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April 06, 2023 3 min read

Hello There!

I'm excited to reconnect because I came across a great series on air travel on theFreakonomics podcast that shed a bright light on the not-so-obvious purpose NiceSeats fulfills and I just had to share it with you.

My "ah ha" moment.

I always knew NiceSeats addressed an emotional component in addition to solving the problem of unclean seats but I had never been able to put it into words; until now. 

Read on for more from me and snippets from the podcast.

Here's the Story:

Back in 2007, when I started the process of creating thefirst seat cover designed for travel sure, I was doing it for the practical reason of wanting a cleaner, healthier space, but upon reflection it was also largely to soothe the anxiety I felt around modern day air travel. Wizzing through the air at 35,000 feet, over the ocean is unnatural! Add the element of being packed in with hundreds of people, no more thaninches apart from you, doing all the things that people do and now we have loads of  things one could stress out about; and when I say "one" I mean me.  
Research shows 40% of Americans say they are afraid of flying. And even though there are more pros than cons to flying, a lot of people people focus on the cons. Reasons for their distain range from not liking smells on certain airlinesbecause of the food they serve, to being crammed into a tiny seat, but science shows these nit picky complaints could stem from the underlying anxiety due to the fact that flying in an airplane is an unnatural human activity, and unnatural settings can make us anxious. This psychological phenomenon is what psychologists callreactance. That’s what happens when you are threatened with a loss to a freedom. And when you’re flying, that happens every few minutes. “I’m sorry, it’s not time for your group to board yet.” “I’m sorry, your carry-on can’t go there.” “Please end your phone call right now.” “Please sit down while the plane is moving.” “Please buckle your seat belt.” “I’m sorry, you can’t use the restroom now.” Reactance isdefined as an “unpleasant motivational arousal” to the loss of freedoms, and even if the actual freedoms aren’t that big a deal, losing them can make you feel resentful, even angry. Reactance may explain why so many people hated being told to wear a mask during Covid. It also explains why having control over something as small as the cleanliness and fabric quality of your seat is a rebellion over being confined to a tiny space with significant restrictions. 

Does this ring true for you? 

Does the idea that we may be looking for ways to get a sense of control resonate with you? It’s a revelation for me to recognize it was not only a love of clean environments that led me to NiceSeats but also my rebel spirit ( I was actually a punk kid ) looking for a sense of control in a completely out-of-control experience like flying.

So while NiceSeats is widely thought of as a product to address the problem of germy, unclean seats on planes, busses and trains; we now discover they have a hidden super power as well. They offer a sense of autonomy and independence when we need it most. If you identify with this let me know; I love hearing your stories!

All the best, Angela 


Angela Aaron
Angela Aaron

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