I have to disagree with Michelle Higgins (A Plane? More Like a Flying Magazine) that advertising on airplanes is the last straw.
Everyone has his own “last straw” threshold, and mine isn’t the security frisk (I leave most of my metal at home), the jockeying for overhead bins (I travel superlight, so my bag is undersized and fits anywhere), or squeezing into the middle seat (face it: all the seats are uncomfortable).
No, what hits me where I live is missing a connection or a super-long layover in an airport I’m not crazy about. No, ads I can live with.
In fact, if advertising makes any measurable impact in cutting the cost of my ticket, I’m all for it. Book me on the next “flying magazine,” please!
If ads like these are worth about $20 million a year to a carrier like US Airways, as Higgins’ article indicates, then that’s some portion of $20 million my ticket doesn’t have to be paying for.
Airlines need to offset expense increases. If they think that selling ads on tray tables is a good idea, I say let them try. The consumer will determines if this works. If a lot of passengers complain, the airlines may pull the program. If the company gets little return on tray table ads, they will likely not do it again.
Airlines are in the business of marketing and as marketers they are always going to try to find new ways to communicate with their audience