Airline magazines

By | Category: Travel rumblings

Airline magazines can tell you quite a bit about how their passengers are seen by potential advertisers. Flick through Chinese airline magazines and the first dozen pages or so are usually dominated by ads for whisky!

The in-flight magazine of China Eastern

They are important revenue earners for airlines. If they weren’t then airlines would get rid of them to cut down on the weight carried on an aircraft. In consequence that would lead to a reduction in fuel being used and that would mean a larger profit.

So it was with a little surprise that I saw the results of some research commissioned by Kenwood Travel. Surveying 1,000 people, a majority – 56% – said that they would be happy for airlines to ditch these complimentary mags, if it meant less costly flights.  Obviously these people think that the mags are there just for the delight of travellers whereas few airlines would publish an unprofitable magazine for long,

The people interviewed for the research seem to be cost conscious because 12%  also said that they would accept it if airlines no longer offered free food and drink, as long as this meant cheaper flights. I, on the other hand, would always prefer to bring my own food whether airline food was free or not.

But responders aren’t cost conscious about everything. 80% would enjoy watching the seat-back TV or movies rather than using their own devices, even if it meant airlines could offer cheaper flights if they ditched in-flight entertainment and wifi.

When it comes to seating and hand luggage, the majority of British holidaymakers would not sacrifice these, even if it meant cheaper flights. Only 8% said they would be happy to swap reclining seats for cheap seats, and just 5% would forgo the free seat choice option, in return for cheaper flights. According to the survey, the ability to carry hand luggage free of charge is most important to travellers, with only 2% saying they would happily pay extra for this service, even if it meant the flight was cheaper.

It looks as though responders think free hand luggage, seat choice and reclining seats, essential items but can’t see that the magazine and the substantial revenue it brings worthwhile!

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