City Pulse

By Katie Calautti

So you’ve decided to follow through on at least one of your New Year’s resolutions: cashing in on those frequent flyer miles accrued during 2007′s tedious business trips. Your bags are packed, you’re donning your comfiest Juicy sweatsuit and your Goyard carry-on is filled with fashion mags and Evian spray, you fabulous world traveler, you.

But there’s just one thing missing – one thing that can quickly metamorphose jet-setting to germophobia in the blink of a Dior-mascara-ed eye.

You’re settled in for the long flight. You look the part, for sure, but – as the plane takes off, the overzealous air conditioner kicks in and the in-flight movie begins to unwind.


Notting Hill



You ask the flight attendant for a blanket and pillow, and (assuming there are any available) she hands you the dull blue-hued fleece items. Your mind wanders – who or what, exactly, had been touching these before you? Your polished exterior crumbles, you lose your pre-vacation cool – this is the turbulence in your plan!

Luckily, there’s a gal who understands your woes – and she’s more than qualified to come to the rescue. Pam Ball, creator of The PamBee, served as a flight attendant for 12 years, and knows all too well the conundrum of the comfort-seeking, bacteria-opposed passenger.

“I made the first PamBee after years of noticing passengers’ reactions when I would give them a pillow and blanket from the airplane, says Ball. The usual reaction was a look of uncertainty on their face not knowing who had that pillow and blanket before them. Now when I hear how great someone slept on their flight because they had their PamBee, it makes me very happy.”

Ball’s ingenious development combines a luxurious blanket (complete with suede-like lining), an inflatable contoured pillow and a matching eyemask into one easy-to-tote package. Better yet, the travel set comes in six stylish designs (my picks: the Burberry-like “Notting Hill” and the Pucci-esque “Milan.”) No more stained blue fabric for you, Miss Thang – only your pretty little head will be privy to your personal PamBee!

So shop online at (or find a retailer near you) and prepare for the perfect take-off!

Originally published January 2008
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