“Thank You For Flying With Us. Would You Like to Buy a Car Today?”

People who fly as passengers aboard aircraft operated by the largest privately-owned airline in China may be able to purchase such items as cosmetics, jewelry and cars as soon as next month, according to an article published by Bloomberg.

Spring Airlines — a low-cost carrier based in Shanghai — plans to start selling automobiles with prices starting at 100,000 yuan, or approximately US$16,000.00…

“Thank You For Flying With Us. Would You Like to Buy a Car Today?”

…and some FlyerTalk members thought that advertisements on tray tables, the doors to overhead bins and printed on boarding passes would annoying and irritating at a minimum. Imagine having some flight attendant hawking wares aboard the aircraft.

Ahh, this is already happening, you say — such as flight attendants selling the American Express card to passengers aboard the aircraft during flights, for example.

I am not initially opposed to an airline attempting to profit in any way possible — in fact, I can completely understand the propensity and desire to profit from a business point of view. However, being seated amongst a sea of advertisements while the in-flight entertainment system advertises a product as a flight attendant aggressively hands you an application to fill out is not exactly my idea of a pleasant flight experience.

As a passenger, you are part of a captive audience whose options of escape from a barrage of advertising are rather limited — especially when the volume of the public address system aboard the airplane is excessively loud throughout the aircraft as it bellows the benefits of the product or service attempting to be sold to you. You cannot control the volume of the public address system aboard the aircraft — and you certainly cannot walk off the aircraft during flight, let alone move around in it when the aircraft is below 10,000 feet or experiencing turbulence. Eye shades and noise-cancelling headphones can only go so far in mitigating the sales pitch, I suppose.


Must I once again consider employing the technique which I used to use as a regular passenger of the subway system in New York whenever I was approached by a panhandler begging for money — instead this time towards a flight attendant during a sales pitch for a product or service? You know — pretend he or she is not there, tuning out the rhetoric, focusing the eyes on an object or appear to be aloof with the brain concentrating on some focal point long ago and far away?

I would, however, expect the sales pitches and advertising more from a low-cost carrier such as Spring Airlines than I would from a legacy airline — especially if the airfare which I pay is significantly less cost than a competing airline. After all, the airline offering that rock-bottom airfare has to recoup its revenue somewhere — and it will not get any ancillary fee income from passengers such as I.

For those of you who have never heard of Spring Airlines — and please count me amongst you — FlyerTalk member moondog posted a trip report several months ago detailing the overall experience, including using the official Internet web site of Spring Airlines, communications with its employees, check-in, as well as the flight itself. Additional opinions pertaining to Spring Airlines are included in this recent discussion pertaining to booking domestic tickets in China.

Assuming that you are willing to experience being a passenger on a low-cost carrier, would you mind flight attendants attempting to hawk products and services to you? How do you feel about this idea?

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