US Air has boasted ads on seatback tray tables for many months now, but they still have the power to irk some customers, as reader Cameron writes:
I took these photos on my return flight from New Orleans this past Sunday. It appears that, in order to bolster revenues, US Air has turned to placing advertisements on the top surfaces of your seat back tray. Not only that, but they are “self-aware”, sporting beverage spill graphics and touting the safety of Ford SUVs. I was settling into my seat and was going to lower my tray to hold my book and iPod when I was confronted by this – I must say this should be stopped and I’ve already contacted US Air complaint line.
On an aircraft, getting off at the next stop is not an option. Changing seats is not an option. Even putting on your headphones is verboten for large parts of the trip. When you’re strapped in to your breadbox-sized seat your only real guarantee is that nothing will invade your tiny fiefdom – except maybe an elbow or errant drink cart. The tray top ads violate this principle and manage to make your tiny, $300 fiefdom feel even more cheap, tawdry and impersonal than the airlines can already accomplish.
The best part of all? They made a credit card sell over the intercom right after announcing the discontinued use of “all portable electronic devices.”
Every morning I ride D.C. Metro rail to work and pay $1.35 to stand inside what is basically a huge moving walkway across the city. Advertising in here – on great big swaths of plastic paneling – doesn’t bother me at all. It subsidizes the cost of my trip and helps make the Metro affordable for everyone. It’s public transportation and so there is no illusion of personal space – yet still there is usually as much room and freedom to move as you could want.