Leaving the airlines roo-ful
It’s rare to find an opportunity to get back at ‘budget’ airlines (naming no names) and their outrageous ’extra’ prices for just about every conceivable aspect of your journey, but Rufus Roo has provided just such an opportunity. The disgusting prices charged for the privilege of simply checking a bag into the hold has led to a rise in the numbers of passengers flying with carry-on cabin luggage only (check out Aerobell.com for more information). This comes with its own cost, however, in the shape of greatly reduced packing capacity and space. The most miserly airlines allow a mere 5kg of cabin baggage. Rufus Roo has come up with that rarest of solutions; a product which gets round bureaucracy and rules but is actually also (informally) endorsed by at least one of the airlines most likely to see it being used.
The Rufus Roo Travel Jacket is essentially a ‘wearable suitcase’ that looks something like a giant waistcoat. Multiple capacious pockets make the most of every available inch of fabric. Rufus Roo states that the jacket can take up to 10kg of items, but there are plenty of happy customers out there who have claimed twice that or even more. Speeded up YouTube clips show travellers fitting more than enough items into a Rufus Roo jacket to see them through several days away without any other bag at all, including clothing, extra shoes, a laptop, toiletries and a book or two. Of course, the idea is that this jacket allows for extra items or weight that simply won’t fit into the one cabin bag allowed, so the fabric is designed to withstand those heavier items that might take you over the allowance.
Now, no-one is claiming the Rufus Roo jacket is a stylish fashion item. You won’t be seeing celebrities wearing this anytime soon. But for the sake of those few minutes going through security at the airport, after which there is nothing to stop you taking it off and carrying it all in a bag, it is surely more than worth it for even the most fashion-conscious. It isn’t merely the money saved; it’s the thought of getting one over on the cynical money-grabbing that is so satisfying. And here is the interesting part – Steve McNamara, of Ryanair, has publicly stated that they don’t see the jacket causing “any particular problems”. Whether or not he was caught off-guard and was anxious to claw back some better customer relations, without having had a chance to think through the implications, the statement is in the public domain and it would undoubtedly be very hard for him to backtrack now, or for other airlines to take a different line. The word on the airport conveyor is that so far, passengers employing their Rufus Roo jackets haven’t been hassled either. If these jackets take off (no pun intended), no doubt at some point there’ll either be a crackdown or a big bust-up between a passenger and airport personnel which will then make the news. For now, though, passengers should make the most of getting one back on the big guys.
FIVE OF THE BEST: travel mugs
Cleverly designed to look like a coffee shop takeaway cup and comes in a range of colourful options. Double wall insulation. Uses Contigo’s Autoseal system – press to drink, release to seal.
Bodum Travel Press
I think my life is complete – fresh proper coffee on the go! The lid features an ingenious built in cafetiere, so no more waiting around while your coffee brews. Stylish stainless steel with a non-slip silicone grip. Perfect!
Aladdin Tea Infuser
Another genius conception – a travel mug that brews your tea for you. Simply fill with hot water, lower the basket filled with loose tea and brew to taste. Then wind up the basket again. The clear plastic design enables you to see the beautiful colours develop as your tea brews.
www.burton-mccall.co.uk for stockists
Contigo West Loop
Seriously stylish, these sleek travel mugs are a fashion accessory in themselves. Autoseal system means it’s easy to drink one-handed without spilling.
Stainless steel inside and out for maximum performance.
From Thermos, the experts in keeping hot drinks hot. The double walled insulation holds in the heat. Splash resistant and comes in a range of colours.