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That is almost as bad as the clear tray they have at the Food Court at Westlake Center now. Clear so you can see the stupid ad that they have installed on the top of the damn tables now. GRRRRRRR!!!!!!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | April 8, 2008 9:51 AM

Set it on fire.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 8, 2008 9:53 AM

Will this actually increase product awareness for Verizon? If so, will it increase sales? I'm just not sure how many people listen to their airline food trays for advice on wireless service.

Posted by racerx | April 8, 2008 9:57 AM

Dan, I'm surprised you haven't commented on the advertisements for the zappo online shoe store that are plastered at the bottom of the trays you throw your shoes in before passing through x-ray inspection. Talk about adding insult to injury.

Posted by Ivan Cockrum | April 8, 2008 10:01 AM

You shoulda drawn a penis on the Verizon guy.

Posted by DOUG. | April 8, 2008 10:06 AM

I'd like to personally tattoo the verizon guy's image on the cornea of the airline exec who approved this atrocity.

Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | April 8, 2008 10:13 AM

Dan, America West (US Airways) has been doing this since 2005. Others do it now, too.

Check out this shill copy from a company selling the space on those tray tables:

Meal Tray Table Ads - America West only.
Finally an advertisement medium that can't be ignored. Over 98% of travelers use their tray on flights over one hour. With 69.5% Business Travelers and Median Household income of $129,000 and over 91% own a primary residence... you won't want to miss this opportunity. Top 10 markets are: NY, Los Angeles CA, IL, PA, San Francisco CA, MA, TX, DC, GA and MI.

Hey Dan -- you're part of an unmissable opportunity! How cool is that? Maybe you, the BF and the kid should go out tonight and celebrate that fact! Woot!

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | April 8, 2008 10:22 AM

So, what airline was it? Choosy fliers want to know.

Posted by anonymous | April 8, 2008 10:24 AM

I should start a business selling tray-sized doilies in airports to cover the ads. I wonder if I'd be allowed to sell them on the plane.

Posted by Fnarf | April 8, 2008 10:34 AM


Top Ten Markets: ... MI


Well, ok. If they say so. Michigan doesn't have much spending money right now.

Posted by TheMisanthrope | April 8, 2008 10:59 AM


You could market that to germophobes too. Who's to say that those things get cleaned regularly?

Posted by keshmeshi | April 8, 2008 11:00 AM

This quote from Futurama seems appropriate:

Leela: Didn't you have ads in the 21st century?"
Fry: Well sure, but not in our dreams. Only on TV and radio, and in magazines, and movies, and at ball games... and on buses and milk cartons and t-shirts, and bananas and written on the sky. But not in dreams, no siree.

Posted by Ash Grimm | April 8, 2008 11:03 AM

This is sorta like the pot calling the kettle names, isn't it, Dan? The Slog takes forever to load on my computer while Slog advertising is retrieved from the agency for posting to my computer screen. Then the damn things start blinking!

Posted by orson | April 8, 2008 11:55 AM

I would hope Southwest doesn't follow suit.

The sort of cluelessness that produces these ideas is exactly the sort of cluelessness that has slowly driven the airline industry into the ground.

Posted by Gomez | April 8, 2008 12:16 PM

I see a lot of mustaches and alien antennae in their future ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 8, 2008 12:39 PM

The term "captive audience" comes to mind?

Posted by Andy Niable | April 8, 2008 2:42 PM
Posted by still a computer dumb dumb | April 8, 2008 2:44 PM

@12, this month's Wired has an article about hypersonic sound and how the next civil rights battle will be over the mind. The article starts with how the author was walking down a street in Manhattan and suddenly he hears a woman's voice--in his head. It's an ad for an A&E show.

In the future not even our minds are safe from Verizon ads! "Can you hear me now?"

Posted by PopTart | April 8, 2008 3:00 PM

Uh... 13?

"Someone that works at the Stranger—which smears ads all over our print edition and website—isn’t really in any position to bitch about someone else, in this case an airline, forcing folks to look at advertisements."

That's from the post you just... read?

Posted by Dan Savage | April 8, 2008 3:11 PM

I stole a poster above a urinal advertising condos on lake michigan. the advertisement was hanging in the mexican place along 1st ave thats down a flight of stairs. talk about misplaced advert; why the fuck would anyone in Seattle Washington buy a condo in Wisconsin on Lake Michigan

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 8, 2008 4:26 PM

Never felt like writing on an airline tray table with a Sharpie marker... until now.

Posted by CP | April 8, 2008 5:25 PM

And the money they make on selling that ad space, they invested in RFID chip luggage tags so that they luggage sorting/luggage finding process could become much closer to error-free?

Riiiiiiight. ; )

Okay, how about a free little bag of chips, then?

Eh, probably not that, either.

Posted by CP | April 8, 2008 5:28 PM

The ad revenue will enable the airlines to compete for our business by lowering fares. The ones with ads will be in a stronger position to undercut the ones without ads. I'd rather pay less for a ticket and stare at an ad than pay more and have a blank tray, which is always smudged with the last passenger's meal anyway making it not so blank after all.

Posted by Sheri | April 8, 2008 6:21 PM

Orson @ 13:

Any damn fool can get Firefox for free and the Adblocker add-on for free. You don't ever have to look at ads online if you don't want to.

I sure don't, and why should I? I loathe advertising in all forms. If people like Sheri @ 23 want to look at ads, they can. But blocking online ads gets easier every day.

Posted by ivan | April 9, 2008 7:06 AM

Oh, Dan! I thought I was the only one who ordered seltzer on planes...that's hot.

Posted by maegan | April 9, 2008 9:11 AM

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