Since When Do Airplanes Look Like…

Since when do airplanes look like the inside of an inner-city bus?

SEEN: On a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to Orlando: tray tables sporting perfectly manicured stick-on advertisements for Dramamine. What’s next? Overhead bins wondering if YOU’VE RECENTLY BEEN INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT? IF SO CALL 1-800-I-AM-A-REAL-LAWYER.

I fly a lot. (So much so that when I saw George Clooney’s tutorial to Anna Kendrick about which security line to choose in the 2009 film Up in the Air, I was like “Totes get you, Cloons.”) But I’ve never seen this kind of blatant on-plane advertising before. Moreover, while I appreciate that the ad is travel-relevant, I didn’t notice flight attendants offering Dramamine as an optional purchase alongside the beverages. See where I’m going with this? If you were actually suffering from motion sickness aboard your aircraft, the best you STILL have is a white paper bag. And now an advertisement to smirk in your face.

But really, how cash-strapped are airlines these days that this is a thing? According to USA Today, “U.S. airlines collected a record $1.38 billion in fees” during the first three months this year. Listen, I’m not personally offended by the Dramamine ads. But when you still collect $25 in a checked-bag fee (which I’ve only done, begrudgingly, once this year) I’m going to issue a good-old-fashioned “really?” Really?

I know there was a lot of talk of nostalgia for the “glory days of air travel” when ABC’s new Sunday night retro-drama PanAm premiered last week. People glammed up to get on a plane, because they certainly didn’t fly with Clooneyesque frequency. It was an exclusive affair. Well today I showed up for my 10am flight in a t-shirt and jeans. I like that travel has been democratized. I believe that everyone deserves a chance to leave where they’ve been for places beyond their imagination. But I must admit a little piece of me yearns for the romance, the reverence for travel in that golden age.

It’s something I certainly can’t see through the advertisement and fee haze. Call it travel sickness, of a different sort.

Have you seen advertisements on airplanes recently? If so, what were they, and on what airline?

5 responses to “Since When Do Airplanes Look Like…

  1. I flew US Airways a few months ago and the flight attendant did a live commercial to apply for a US Airways credit card. They then came around and tried to pass out the applications. i guess they can’t resist when it’s about the only time they have a captive audience!

      • You get to have the pleasure of being charged for not printing your own ticket, charged for food and booze, then have duty free/lottery cards/and multiple other products pitched to you. They did nix the idea of charging to pee, though.

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