Spiraling fuel costs and increasing overheads; two factors that contribute to increasing prices of airline tickets. To offset the pressure and not burden the passengers with their woes, airlines are now offering advertisers unique spots (on the aircraft) to place their ads. If you’ve caught the US Airways and AirTran flights recently you would have noticed the ads on napkins or stickers that appear on open tray tables. Even the low-cost Ryanair in Europe has installed advertising panels on the covers of the overhead luggage compartments and in the backs of closed tray tables. Companies like Microsoft, DaimlerChrysler, Hewlett-Packard, ING, the Dutch bank, Red Bull, Meteor Mobile Communications (an Irish cellphone operator), and HRS, a German travel Web site, have advertised their wares in this fashion and are milking this new medium.
The ads placed in aircraft could generate annual revenue of €6.5 million, or $8.8 million if all 41 panels on every one of Ryanair’s 137 planes were sold for an entire year. I’m all for in-flight advertising. Anything that won’t make me pay for the increase in fuel surcharge is welcome!