Have Pillow, Will Travel. So Long as You’re a Girl

Author and pilot Patrick Smith has an interesting article on a phenomenon that you may see yourself as you’re flying abroad to your volunteering destination — teenage girls carrying huge pillows for the plane ride

LET’S TALK FOR A MINUTE ABOUT PILLOWS.  I’m vexed and perplexed by the widespread phenomenon of teenage girls carrying giant fluffy pillows onto airplanes. I’m uncertain when exactly this trend got started, but you see it everywhere.

Granted it’s a helpful idea, now that many carriers no longer dispense even tiny, non-fluffy pillows on all but the longest flights.  In a window seat, putting a pillow between your body and the sidewall creates a comfy sleeping surface.

The trouble is, people like me are out of the club.   Grown-up men can’t walk through airports with giant fluffy pillows unless we’re willing to get laughed at.  I’ve seen thousands of girls carrying pillows, but I’m not sure that I’ve ever seen a man or boy carrying one.  We’re stuck with those stupid inflatable neck brace things.  The other night I watched a flight boarding for Barcelona.  Like most midsummer flights to Europe, it was loaded with kids between ages 17 and 25.  No fewer than 25 girls had brought oversized pillows from home.  Total count for the guys: zero.