There is news today that the Aer Lingus inflight magazine, Cara, is being closed for good. Inflight magazines had been suspended for months on the Irish airline due to fewer services being operated, so this news is perhaps the next logical step.

It begs the question as to whether similar publications will follow suit. Virtually all airlines seem to have a publication of some kind, and thanks to the captive audience, they make good money on advertising.

The Future of Inflight Magazines

According to an article in The Sunday Times, Aer Lingus’ Cara magazine commanded the highest advertising rates of any Irish magazine. How that translates to profit after paying salaries and printing costs is unknown.

With corporations trying to be more sustainable, finding the airline’s publication in the seat pocket may soon be relegated to the past. Some airlines already offer both the printed version on board and an online version of the same thing, so maybe this will be the future.

Quite frankly, I have always found inflight magazines to be uniformly crap. They are stuffed full of advertising and the articles are usually frothy, ephemeral pieces which don’t require much brain power to read (says the guy who writes arguably similar things on occasion!)

The only one I have found with some substance is Business Life at British Airways. With articles on emerging technology and current business trends, I find it actually has content worth reading.

Overall Thoughts

Whether the pandemic has spelled the end for inflight magazines or not still remains to be seen. It is hard to make money in journalism in a world where so much content is free, so for those in that industry let’s hope they stay in one form or another.

I’m curious as to how many people really get anything out of the magazines. Do people actually go to the places mentioned within? Does it actually spark buying behavior for all the watches and so on? I’ve always wondered.

What do you think of inflight magazines? Are you a reader or do you think they’re an anachronism? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.

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Featured image by KCS via Wikimedia Commons.