Consumer to Delta: Now that you’ve got Gogo, drop the mag

Delta Air Lines today received some good, environmentally-sound advice from a consumer – now that you are planning to offer in-flight Internet access, “maybe it is time to rethink the printing and publication of that mediocre in-flight magazine”.

Delta Sky.JPG

The comment, from an individual that refers to him/herself as “Walkabout”, was made in response to Delta’s now-popular 1 October blog post about its first test of Aircell’s Gogo broadband Wi-Fi system.

The blog, which describes a Delta manager’s Gogo experience on a Boeing MD-88 at 33,000ft, is definitely worth a read.

But Delta should take Walkabout’s suggestion to heart. The Delta in-flight magazine, called Delta Sky, “like all the other in-flight magazines, has become cliché, it is stuffed with innocuous ads that advertisers like but passengers abhor. It is time to save paper and the fuel it takes to fly these magazines around on thousands of planes each day throughout the year,” says Walkabout.

“Instead, maybe Delta could get its content providers to put some of the airline’s important information somewhere on its web site for the new users of this in-flight Internet to access while on the plane.”

Now there’s an idea, one that American Airlines would likewise be smart to consider. 

(Photo care of Delta Sky web site

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5 Responses to Consumer to Delta: Now that you’ve got Gogo, drop the mag

  1. alloycowboy October 3, 2008 at 8:34 am #

    Putting the inflight magazines online is a very good idea. Just imagine all the fuel savings from not having to carry all that extra weight around. That could save even more money then removing parsley from the inflight meals. The only problem is it’s not going to happen because the idea didn’t come down from the Delta marketing department. If there is one thing I learned as an engineer is if the marketing department is not on board with an idea then you might as well finish that game of free cell you started!


  2. Bob Jahn October 3, 2008 at 11:30 am #

    I like the idea of the in-flight magazine online, the saving fuel, trees and all that. Just 100 of those magazines do weigh a lot.
    But, and this is a big but, (don’t go there), your average traveller does not have a laptop with them. Those magazines are targeted at people who like to shop, who get fidgety on their flight and didn’t bring anything to read and looky there, something to read. I don’t see Soccer Mom Suzie, while attending to her children in-flight, pulling out her laptop to cruise the in-flight magazine, especially if the Wi-Fi isn’t free.
    I also don’t think that the average person that does have a laptop is the impulse buyer type. With no printed magazine to look at, much less or no shopping will happen. If you don’t see that there is a new rotary nose hair trimmer that was tested by a panel of experts (who would want this job?) not to rip out the hair, but cut it neatly and not take chunks of nose flesh with it… You won’t be tempted to buy it!
    Then of coarse, if everyone started bringing laptops to read that magazine and surf, these items will weigh more than the magazines did, possibly saving nothing but costing even more fuel that you tried to save by getting rid of them in the first place.

  3. Mary Kirby October 3, 2008 at 5:45 pm #

    Honestly Bob, when we’re not talking lubrication, the ideas flow! You make some very good points but I’d like to see some hard and fast figures about just how much shopping is done. More than anything, Im willing to bet – but also willing to be wrong – that the airline makes money off of the advertising revenue, which could easily be directed to a money-making online proposition. In any case, you know my feelings about the soccer moms (who are no doubt married to Joe Six-Pack…see new post). I think they should have live television at their disposal to quiet the kiddies. Tell me one mother who wouldn’t slide that credit card to put Disney in front of her screaming kid. The magazine is short-term relief (very short-term) during a long, boring flight. The answer, my friend, is live television and in-flight connectivity, even at a price.

  4. Bob Jahn October 3, 2008 at 6:21 pm #

    Lubrication at this time of day means beer, and I’m ready for one. Later it’s a totally different thing.

    Now that you mention it, you are correct that mom’s would slide that card if they needed to and if the product was offered. However, the really smart mom has already purchased individual DVD players for each kid with noise cancelling headphones and/or portable games that are packed in the childs backpack. Snacks galore and they would be set.
    If I ever have kids, I will be planning ahead. Too many red-eyes with screaming children have made me aware that even at night, kids need stuff to do… especially while I’m sleeping!

  5. sturmovik October 6, 2008 at 2:09 pm #

    Wasn’t EK planning something of this sort a while ago? IIRC there was a thread on about how they were planning to save weight on their A380s by going paperless in the cabin, with all info moving on to the IFE.