Attack of the Killer Tray Tables


The airplane tray table . . . so small, so uneven, so . . . so upright and locked before landing. Why do they have to mess with a good thing?

First it was advertising on the tray table. I wasn’t a big fan of the half-naked dude advertising clothes at Dillard’s, but the Verizon ad wasn’t too horribly offensive. Now they’ve moved one step further and started selling space to Business Week. US Airways will be happily displaying the content soon.

So what is this content exactly? Well, it will be “written by some of BusinessWeek’s most popular columnists, including former GE CEO Jack Welch and his wife Suzy; the world’s most renowned wine critic, Robert M. Parker; and CNBC’s Closing Bell anchor Maria Bartiromo.”

07_05_31 bizweektraytable

Why do you do this to me?

I have a problem . . . if something in my line of sight can be read, I’ll read it. And since aisle, middle, and window seats will have different columns, I’ll read those too. And then, when I’m trying to relax, I’ll end up reading them again. I just can’t stop reading if something is in front of me, and that’s going to be really annoying. If I really wanted to read Business Week, I’d get a copy myself.

I understand the appeal to the advertisers. It’s a captive audience that now won’t even have to open a magazine to see the content. That’s a strong selling point, but not for the guy stuck on the plane. Think they’ll include some advertorials on there as well?

And what’s next? Digital media that keeps changing every few minutes? Maybe my tray table will start talking to me? Hmm, I’ll have to remember to keep my knives off the table . . . who knows what it’ll be capable of soon.

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Cranky Flier