Its raining hard as I board my flight from Atlanta back to Seattle. A fog has settled in and there are delays. The captain’s voice comes on over the intercom and announces that we are 16th in line for take off. I love Hartsfield.

After 45 minutes of sitting on the tarmac the engines roar to life and we speed down the runway, lifting off into the fog and leaving the South far below. Flight attendants make the rounds with “complimentary” beverages (the definition of complimentary is as follows: given free as a gift or courtesy. I believe I paid 300 plus dollars for a one way ticket across the U.S. and I'm pretty sure that a drink was included in that price. Which would mean that it’s not complimentary, it receiving what I paid for).

I unlatch the unsuspecting tray table from the seatback in front of me and become immediately angered at what I see. An advertisement is plastered across the entirety of the surface I will be using to place my drink on. Most of you know by now where I stand on advertising in general but this takes the cake. The urge to hit the stewardess call button and ask if this company that is advertising in my personal space is also paying for my in flight meal (yeah, you fly all the way across America and you have to buy a meal for $7 bucks) comes over me. I refrain.

So I did what I knew I had the power to do; took pictures of this hyper capitalist advertising crap fest and talked to people about it. Now I'm sharing it with you. I typed, “tray table advertising” into a search engine and the first hit that came up was the company that controls the advertising. This quote was on the front page of the companies website, “New…Inescapable…Dominant”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Thus far I have only seen U.S. Airways using this form of “inescapable” advertising. I'm sure other airlines will soon follow suit.

Who benefits from this advertising? Not me. I still pay the same price for my ticket, still have to buy a meal and still have to sit in my seat and debate whether or not its worth even using the tray table I paid to use because the advert on in it gives me a headache.

I hate airline companies.

A mapkin.

Ah yes, your friendly sky high tray table. You can count on its flat grey surface to hold your food and provide a comfortable, clutter free background for you to rest your book on.

Oh wait, what is this?! My space has been invaded by the hyper capitilist advertising machine. Those bastards!

Yet another example of this "makes-me-want-to-throw-up-in-my-mouth-and-move-
to-Venezula-to-become-drinking-buddies-with-Hugo-Chavez" advertising.


Blogger Stu Bish said...

You know what, I'm ususally pretty chillax about stuff like this. I mean what can you do? Except never buy whatever is being advertised.

However this did infuriate me more than amuse me this time around. Only problem is, if you complain in even the slightest, I'll bet you would be labled a 'dissident' an be made to fly in the 'special' section with extra security checks with all the other threats to airline stasus quo...

12:39 PM  
Blogger Stu Bish said...

** To any FAA officials or airlines reading this, all that was tounge in cheek, please let me continue using your airways! I don't know what I do without it **

12:41 PM  
Blogger Corey said...

To any FAA officials or airlines reading this please know that i want advertising off of the tray tables. Know that i think advertising, FAA officials, and airlines are all ridiculous.

No worries Stu, they arent paying attention to the rantings of some small time blogger. They've got bigger fish to fry (i.e. "The War on Terror"). Have you heard of this war? Its actually a figment of one mans imagination and has completely captivated an entire nation of people.

Weird huh?

12:48 PM  
Blogger Sierra said...

I just went to Super Wal Mart and bought 3 cases of Johnson's Melt Away Stress Body Lotion and 400 boxes of AirBorne.

Sometimes I wonder if the desire for product recognition clouds the vision of some of these companies/their advertising firms. For instance, did you know that you can buy advertising on TRASH CANS in downtown Atlanta? Granted, these spots are mostly purchased by "one call, that's all" ambulance chasers and title loan firms, but still...seriously? What's the message there? Many MARTA buses and train cars are completely covered in an advertisement skin. My favorites are those trucks that drive around with flat and narrow bill boards on the back--advertising that contributes to the traffic problem and pollutes the air. Lovely. Of course, when you buy THAT product, you're helping to pay for the congestion and pollution...

In the interest of forthrightness, I do work for a company that advertises--in airports (though not in airplanes)and newspapers and magazines--and have aided in the space selection and securing process. It is interesting to see where corporate america's money goes...

2:32 PM  
Blogger Corey said...


You cant buy 400 boxes of Airborne at Super Wal-Mart, you have to jump in your H2 and drive two doors down to the Sams Club where they allow you to buy pallets of it for half price.

You should know that by now.

6:36 PM  

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