Advertising companies delay your baggage claim with their marketing material

Picture credit: FlyerTalk

The luggage tags causing airline fury. Picture credit:

It’s bad enough we are force-fed advertisement via our social media pages and television but our baggage claim?

Clever advertising companies have found ways to market their products through our luggage and it’s causing major headaches and further delays.

Infact, bjohnsomn, posted this rant on Facebook:

Hello Delta. I’d like to calmly let you know that I am very, VERY mad about your attaching advertising to my checked bag on my flight to SEA tonight. First, last year Delta begins to devlaue the SkyMiles medallion program. Then, free products in the SkyClubs are no longer free. Then, the MQDs roll in. As if that wasn’t enough, we have a new revenue based model coming soon, without a commitment to have the same or greater seats at the lowest, not just lower, level for reward flying. Let’s not also forget the SkyClub devaluation program from the begining of the year. FURTHER, the FCM/FMC program that is leaving fewer and fewer seats for Diamond Medallions to be upgraded. (My flight tonight went from 13 open in first to 0, and I have both Diamond and AMEX RSRV!)… So, until we start seeing a recommitment to loyalty, STOP PUTTING YOUR ADVERTISING ON MY BAG. Do we have an understanding!?!?!?!?

Brian Cohen, a FlyerTalk contributer, questions the rights of passengers versus advertising agencies.

To me, the other changes being implemented to the policies by Delta Air Lines and its Sky Club airport lounges and SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program are irrelevant. The delay of the baggage as a result of the placement of the advertising can even be considered questionable. “I suspect that the 40 minute delay was NOT due to the advertising attached to the bag”, posted FlyerTalk member kmovies. “39:55 to get your bag – no problem; 40:00 to get your bag with an extra tag – huge issue.”

Rather, the question is whether or not an airline should be allowed to attach advertising onto your property without your express permission.

I do not know of any provision in the contract of carriage when flying as a passenger on an airplane operated by a commercial airline which gives the airline consent to attach unsolicited advertising on your baggage — which is considered your personal property.

To me, it is almost as egregious as finding a flyer placed under the windshield wiper outside the front window of your vehicle as it is parked while you are shopping… and it can be mildly irritating as well. In both cases, I would have to remove the unwanted solicitation and properly dispose of it. Although that may consume only a few seconds of my time, I would rather not have to deal with it.

I can understand airlines attempting to increase their revenues in order to maximize their profits — especially when many of them were suffering financially not so many years ago. Advertising was already prominent on ticket jackets, inside the in-flight magazines, on cocktail napkins with every drink served, and via in-flight entertainment; as well as flight attendants hawking credit card applications during a flight or having people competing for your attention in an airport terminal for you to sign up for the latest credit card… and then came the idea of placing advertising on such items aboard the aircraft as tray tables and the overhead bins. I have personally met one of the founders of one company — Global Onboard Partners — whose business is to place advertising both inside and outside commercial aircraft.

I can pretty much ignore the proliferation of advertising which seems to envelop me while I am traveling. Unless there happens to be an offer too good to refuse — such as a significant amount of bonus frequent travel loyalty program points or miles or free nights at a hotel property — the advertisers are wasting their time on me. I am not in the market for a new car nor do I want to apply for yet another credit card.

I would rather the advertisers leave me alone; but hey — they have to eat too. Besides, they have every right to advertise as much as they want as long as they have permission to do so from such entities as airports — and as long as they pay for it. That does not bother me at all.

However, I draw the line at an agent for a for-profit corporation actually placing something of theirs on my personal property. Unless it is absolutely free — and even then I would hesitate — I rarely wear clothing which is little more than free advertising; so it stands to reason that I do not want anyone placing something which potentially benefits them but does not benefit me in the least… especially when it is without my permission or knowledge that it is even happening. I do not even like anyone touching my personal property without my permission — let alone place foreign objects on it for the specific purpose of their financial gain.

You want to advertise on my belongings? Pay me for it. Discount my airfare. Throw in some frequent travel loyalty program miles or points. Give me some incentive to potentially gain from what you want to do…

Read more of Brian Cohen’s observations at FlyerTalk.

Should advertising companies utilize our luggage to promote their products?


About Author

Tracee Tuesday

Tracee Tuesday is a travel writer, radio and television personality.Her mission is to inspire, inform and equip you with information necessary to experience the most amazing trips that are fun, affordable and culturally broadening.In her pastime, Tracee enjoys: white water rafting, astrobiology, zoology, traveling, music, horseback riding, and is an all-out foodie.