There's seemingly no limit to airlines' attempts to generate revenue.
AirTran is selling ad space on the bottom of seat-back tray tables, and bloggers are having lots of fun with this.
"Since you've got to lock that puppy up for taking off and landing, and for any time you don't want to bang your knees on the tray in flight, those ads are going to get plenty of 'air' time," Bryce Longton wrote at BlackBook.
What’s next? Selling ad space on the outside of the plane? It turns out that’s been done -- by Skybus and Ryanair.
The new ads, which will appear soon in all 138 AirTran planes, were purchased by Mother Nature Network to promote a chance to win a Royal Caribbean cruise. Tom Johansmeyer of Gadling said subsequent ads in the 2.5-by-9-inch space will also be travel-related. (Meanwhile, The Associated Press reports, ads promoting alcohol, cigarettes and strip clubs won’t be allowed.)
However, Bryce suggested five other products he thinks would be a good fit as well, including the Slanket (a Snuggie competitor), Bose noise-canceling headphones, Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader, and JetBlue. "What better way to steal business from your competitor than to advertise on their turf? 'You could be watching 36 channels of DirecTV instead of reading this ad!'" Bryce writes.
Distributing a huge catalog no longer makes sense in the Internet world.
J.C. Penney’s fall/winter Big Book is the last of its kind, as the once robust publication joins the Sears Roebuck & Co. catalog in the big recycling bin in the sky.
- Bing: Vintage Sears catalogs
“The Internet has made the 1,000-page shopping venue obsolete, and printing and transportation costs have been rising annually. The move also improves Penney's environmental footprint, reducing its catalog paper use by 30% next year,” The Dallas Morning News reports. (These are truths that keep newspaper publishers awake at night.)
Much slimmer catalogs will still be mailed to targeted audiences, but their aim will be to direct people to Penney stores or to jcp.com, rather than pick up the phone and place an order.
Big catalogs, thicker and heavier than the phone book in most towns, have a warm and fuzzy place in many people’s personal histories, the Morning News observes.
The way we pay for cell phone service doesn't make sense.
Would you rather pay $399 now and $20 a month for two years, or $199 now and $30 a month for two years? If you are a rational consumer, you probably prefer the $399 deal. The other one is like a $200 loan at 20% interest.
And yet, according to a long and meandering article from The New York Times on the madness of cell phone pricing schemes, we wacky Americans preferred the iPhone at $199 with a $30 data plan over the previous deal of $399 with a $20 plan. I’m not sure I buy that. IPhone sales could have increased for a number of reasons, including the fact that the $199 phone was an upgraded version. Still, the Times piece does bring up a number of peculiarities about the economics of cell phones.
Target, Wal-Mart have the bargains to beat this year
The ad, which comes six days ahead of schedule, contains a number of hot early-bird specials (5 a.m. to 11 a.m.), while supplies last:
Is the rising werewolf a victim of the recession or an empowered creature fighting back?
Are you wondering why you’re hearing so much about werewolves lately?
It’s the recession, say Bob Powers and Ritch Duncan, authors of "The Werewolf’s Guide To Life -- A Manual For The Newly Bitten."
The story of the werewolf is about personal struggle over adversity. No one chooses to become a werewolf. You're afflicted with the condition as a result of dumb luck. If you're unlucky enough to be walking down the wrong wooded path when the moon is full, a hungry werewolf just might jump out and change your life forever. The werewolf has no concern for how much money you have in the bank or how many people are counting on you, and he definitely isn't concerned with how attractive you might be. Anyone can be turned.
Many Americans are dealing with a similar feeling of helplessness as they study their bank accounts and listen to the workplace rumors about more layoffs coming down the pike. The pervasive feeling is that at any moment, a little bad luck can send everything spiraling out of control.
The reality of the werewolf lifestyle is all about making do, and finding a way to keep in control.
The vampire, so popular just a few years ago, has gone the way of the spendthrift years of the middle 00s, “when money flowed like blood from a jugular and no one had any idea that the vein might run dry.” Vampires, Powers and Duncan say, are the elite, a “creature of the country club.”
Plus 4 secret spendthrift confessions.
From time to time, I take inventory of my frugal habits. This review helps fine-tune my money-saving strategies.
Here is my latest list of 25 frugal things I do, plus a few spendthrift habits. It's a tradition I've picked up from my friend Dawn at Frugal for Life.
Some deals good only today or through Thursday.
If you decided at the last minute you’d like to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, you may get a pleasant surprise: A number of airlines have put tickets on sale for holiday travel.
Midwest is offering round-trip fares starting at $108, and Smarter Travel found that fare was being matched or beaten on most routes by AirTran, Frontier, Northwest, Continental, American, United, and Delta.
Airlines experiment with onboard shopping.
One of our favorite things to do on an airplane is read SkyMall magazine, which is really a catalog full of products you’ve never heard of but now you’ve seen them, you absolutely, really, truly need them.
We’ve never actually ordered anything, but the fantasy is fun.
Now American Airlines is hoping it can persuade customers to go beyond browsing and actually buy things on board, beyond sandwiches and drinks. The airline is calculating that it can make some money off a captive audience, The New York Times reports.
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
ABOUT SMART SPENDING
LATEST BLOG POSTS
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's complaint database highlights the worst problems people have with collectors.
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
BLOGS WE LIKE
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'