Wednesday, January 7, 2015

What makes a great in-flight magazine?

EDIT: I'm working out some kinks with the audio embed, so in the meantime please enjoy listening to the episode here.

Today's post is one I've been pondering for a while, ever since I heard this radio show from Monocle's The Stack. The programme is a great one for analysing where printed media stands, and while it can sometimes see that blogging and today's travel universe couldn't be farther fromt the paper-and-ink world of magazines, they've done a great job discussing the importance of in-flight magazines. 

I've edited a loyalty magazine before, though not for an airline. As far as I'm concerned, a good in-flight magazine in part heritage object, conveying the personality of the airline, as well as being a marketing piece that gives the passenger a sense that they are in good hands, being cared for by professionals who work within a well-designed, high-quality world. Paper stock matters, having enough text to properly entertain you on a flight matters, giving a sense of adventure and excitement about a journey matters, and the feeling of being spoiled matters.

A bad in-flight magazine is an afterthought. It's in only one language, it doesn't reference the fact that you are flying at the moment you read it, it doesn't pass on a sense of excitement and wonder about the world. A bad in-flight magazine tells you nothing about the airline that published it, and in the worst cases (Ryanair...), it is recycled and recycled until you get a creased, unloved piece of trash that makes you question the very cleanliness of your aircraft.

Check out the show above, and let me know in the comments, or on TwitterGoogle+, or by email, what you think makes for a good in-flight reading experience.

Original image via Cambridge Journals

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