US Air Tray Ads Annoy

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.

– Cameron


Edit Your Comment

  1. Pelagius says:

    Advertising in here doesn’t bother me at all… It subsidizes the cost of my trip…

    I guess you think the airline is making a profit off your $79 supersaver fare to Boston?

  2. rmz says:

    Is it a bad sign that I’m so desensitized to advertising that I wouldn’t be bothered by something like this?

    Maybe it’s all a part of the advertising companies’ plan. One step closer to Idiocracy, I guess.

  3. qwickone says:

    If it keeps the cost of my flight down, I think I could deal with it. Besides, just put a magazine on top of it if it annoys you so much. Don’t sweat the small stuff people! Yeah, a credit card announcement you’re pretty much forced to listen to is annoying, but it only lasts 30 secs! Don’t spend the next week fuming about it.

    And besides, you could always use a different airline…

  4. SurrenderMonkey says:

    I think, more to his point, that the subway is a public service while airplanes are a private service for which you pay more in the hopes that you’re getting what you pay for – a private trip.

    As for the airlines making a profit off cheap tickets, it’s their own fault that their business model isn’t making them gobs of money like it used to.

  5. I’d like to sharpie in some fire, flat tires and broken windows on that sucker

  6. Ray Wert Jr says:

    Get over yourself. Put a piece of paper over if if you’re that susceptible to a life changing advertisement. I mean really, would you rather they stop serving drinks or something like that, or put up with an ad. Airline companies aren’t circling the drain AND making loads of cash profit off of coach flights.

  7. bilge says:

    US Airways (not US Air) is a low-cost carrier. You’ll see similar shenanigans on AirTran. If you don’t want the ads, pick a legacy carrier.

  8. SaveMeJeebus says:

    @rmz: I’m Secretary of State, brought to you by Carl’s Jr.

    It’s coming man.

  9. roche says:

    @Ray Wert Jr: I agree with you. These people need to get over themselves.

  10. palegreenstars says:

    Somebody call the waaaaaaambulance.

  11. B says:

    This is probabally useless nitpicking, but that’s not a Ford SUV, it’s the new Taurus sedan. While the safety features of it can be disputed, at least it doesn’t have the rollover problems the old Explorer did.

  12. Snockered says:

    @ Bilge

    US Air is short for USAirways, they’re are the exact same thing.

  13. Snockered says:

    @ Bilge Nevermind!

    I guess I should think before I type…

  14. homerjay says:

    Thats the whiniest thing I’ve read since the owner of wrote in.

    I went to the doctors yesterday and there was an ad for some Phizer product on the table with the magazines. Thats a private facility too. Do I bitch there? Grow up. You’re a big boy- you can handle some advertising.

  15. SOhp101 says:

    Better yet, take a magazine with you, look for your favorite competitor’s advertisement, take tape and put it right over the Ford.

  16. skrom says:

    They should ban all advertising period. Its an huge annoyance that has gotten to the point you cant do ANYTHING without seeing an ad for something. They are even on the floors of places you go now. Its very possible to run a business and be profitable without advertising. I cant remember the last time I saw an ad for screws, or PVC piping. I never saw an ad for Ping Ping balls or cigarette lighters yet they all sell and the companies obviously stay in business so they must be making a profit. There is absolutely NO reason to have ads for things like Coke, Budweiser, Ford, Chevy etc… There isnt one person alive in this country that doesnt know what coke, Budweiser, McDonalds, Ford etc.. If you want one you’ll buy one

  17. rbb says:

    Do you want some cheese with that whine?

    C’mon consumerist, enough of these stories…

  18. boreddusty says:

    I have to agree with what everyone else has said. Of all the things to complain about, this seems rather trivial.

    If you’re not using the tray for anything (i.e. you aren’t covering up the ads), put the tray up! Problem solved…

    until they put ads on both sides.

    (I realize that if you have a drink you aren’t covering up the ads, but you can grab one of those magazines from the pocket and cover up the ads with other ads).

  19. boreddusty says:


    I don’t even know why I’m bothering, but if you go into a hardware store, there will be ads for hardware. In a sporting goods store there will be ads for sporting goods. (This also applies to relevant publications). The reason that you don’t see ads for PVC pipe on the subway is that it is a poor place to advertise it.

  20. Ray Wert Jr says:

    @skrom: Uh, you just proved why so much is spent in advertising. You just referred to screws, PVC pipping, Ping Pong balls, and lighters. All objects with no brand association. Instead of saying Pop/Soda, Cars, trucks, and beer, you used their brand names. It’s called brand association. Instead of saying Pepsi, you said Coke, chances are, if you go to a place and pick up a drink, it’s going to be Coke, not Pepsi, or something else. You said Chevy when you could have said Honda. Do you see why they do this? Drill it into your head the name, and chances are it will become your preference. This is a reason companies spend so much on advertising for well know products. You just don’t like it.

  21. esqdork says:

    As far as I am concerned, they can make the flight attendants wear sponsor patches if it results in faster, safer, better and/or less-expensive flights. If you’re riding in coach (like I am), ads on tray tables are the least of the inconveniences that plague flights. Can we start up the crying baby on a plane thread again?

  22. matt1978 says:

    Take the bus, you maroon.
    Try the whaaaamburger. How about some french cries?

    I love Joe Dirt.

  23. raybury says:

    Nice to see Ford’s putting it’s advertising money into a product it just stopped making. Next up: Sony hotel room ads for the 20GB PS3.

  24. Ray Wert Jr says:

    @raybury: Where have you been. They just started bringing the Taurus back.

    Time to add to your RSS feed.

  25. camille_javal says:

    because I feel like this guy has a bug up his ass –

    Even putting on your headphones is verboten for large parts of the trip.

    Not during the parts when you’re allowed to have your tray-tables down.

  26. B says:

    With apologies to the writers of Futurama:
    Back in the 20th century we had ads on tv and in movies, at ballparks and on subways, on buses and billboards and written in the sky, but not on tray-tables, those were sacred.

  27. DeeJayQueue says:

    @boreddusty: Ads in stores aren’t advertising a product for the product’s sake. They’re advertising that that product is on sale or special or whatever. Companies don’t necessarily pay to advertise their products that way. It’s not promotional marketing for Scotch Tape to be featured in the Staples circular, even if it is in the sunday times. 3m didn’t pay for that adspace, Staples did.

    @skrom:You don’t see ads for things like screws, ping-pong balls and PVC pipe because there isn’t really any competition in the marketplace over those type of items. They all have to be made the same way so there isn’t much room for brand loyalty, or subjectivity in product design. If someone designs a better screw, eventually all screws will look like that.

    You see advertising where there IS room for subjectivity, taste, preference, and brand loyalty, AND competition. Coke vs. Pepsi. Canon vs. Nikon. Mac vs. Windows. Ford vs. Chevy. These are all areas where consumers have choice in what they buy, so companies want to make their brand seem the best and most appealing, and most visible, hence advertising. I agree that it’s gone a little overboard. It seems like every day someone comes up with a new way to get a second of our attention. Passive billboards, banners, posters and leaflets begat TV and radio spots, which led to internet viral videos and more aggressive print campaigns. Valuable in-store real estate creates competition which means that to generate the highest dollars per square foot you need the most visibility. We start seeing pop-out signs on springs, giant floor stickers, ads on almost every surface we come into contact with. It’s crazy but not upredictable and not unignorable.

  28. Josh Smith says:

    Get Over it. Essentially this advertising will subsidize some of your travel.

    Also aren’t the times you cannot use electronic devices usually the times when seatbacks and tray tables need to be in their upright and locked positions?

    If it was a monitor that shouted at you then yes we have a problem, but haven’t you learned to tune out web-ads? Apply that principle here and get on with life.

  29. banned says:

    Sounds like 3oz of paint will solve that problem..

  30. dantsea says:

    LMAOnade. Talk about first world problem.

  31. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    This story is missing cat pictures..

    Well I hate to say it, but advertising is here to stay. And with the innovation of e-paper and flexible LCD screens, we’ll see more ads in more places. In about 10 years, that airplane tray ad in this story will be a full audio/audio commercial.

    And what’s the deal with the new Ford Taurus? I thought the Ford Fusion was supposed to be a hipper and sportier replacement?

  32. acambras says:

    I haven’t been on a flight with the tray-table ads, but I find the US Airways sales pitch over the PA system extremely annoying. And I swear I think it lasted 2 minutes. I was on an international flight, and the skywaitresses started bringing these papers down the aisle. I thought they were customs forms, but they were credit card applications.

    If that toddler had babbled through one of those cc sales pitches, he would have been doing everyone around him a service.

  33. DePaulBlueDemon says:


    I believe you are mistaken. Have you never seen advertisements for certain products in your Home Depot? I’m remodelling my house right now and I’ve spent countless hours at the hardware store in the last month… They have numerous advertisements for products all over the store… Advertisements on the floor for Philips lightbulbs, Gatorade and Snickers promotions, etc, etc. Ads, although annoying, are basically unavoidable.

  34. Youthier says:

    The idea of advertising doesn’t bother me but that spilled drink ad would aggravate me and my OCD terribly.

  35. The Walking Eye says:


    And what’s the deal with the new Ford Taurus? I thought the Ford Fusion was supposed to be a hipper and sportier replacement?

    They’re changing the Ford Five Hundred to the Taurus. The Fusion’s sticking around.

  36. KSE says:

    Wow. These stories (and the commenter supporting them…BAN ADVERTISING) are what make this site so damn entertaining…and sad.

    A shack in the woods won’t have any advertising.

  37. Xerloq says:

    @rmz: On average, you’ll be subjected to 4,000 plus marketing messages (ads) daily. How many do you remember?
    While it sucks that ads are becoming more and more pervasive, you do have to admit that the tray-advertisements worked – not only did you notice them, but you remembered them. Interestingly, we’re discussing them.
    Advertisers don’t want to convince you to buy the product they’re pushing; they want you to remember it (part of building a brand). The better the branding, the more likely you’re likely to buy their product.
    It’s all part of cutting through the noise.

  38. campero says:

    Grow up, Get over it and Move on…
    When are we going to stop whining about insignificant things in this society?

  39. campero says:

    @Ray Wert Jr: Good stuff…

  40. Thain says:

    I’m with the people saying, “Who gives a crap?” The only adds that ever annoy me are the nag screens at gas stations asking you to add their fuel line cleaner…I can even deal with the stupid TV ads at some convenience stores, because those have no effect on my life, unlike the fuel cleaner ads, that require you to take extra time to confirm or deny wanting a useless product.

    Come one, though…there’s an ad on your tray table and you feel like that is some horrific injustice? People need to get over themselves, and fast.

  41. MENDOZA!!!!! says:

    If the tray advertisements are the thing that annoys you the most about flying… wow.
    I would have thought the delays, cancellations, cruddy food, smelly fat person next to you, would all rate a little higher than that.

  42. kubus_gt says:

    First time I saw the ad on the tray’s, I though it was cool. Finally a cleaner surface to slap the laptop/mag/food/paper etc on to.

    The day that all advertising will be gone, will also be the day when midtown NYC will become a ghost town.

  43. The Bigger Unit says:

    Seriously, what is wrong with this guy? He’s so hot and bothered by a freaking ad on an eating tray that he sits down and writes the Consumerist about it? Holy Christ, are you kidding me?? Ads on buses and or whatever else don’t bother him, but my god, one on an eating tray is over the liiine!

    It is truly hilarious what people get wound up about.

  44. categorically says:

    again, slow news day. These have been part of America West for years.

  45. Amsterdaam says:

    People act like advertising is a new-fangled method of reaching and annoying people; when in fact, they have been around as long as the products they serve.

    “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.”

    I find this passage particularly amusing. First, you had a choice to fly with that airline in the first place. Have you ever seen those web sites that offer ad-free browsing at a premium? Same goes here. If you don’t like it, fly another, more expensive airline.

    During which large parts of the trip are you verboten from wearing headphones? During that 5 minute safety lecture? Yeah, that’s a huge chunk of change right there.

    Making your personal section of the airplane sound matchbox-sized might work on some people, might even make them feel a little peeved next time they fly, but it will not cause an uprising. You sound like you’re trying to be Che Guevara here.

    Bottom line: We live in a capitalistic society. Fighting for the consumer’s dollar through advertising is a fact of life. Maybe you would be be more comfortable in a Communist ro Socialist society, where someone can make those tough decisions for you.

  46. DeeJayQueue says:

    @DePaulBlueDemon: Yes I have. The same advertisements I referenced in the latter part of my comment.

    Boreddusty was talking (i believe anyway) about sunday paper circulars and in-store ads for things like pipe and pingpong balls. Companies don’t pay directly for space in those circulars, the store does because it’s an ad for the store specifically, and the products in the store are meant to drive traffic there and feature items that are on sale.

    Companies like Phillips, Gatorade and Snickers all sell products across multiple markets in multiple locations and venues. A cardboard snickers stand could be feasibly anywhere, not limited to a hardware store or sporting goods store. Floor stickers that lead to the Phillips Light Bulbs are meant to promote them over GE light bulbs because there’s competition there.

    What you don’t see are those type of ads for things that don’t change or have little to no competition, like staples, or building materials. You might see floor stickers leading to the Phillips lightbulbs or Hunter ceiling fans, but not to the screws or lumber because nobody cares what brand they are.

  47. Scott says:

    I’m surprised he didn’t bitch about the advertising on the outside of the airplane. You know, the big US Air painted on the side of the freaking plane.

    Personally, I think Ford should have advertised the quiet cabin and interior space in their cars on an airplane.

    And you will see advertisements for screws, PVC, etc. if you’re in a position to buy from a manufacturer i.e. if you own a hardware store. By the time the consumer see it on the shelf, the advertising has already worked.

  48. nan says:

    This reminds me of the Orkin Pest Control “Roach” Commercials []
    I saw a few years ago. Anybody remember that? The roaches “crawling” across the screen resulted in a handful of people who threw things at the screen and broke their TVs. Hilarious. Can’t find it on Youtube though. You all know the commercial I’m talking about, right?

  49. ribex says:

    While I would probably prefer having no tray ad, the presence of the ad wouldn’t be too troublesome. That being said…

    I sure would NOT like to see an image of a spilled cup of whatever on my tray. It reminds me of the TV ad (orkin?) with the cockroaches running across the screen, and people ended up smashing their sets in panic. Seeing the spilled drink provokes a tiny amount of anxiety (?) to need to clean it up.

    They could win points with the ads, though, if the paper they were printed on DID something – like maybe change color when something hot or cold was placed on top. People would interact (play) with the ads, most likely, whether they wanted to or not.

  50. Buran says:

    @Xerloq: Sure, I’ll remember them. Remember NOT to buy any of their crap due to offensive, intrusive advertising — and poor quality.

  51. Buran says:

    @The Nature Boy: Nice. So you say something rude and condescending because you think you know better about what bothers people. Why did you have to click the link instead of scrolling by?

  52. Buran says:

    @ribex: This is like those U-Haul trucks with the fake open rear door. Seems unwise and safe to have an ad like that on a moving vehicle – drivers behind could panic.

  53. Voyou_Charmant says:

    Get over it. It’s sort of clever and you’re being a baby.

  54. Sudonum says:

    I see ads for screws, PVC piping and other construction materials all the time. They are in the construction trade magazines I get. I’m sure there are ads for ping pong balls in sporting good trade magazines too. It’s called advertising to your market. Since most people don’t buy large quantities of these products on a regular basis those manufacturers are targeting their best potential clients. Everybody buys cars, everybody sees car ads.

  55. consumeristlegs says:

    Wow. Are you really *that* sensitive that this has gotten you as worked up as you seem to be? If you haven’t trained yourself to ignore ads yet, how do you get through daily life?

  56. a says:

    I can’t believe this is the same site that had so many people rallying against the increasingly strict FCC regulations.

    We can’t have it both ways. Either we listen to every soccer mom who wants the word “effing” stricken from television AND to get rid of these “offensive” advertisements, or we tell them to GET OVER BOTH.

    Whose side is Consumerist on?

  57. MissAnnThrope says:

    The ad with the spilled drink is a very bad idea on a surface that is supposed to be used for eating and drinking. I’m not a neat freak, but I wouldn’t want my coffee served on that. It would make my stomach roil.

  58. notlazyjustdontcare says:

    I don’t think these anti-ad people would want to pay the unsubsidized price of certain ad-supported things like newspapers and television.

    On the other hand, it’s hard to imagine the expensive, crappy food at the Cheesecake Factory being subsidized by the ads occupying every odd-numbered menu page. Sometimes it’s just for more profit.

  59. balthisar says:

    @Buran: It’s not like someone at Ford said, “Hey! Let’s advertise on seatback trays!” This is more likely how it went down: advertising sales/placement company comes up with this brilliant idea, and approach the airlines about it. US Airways bites. Now the placement company spreads the word, and whoever is Ford’s ad agency says, “Hey! Let’s get the Taurus name out there,” and agrees to place magazine ads (I’ve seen what looks like these ads in magazines) with the placement company who puts them onto the airplanes.

    The photos aren’t so good, but why wouldn’t you think the quality of the ads leaves something to be desired? Quality, not annoyingness factor.

  60. typetive says:

    I have to agree that it’s annoying (and I blogged about it early this year, another photo of a different ad):


    The thing is that there’s no way to ignore it … someone who must have been annoyed tore the ad off of my tray which left the whole thing an adhesive mess.

    The agency that sells this adspace specifically refers to people as “captive”.

    Honestly, if the experience of flying was BETTER for this added stream of income, I don’t think I’d be as irritated, but it’s not. (Didn’t they use to put ads in the ticket jackets?)

    Yes, I could fly a different airline, but USAirways is the only one who flies non-stop to PIT from LAX. (I just booked another trip yesterday.)

    NOTLAZYJUSTDONTCARE – actually, you can get television without ads, it’s called cable. Check out HBO and Showtime sometime. All without commercial interruption – and the business model works. Or you can get the broadcast TV programs later on DVD. I do actually pay the premium to not have ads OFTEN in my life. (Arclight movie theater here in LA does not show ads, just trailers before films – I pay a little extra to not see them and have an assigned seat.) Here there isn’t really an option. Except maybe carrying a “trayble cloth” to cover up the ads in the future.

  61. ? graffiksguru says:

    I could handle the tray ads, if it makes my tickets cheaper, but I definitely am against any PA announcement ads, that would get annoying real quick, even if it is only for 30 seconds.

  62. suburbancowboy says:

    Here is a brief excerpt from a great essay from Harper’s in 1960 about billboard advertising:

    “what is the difference between seeing an ad on a billboard and seeing an ad in a magazine? The answer, in a word, is permission-or, in three words, freedom of choice. Through a sequence of voluntary acts you have given the magazine advertisement permission to be seen by you. You bought the magazine of your own volition; you opened it at your own pleasure; you flipped or did not flip through it; you skipped or did not skip the ads; finally, it is possible to close the magazine entirely. You exercise freedom of choice all down the line.

    The same is true of advertisements in newspapers. It is also true of radio and television commercials though in a different way, I’ll admit. Arthur C. Clarke, in Holiday, likened TV viewers to “readers who have become reconciled to the fact that the fifth page of every book consists of an advertisement which they are not allowed to skip.” The fact is that Mr. Clarke and you are allowed to skip-to another channel, to Dr. Frank Baxter, or to bed; you can turn it off entirely. Or you can throw the set out the window. You cannot throw U.S. 40 out the window, especially if you are on it. Nor can you flip a billboard over. Or off. Your exposure to television commercials is conditional on their being accompanied by entertainment that is not otherwise available. No such parity or tit-for-tat or fair exchange exists in outdoor advertising.”

    I have no problem with seeing ads on “free TV” but when you pay for a product (in this case a flight), do you agree to be sold as a product to Ford? The product in this advertisement is not the Ford Taurus being sold to you. It is your captive eyeballs being sold by US Airways to Ford Motor Co. When you view an ad, you are the product being sold.
    That said, if the ad actually lowered the price of the flight (which I doubt it did), then I would have less of a problem with it. Would I go as far as to write to this website to complain about it, probably not, but perhaps if more people were pissed off about the way we are used by those selling ad space, the world be a slightly prettier and less visually jarring place.

    To read the entire essay, go here:

  63. a says:

    The ad likely did not lower the price of the flight. But it may keep the increasingly bankrupt companies in business, which offers us more flying options at affordable rates.

    Even if it’s not solely keeping the company in business, it’s making it possible for X number of flights, instead of a few bare-bones flights keeping them aloft (pun intended).

    Also, I’d like to point out that the 30-second credit card ads are usually spoken around the time of the safety lecture — when earphones are still permitted to be worn. :)

  64. Nytmare says:

    @thisaintsweettea: Rubber-stamping your spouse’s forehead with an ad would be pretty clever too. But the cleverness of a behavior has absolutely no bearing on whether or not it’s acceptable.

  65. seawall says:

    If USAirways placed the ad on your pillow at home, you’d have a legitimate complaint. You’re on their plane with a ticket you bought (presumably) on your own. Switch carriers, grow a set of (generic) ping pong balls, and get on with your fragile life. Quite possibly the biggest waste of my time wasting today…

  66. B says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat: The Ford Taurus was replaced with the Ford 500, which didn’t do very well, it was then replaced with the new Ford Taurus, which is basically the 500 with some minor modifications. The Fusion is a smaller car, more of a mid-size, where as the Taurus is a full-size sedan/wagon.

  67. yellojkt says:

    It took less than fifty years for The Space Merchants to go from satire to documentary.

  68. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Buy some whole page labels down at Office Depot (or over at the wallymart), print your own (humorous) ad, and replace theirs right before you get off the plane. Just don’t print it on a laser printer so they can trace you with the yellow dots!!

    Here’s one – Beer. It’s not just for breakfast anymore.

  69. jrdnjstn78 says:

    Wow. I can’t believe that someone would get so worked up over an ad on a nasty, germ infested tray table. I’d be more upset over all the germs on the tray table then an ad. Maybe he needs to buy a first class ticket, oh wait they may have ads for expensive items like jewelry on there tray tables. He can’t put a magazine over it because those things are filled with ads.
    I like what the person said above about placing a made up add on the tray table. I wonder how many times the employees take down the tray table to wipe them off? Probably not too many times.

  70. Smashville says:

    I was driving down I65 today when I saw a huge ad for a car dealership.
    I didn’t have the choice of getting off and choosing a different
    Interstate to get to my destination, so I was forced to have my view of
    the sky and buildings blocked by this advertisement.


  71. smarty says:

    What has the consumerist come to? Good ol’ Ben and Cameron finds this more important to consumers than this weekends Businessweek article about Delta, United and almost every other major carrier outsourcing jet repairs to China where the FAA can’t inspect the repairs? And about how parts that are repaired are supposed to be destroyed (in the US it supposedly is, but in some foreign countries, they are used to repair other planes). Wow, ok, not important. Let’s start an entry to rant about movies which get a little extra to have their product placed in a movie and how we are forced to watch it! Or how about those grocery carts which have ads on the sides, front, and child seat! It’s the end of the world! Great job Consumerist!

  72. Trai_Dep says:

    If they get to blanket all flat surfaces w/ ads that I can’t avoid, I get to scrawl obscenities or counter-ads across them. Or a brief summary of GOP’s elaborate kinky/pedophiliac sexual preferences. BOY I can’t wait!

  73. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Outsourcing repairs to China?? OMG, they’re using poisonous pet food instead of insulation!!

    I love those folks who come here just to post on how trivial half the stuff on this site is. Too bad there are NO OTHER SITES on the internet.

    Even better ‘replacement’ ad would be for Greyhound :)

  74. ThinkAboutItPlease says:

    I don’t see this as a “whine” at all. I am surprised at the negative comments, and their tone. Cameron feels what Camerons feels, and I personally agree with him. I see it as an obnoxious invasion, and without the consent of a customer who is trapped in their seat. It makes me way less likely to be a customer of US Airways, and also makes me less favorably inclined toward Ford. When a passenger gets out of that plane and can exercise choice once again, and has a choice between an airline that doesn’t force advertising on them vs. US Airways vs. another form of transportation vs. not traveling, US Airways is less likely to be chosen.

    US Airways can make a buck short-term from Ford, and lose money long-term from customers who decline to give them repeat business.

    US Airways could certainly foist invasive advertising and marketing in any way they can think of. Another airline can be more restrained and more respectful of the customer, and the customer’s space, and not treat as customers as a walking (or strapped in, in this case) marketing target and wallet just waiting to be pilfered. Which airline is going to make more money? It’s an irony, and one that US Airways ignores at their peril.

  75. ThinkAboutItPlease says:

    Am I paranoid if I wonder if the ill-tempered “oh, this is so trivial” commenters might be PR flacks — like the Bank of America-defending commenter a few days ago?

  76. ThinkAboutItPlease says:

    @suburbancowboy: Let’s hear it for a better-looking, less crass, more human, more thoughtful, and smarter world.

  77. Havok154 says:

    No, I don’t work for any company related to this but come on. Whining over an ad on your tray is pretty petty. When was the last time someone stopped eating at a diner because they had local businesses on their placemats?

    It seems that people just look for anything to complain about now-a-days. When they force me to wear a Chevy shirt just to get on the plane, then I’ll start bitching.

  78. nequam says:

    These trays are a monster — the good kind!!

  79. quiksilver says:

    When people have nothing else to whine about, they find something…

    Why does Consumerist post this crap??? This is a great website… don’t ruin it with this junk.

  80. bilsemon says:

    I can’t believe how many are playing the “quit whining” angle. It’s not whining. It’s legitimate complaining about too agressive marketing everywhere – in bathroom stalls, on airplane trays, in schools. It’s all of a piece people. And captives shouldn’t be marketed to w/o consent – as many have mentioned upthread. It’s one thing to have a choice, but I’m sure no one getting on the US Air flight was notified ahead of time “oh, and sir, there’ll be an ad on your tray table, would you still like to complete the transaction?”

    So, why don’t the “quit whiners” quit whining. Marketing us to death is a problem. Being force-fed advertisements in every nook and cranny of our lives is a problem. Perhaps the question you should be asking yourself is “if it’s really no problem for me, is that just because I’ve become a too passive and too willing receptacle; a void just waiting to be filled with an ad?”

  81. Ray Wert says:

    Cameron — you know the Taurus isn’t an SUV, right?

  82. a says:

    @bilsemon: Marketing us to death is only a problem if you pay attention to it, raise more awareness about it (bad press on the Consumerist is still press), then people continue buying the product, which lets advertisers know their in-your-face ads are working.

    Don’t you remember how Homer defeated the giant marketing logos chasing after him in the Simpsons?

    “To stop those monsters 1-2-3
    Here’s a fresh new way that’s trouble free
    It’s got Paul Anka’s guarantee…
    (Guarantee void in Tennessee)
    Just don’t look!
    Just don’t look!
    Just don’t look!
    Just don’t look!”

  83. fosin says:

    Really? You couldn’t find a bigger problem than this to post? This is some of the more benign advertising I’ve seen recently. If this pisses you off, you need some yoga…or some pills…maybe both.

    This blog is great, but you don’t have to post every complaint someone sends in.

  84. mrrbob says:

    go right ahead and contact them about the ad. They will take your call with a big smile as you are just confirming their ads actually work and get your attention. My advice… just ignore the damn ads.

  85. gyork says:

    You’re all missing the point. When drinks or food are served, you see EVERYONE’S tray table screaming at you all around the plane–all with the same tawdry ads. They spend lots of money to create a fairly nice cabin interior, then ruin it.