News / USA

Airlines Try In-Flight Pitches to Raise Revenue

Flight attendant asks passengers to sign up for Bank of America credit card

Your flight crew - and sales staff.
Your flight crew - and sales staff.

Multimedia

Audio
Ted Landphair

A number of U.S. airlines are in financial trouble. Several have merged or will do so soon.

Just about all of them are charging fees for checked bags, and selling, rather than giving away, whatever food is offered onboard.

And many are turning to in-flight sales pitches to raise money.

On a recent flight, we heard an attendant make a cabin announcement asking passengers to consider signing up for a Bank of America credit card.



Where could this lead?

We can just hear the little bing chime, followed by:

“Uh, this is Captain Bigley from the flight deck. Welcome aboard Cash-Strapped Airlines flight 241.  And speaking of two-for-one, a reminder that you can stay two nights at Happy Inn Motels across America for the price of one. Our destination is Denver, where the folks at Reliable Rent-a-Car are waiting to serve you. So sit back in your seats by Ferndale Furniture, purchase a couple of Frosty-Up Sodas, and enjoy your flight. When we reach our cruising altitude, the flight attendants will be by, selling Cash-Strapped Airlines’ Scratch-off Lottery tickets.”

A typical in-flight “meal” these days. On the wrapper, note the ad promoting the airline’s frequent-flier program.
A typical in-flight “meal” these days. On the wrapper, note the ad promoting the airline’s frequent-flier program.

Then the bing chime again.

“And good morning from your cabin crew. I’m Debbie, your sales manager. You’ll notice we’re all wearing fashions by Franco Bistelli, on sale this week only. We’ll be passing through the cabin with coupons good for a free drink at Freddy’s Lounge in Denver. And if you need some extra cash, a friendly loan officer from First Second Bank - “where we take your money with a smile” - will be on hand back in Coach to assist you. And check under your seats, where 10 lucky passengers will find vouchers good for 20-percent off your next purchase of perfumes by Pierre of Paris.”

On-board movie channels are already peppered with commercials. And we’ve seen advertisements on passenger tray tables. Can entire airplanes, plastered with beer ads, be far behind?

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid