Inside Flight 001: Hayes Valley’s One-Stop Travel Destination

Inside Flight 001: Hayes Valley’s One-Stop Travel Destination
Photo: Allys Ton/Hoodline
By Allys Ton - Published on May 08, 2014.
Planning a trip? You might want to stop by Flight 001. Located at 525 Hayes Street, the store (pronounced “Flight One”) has been helping customers prep for travel for over 12 years. Curious for a look inside, we stopped by to chat with store manager Sara Rose and get the 411 on Flight 001.

The company was started by individuals who worked in the fashion industry and had to travel often. They noticed how much of a hassle it was to visit multiple stores for just the essentials. So, they decided to centralize the experience of preparing for a trip.

“The goal of Flight 001 is to bring the fun back into travel," Sara explained. "You can find all your travel needs in one place and it’s all easy to use. It has some retro flair, with a fun outlook on traveling. Flight 001 brings back the glamour of traveling from the 50’s.”

Hayes Valley was the second location to be established by Flight 001—their original shop is still in New York. They have since expanded and now have 23 international locations.

The employees of Flight 001 have had their fair share of globetrotting as well, and they're all about exchanging tips and stories from their previous adventures. They also like to hear from their customers. Know a good coffee shop in Belize? They're all ears.

For a taste of some of Flight 001’s offering, look no further than their best selling Spacepak System, a compression product that eases the struggle of packing. The different sized “paks” accommodate clothing, suits, underwear, lingerie, shoes, and toiletries. For example, the “Spacepak Clothes” bag holds up to 12 shirts and 6 pairs of pants, but it’s possible to fit even more into the pak. “You can really push it and add in more," Sara explained. "I was able to get 25 shirts in on my last trip.”

As more evidence of their focus on design, check out the nifty 4-in-1 adapter (named “Accessory of the Year” by Travel + Leisure magazine in their 2014 Design Awards) and the store's custom-made luggage tags.

Since we were talking to someone who deals with travelers all the time, we asked Sara to share some of her favorite travel tips. Here's her advice:
  • Always have a dependable luggage, you don’t want it to fall apart on you mid-trip.
  • Remember that through all the stress, traveling is still fun because you’re exploring new places.
  • If you’re coming to visit San Francisco, we have one word for you: LAYERS.
  • If you’re leaving San Francisco, be sure to come back.
Already planning for a vacation away from the foggy San Francisco summer? Stop by Flight 001 between 11am-7pm Monday to Saturday, and 11am-6pm on Sundays. And if you’re running low on time, visit their website and check out what they have in stock.