-coated bag especially for this purpose. These air sick bags were used for the first time on Northwest Orient Airlines flights.

Application and equipment

Spit bags are part of the seat equipment in commercial aircraft , as there are relatively many people who suffer from motion sickness while flying . Also in the hovercraft the bags belonging to the seat feature. Many interested parties consider the bags to be the airline'scalling card ” , and a lively fan and collector scene has developed around the design of the bags . Original variants were used by the airline Hapag-Lloyd Express for some time , they were labeled “Thank you for your criticism” and “Very easy here ryan” in reference to the competitors EasyJet and Ryanair .

The bags have a format of 250 mm × 385 mm ( National Airlines ) up to 100 mm × 161 mm × 72 mm ( Riau Airlines ). The standard size offered by the world's largest manufacturer ELAG from Kirchberg, Switzerland , is 125 mm × 237 mm × 80 mm. It has a volume of almost 2.4 liters. Most bags are either made of paper with a liquid-impermeable coating on the inside or plastic. The bags can either have a straight bottom (more complicated when unfolding, but they can be put down), a sloping bottom (easier to open) or none at all, similar to the shape of an envelope. There are many variants of opening and closing mechanisms, attaching operating instructions and the shape of the airline's logo, for example metal clips (see illustration).

Another form is used in the health sector, for example in nursing and emergency services. As a rule, plastic bags are used there, which are held open at the top by an outwardly curved plastic ring in order to facilitate the meeting and to be able to use the bag with one hand if necessary.

Alternative use on airlines

Some airlines, such as Qantas Airways , designed the bag so that it can be used when not in use to drop off films for processing at a retailer. Aero Continente printed service phone numbers on their bags, Aegean Airlines used the back of the bags instead of the in-flight magazine, and National Airlines designed the bag so that it could also be used as a grocery bag .

Other uses

A lesser-known use of the spittoon is as a supplement to the Unix Haters Handbook , which suggests the use of the spittoon as a bookmark. And politics has also discovered the vomit bag for itself: During the election campaign, the young liberals in the FDP distributed spit bags with the inscription “Think forwards instead of eating backwards”.

On the occasion of the “royal wedding” of the future Crown Prince couple Kate and William, many souvenirs were produced. The British artist Lydia Leith had an unexpected success with the “Royal Wedding Sick Bag”. This is in the royal colors of red and blue and shows the inscription Sickbag ("Spit bag") "The bags are actually just a joke, a kind of antidote to the hysteria surrounding this wedding - but I'm by no means an anti-monarchist." ( Lydia Leith ) There is also a play on words: “throne (= throne) up” can be read under a depicted crown, which sounds like “thrown up” and also means something like “puked out”.

See also


  • Jörg Meyer: The awkward bag . A visual homage to the hygiene bag. 2004 (Diploma thesis, Faculty for Media Bauhaus University Weimar ).
  • Gerd Otto-Rieke: Izmirübel - the book to the bag . 1st edition. Alabasta Verlag, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-9806170-0-9 .

Web links

Wiktionary: spit bag  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : spit bag  - collection of images

Individual evidence

  1. What is a barf bag on medicalfaq.net
  2. Schjedahl Entrepreneur Records . University of North Dakota
  3. planetmexx.de ( Memento of the original from April 27, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.planetmexx.de
  4. ^ ARD report ( Memento from April 30, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Interview with Lydia Leith ( Memento of the original from April 26, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.svenjaschaefer.com