spAIRtray bills itself as “the world’s first window shelf for extra room on most commercial aircraft window seats.” It had honestly never been on our radar before but the makers of spAIRtray contacted us a while back, asking if we would review their product. We agreed, with the understanding that we would give an honest review.
We received no compensation for this task, other than getting to use and keep the spAIRtray they sent us.
Here’s what we thought of it.
The spAIRtray was packaged in a sturdy box and came with its own cloth holder that closed with a drawstring. The spAIRtray itself was made out of gray plastic with a black removable anti-slide “grip pad” material on it. Easy-to-understand directions were also included.
spAIRtray is made to fit in the alignment channel for your plane window’s sun visor. It fits in many (but not all) planes and their website includes which planes the spAIRtray works on:
Here’s their video that explains the product a little more:
We used the spAIRtray on 3 occasions – 2 different make of planes, 2 different people.
Use #1: Sharon on a JetBlue Airbus A320-200
The spAIRtray was very easy to attach to my window and worked well with the window open and closed. It had no issues when the person in front of me reclined, as neither the seat nor my regular pull-down tray went far enough back to touch the product.
The spAIRtray seemed very sturdy when holding a cup of soda and a cell phone, but slightly less so when holding a full can of soda and an iPad mini. The space for the iPad mini was also very limited. Because of the narrow width of the spAIRtray combined with the weight and height of the iPad Pro (even horizontally), and the slight concaveness of the plane, it was impossible to place an iPad Pro onto the product without it tipping over.
I would say a can of soda and a smaller iPad would be about the limit of what you would want to put on a spAIRtray, save for even smaller items such as a pen.
Regardless of what was placed on the tray, the non-stick pad worked well. I appreciate that it’s removable so it can be washed.
Use #2: Joe on an American Airbus A321
Joe got to use the spAIRtray next, also on an Airbus A321. His experience with it was about the same as mine, with one very important difference: I’m a very pint-sized person so having a 12″ x 4″ plastic tray to my side was no big deal. Joe is 6′ tall and doesn’t have a thin build. He said the spAIRtray did make an impact on how he sat in his seat and it got in the way of some of his movements, including reaching for his personal bag under the seat in front of him (his arm/shoulder hit the spAIRtray during the reach) and getting up/sitting down went he went to use the lavatory.
Use #3: Joe on an American Airbus A320
On Joe’s next flight, he was on an older model (from the year 1999) Airbus A321 and the spAIRtray didn’t work. It seemed to fit in the alignment channel appropriately and although it looked OK at first glance, the product was “tippy” when anything was placed on it, and unusable on that flight.
Pros & Cons
- Can hold smaller items, giving either extra space or allowing passenger to shift items from regular pull-down tray if you want to reach for your personal bag under the seat in front of you, or get up from your seat.
- Grip pad makes an excellent non-slip surface that can be removed for washing.
- Works with window open and closed.
- Doesn’t interfere with seat recline or regular pull-down tray.
- Can’t hold larger, heavier items such as laptop, iPad Pro, or multiple items due to small 12″ x 4″ size.
- Gets in the way of a normal-to-larger sized person.
- Can only be used if you have a window seat on one of the planes where it fits
Our take on it
The spAIRtray costs $25 on Amazon. It can be a handy little item to have, under the right circumstances.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary