R.I.P. Sky Mall

by Daniel Nikulin

Chances are, that at some point in your flying life, you took your seat realizing only then that you forgot your reading material. Probably before the laptop and the many other devices that now have a dedicated pocket in every carry-on bag, and definitely before the seat-back in-flight entertainment systems most aircraft are now routinely equipped with, you were left with few options.

You fumbled through the pocket in front of you, searching for something, anything to keep you occupied, and there it was. Sitting perfectly between the airline’s own, less desirable, inflight magazine and the barf bag, the thickest offering in the fold, and unfortunately the now defunct, Sky Mall catalogue.

End of an Era

skymall - cocoonFor more than 30 years, Sky Mall has kept inflight boredom at bay and the silliness sky-high, keeping passengers grinning in amazement that anyone was making, let alone buying the items they were reading about.

Really? A poncho and a pillow? In one? Of course! A Ponchillow!

Sky Mall has filed for bankruptcy protection, for mainly the reasons outlined above, and its biggest creditors are the very airlines who stocked it. Over the years, the catalogue has lost their captive audience to new laws that now allow the use of electronics on board, and Wi-Fi capabilities the airlines will soon roll out en masse. If passengers suddenly feel the need to shop at 35,000 feet, they will do it online.

It’s the end of an era, and I for one will miss the comforting quirk of the rag.

Thanks for the giggles and the company, Sky Mall, you will be missed. May you rest in peace. In a Ponchillow.