Why Samantha Brown Always Avoids Using Those Seat Pockets On A Plane

Television host Samantha Brown knows a thing or two when it comes to travel. She has a plethora of good tips just surrounding airplanes, including how to get the best seat possible on a plane. She also has some thoughts about the seat pockets on a plane — don't use them. They may seem like a convenient place to put something like your phone, reading material, glasses, or even your trusty passport wallet while you're in flight, but as Brown explained on her "Places to Love" website, putting something in that pocket means, "You'll always forget it. Always."


While a book or magazine left behind might not be overly problematic, leaving something like your phone or your passport will definitely put a big damper on your trip. Based on a Google search, forgetting a passport after storing it in the back seat pocket of a plane is something that's sadly happened to plenty of travelers — and you thought the airline losing your luggage might be the biggest hassle on your trip.

Skip the seat back pocket for storage to save yourself stress

Brown's tip to just not put anything in the plane's seat back pocket will help you avoid the stress of having to change your international travel plans to add in a trip to the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate to get a replacement passport.


It makes sense in a lot of ways that the seat back pocket is the go-to place to put something like your passport or your wallet. You may have it in your hand as you board the plane, and after you've placed your bag in the overhead bin and you're getting yourself settled, you might tuck your passport into the seat back pocket just as a quick way to store it somewhere that seems safe. Same thing with your phone or headphones as you're getting your stuff together to get off the plane.

If you do realize that you've forgotten something in the seat back pocket and you're still in the airport, or even still in the jetway, you can't get back on the plane. But you can talk to the employees at the gate where you got off to try and get some help. If that doesn't work, airlines have procedures in place to file lost and found claims. But better to follow Brown's tip and not put yourself through the unnecessary stress — just skip using the seat back pocket for anything you want to remember.


Seat back pockets are also dirty

The potential to forget whatever you've placed in the plane's seat back pockets isn't the only reason to reconsider using them. It turns out that those pockets are apparently pretty gross, and all kinds of nasty things might end up in them. In a Reddit thread, a flight-attendant revealed that the seat back pockets "are cleared of rubbish but never 'cleaned.'" Then they listed some of the things they've found and seen in those pockets: "Dirty tissues, sick bags, knickers, socks, peoples feet, gum, half sucked sweets, apple cores... and then next flight you go and put your phone/laptop/iPad in there." No thanks!


In 2018, CBC Marketplace ran an investigation into the cleanliness of airplanes, including seat back pockets, and they turned out to be the second dirtiest part of the airplane that they tested — number one was the headrest. In the pockets, they found mold and E. coli bacteria, which comes from poop.