With the budget airlines encouraging, nay forcing, us to travel only with what we can carry on to the plane it has become increasingly difficult to juggle all the travel paraphernalia in the waiting time between check-in and boarding the plane. Buying and transporting a coffee around the terminal is a disaster waiting to happen.
Travel documents in a pocket, carry on case occupying one hand and a coffee in the other you arrive at duty free. Each time you want to look at something you let go of the suitcase and one-handed pick up the item. Even worse when looking for something to read you either juggle one-handed with the book or magazine that refuses to stay open or you put case and coffee down. At the till you fumble, again one-handed, with boarding card and money or plastic.
You had two options: either sit and relax while drinking your coffee or deprive yourself and drink the jet fuel they serve on board. Now there is a third option, the Tugo coffee cup holder. Its design is so simple I am at a loss as to why someone didn’t invent it sooner. The Tugo coffee cup holder hangs between the handles of your carry on roller bag. It is secured by two flexible rubber fasteners that allow the holder to remain level regardless of the angle of the case.
It claims to solve the spilt coffee at airports problem but that is not were I tested it out. Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof was the chosen testing ground. Airport departure lounges tend to be on one level and spread out with smooth floors for ease of rolling suitcases. A busy mainline station in one of Europe’s capitals is not so user friendly. At Berlin’s Huptbahnhof trains arrive and depart on two levels separated by another two levels of food and retail outlets. These are all connected with a bewildering maze of stairs, escalators and lifts. Plenty of opportunity to spill a coffee held in the hand as you make your way from the crowded suburban arrivals down to the Inter City departures.
I found a Starbucks and purchased a coffee. Although fiddly to attach it only took a few moments to fit the Tugo between the handles of my bag. The moment my full cup was placed in the holder it swung to a level position. I took the handle and tilted the case to wheel it across the concourse; the coffee cup remained upright. Next I headed to the escalators; no problem there either. I stopped to buy a cake and later browse a magazine rack with both hands free. Despite my reservations at no time did any of the coffee spill. The convenience of having somewhere to leave my coffee is reason enough to have one of these.
There is only one little hitch. To carry the suitcase up stairs requires you to take the Tugo off and then reattach at the top of the steps. Most airports though have an alternate trolley route or a lift that you can take. Negotiating a staircase was the only time I spilt coffee and that was because it was in my hand while trying to hold my ticket and the case
The Tugo cup holder is a great piece of kit and at under £5 is great value for money. No more coffee spilt over counters, hands or clothes. It is small enough to stuff in the your bag just before boarding.
The Tugo comes with a net holder for bottles, which I also found it useful when changing lenses on my Nikon to photograph the Reichstag through the lattice and glass of the station. It was a great place to hold my lens and, when my coffee was finished, a rolled up magazine for reading on the flight.