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A little-known airline has a genius solution to the biggest annoyance with sleeping on planes

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By Harrison Jacobs, Tech Insider

Falling asleep on airplanes is hard. It's even harder when you're worried about missing your one meal of the flight.
  • Air Astana, a little-known airline based out of Kazakhstan, has a genius solution to the problem.
  • The sleep mask they give passengers says "Wake me up for meal" on one side.

Chances are, unless you're an airline junkie, you've probably never heard of Air Astana.

Only around for the last 16 years, Air Astana has built a stellar reputation around friendly staff, new, well-kept planes, and a few special touches that show an eye toward pleasing all their customers — not just the ones sitting in first class.

On a recent long-haul flight from from Seoul to Almaty, Kazakhstan and then to Moscow, Russia, I witnessed one of these special touches first-hand.

It's not always easy for me to fall asleep in stiff and cramped airplane seats. It's even harder when I'm worrying that I might miss the one meal I'll get to eat for the next 8 hours. Thankfully, Air Astana came up with a clever solution.

Take a look at this sleeping mask provided by Air Astana:

Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

One side of the sleeping mask is in green and says "Wake me up for meal," in a number of different languages. If you flip the sleeping mask, the other side is red and says "Do not disturb."

Rather than spending my napping time with one eye or ear open, waiting for the flight attendant to come by with meal or drink service, I was able to fall asleep worry-free. I even put in ear plugs.

Take notice airlines of the world: Sleeping masks like this should be standard on all flights from here on out.

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