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11 posts from November 2008

In-Cabin Flight Ads -- What's the Big Deal?

Nascar This morning's paper featured yet another short article about the coming onslaught of ads in planes and how we'll all be worse off as a result.  Really?  That's a significant problem?  Why?

Sure, we're already bombarded with ads and there seems to be no safe haven so it's easy to pile on and say more advertising is a bad thing...till you consider the benefits.  Think about all the services and entertainment you enjoy every day because of advertising.  I sometimes wish my favorite TV shows were commercial-free but, then again, I can't see paying a fee to watch each of them.

So what if the inside of a plane is about to look more like a NASCAR fender?  I'm either reading something or taking a nap, not staring at the seat back in front of me.  I'm sure I'll notice the ads but it's not like they'll make my trip any less pleasant.  More importantly, if they help reduce the cost of my next ticket, bring it on.  I'd gladly sit in the middle of a bunch of rotating billboards in seat 16C if it means I don't have to pay $15 to check a bag!  (Hey, maybe they ought to sell sponsorship deals like the major sporting arenas do: "This free bag check is brought to you by Microsoft; think kindly of us the next time your PC crashes!")

The airlines should proceed with this plan immediately if they feel it will create a new revenue stream.  I seriously doubt many (any?) travelers will start choosing their airlines based on number of in-cabin ads.  Honestly, can you imagine anyone saying, "well, I know so-and-so has the best fare but I'm tired of all those ads"?  Besides, if one or two start an aggressive campaign the rest will follow suit, and rightfully so.