Every couple of months, an image of an airport worker taping the outside of a plane starts spreading through social media.
While the metal-strength speed tape is a widespread (and completely safe) to make minor and temporary repairs on an airplane that has been cleared as fit to fly, the aesthetics of someone “taping a plane together” often captures the imagination of those outside the industry and prompts multiple jokes about slap-dash repairs and MacGyvering a plane that is supposed to transport hundreds of people safely.
While such comments are now quickly corrected by those who know about the existence of speed tape, the issue of tape on planes once again arose after a Canadian mom and travel blogger said she always brings a roll of colorful tape on her flights.
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Traveler swears by tape: ‘Forever the weird thing I bring on trips’
“Painters tape, guys,” Calgary resident and mom of two Nichola Knox wrote in the caption of her Instagram (META) – Get Free Report video. “I swear to you. It’s great on the plane but also on vacation. Label the kid’s cups, a bandaid for when your toddler ‘really needs one.'”
As explained in the caption, the video switches between shots of a taped-off window shade button, the roll being used to hold a cup and the infant using the small pieces as stickers — according to Knox, the tape can both be a way to entertain a child (the video also shows how she used it to create a “racetrack” out of the tray table for toy cars to move) and tape off any buttons or areas that they shouldn’t be touching.
“The list goes on,” Knox explained further to her 32,000 followers. “it’s forever the ‘weird’ thing I bring on trips.”
Knox’s video received more than 92,000 likes from fellow parents who also extolled the unexpected benefits of tape. The post also reignited an old debate around bringing very young kids on flights. One critic said that the thought of “cleaning up after these people” would make her quit her job as a flight attendant.
Even airlines have weighed in on the viral tape hack
Knox did not clarify whether she takes off all the tape before leaving the plane but the wider response celebrated a creative way to keep young ones entertained and outside of trouble that could inconvenience the other travelers. Even Canadian airline WestJet weighed in with a comment calling it “in-flight entertainment that we never thought of!”
“Very creative ✈️,” Canada’s second-largest airline wrote alongside a jet emoji.
Just a month ago, a post from the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) went viral for its own light-hearted Instagram video of a toddler on a plane grabbing items from nearby passengers.
The joke about “a toddler’s rule of possession” was meant to accompany a wider list of tips for traveling with young kids but it hit some travelers who experienced this first-hand a little too close to home.
“Cute but would get annoying very quickly,” reads one of the most upvoted comments underneath the video. “I’m not here to entertain your kid while you nap.”