Travel Blog • Eva Holland • 01.29.15 | 8:09 AM ET
The company behind everyone’s favorite in-flight catalogue filed for bankruptcy last week. It’s not 100% clear yet if this spells the end for SkyMall’s presence on our flights—a Shark Tank savior may be riding to its rescue—but the Washington Post’s Paul Farhi went ahead and wrote an obituary anyway:
SkyMall was never the first thing you grabbed on a long, dull flight. It was a surrender, coming somewhere over Wyoming, after you’d been softened up by the lulling rhythms of the airline’s official in-flight magazine (“Walt Disney: Man of Vision,” “The San Antonio You Don’t Know,” etc.). It was always there, tucked behind the barf bag and the laminated safety card. Its glossy pages suggested the end limits of material excess. It was never about what you needed, or even about what you’d thought you wanted. SkyMall moved to the apex of the commercial value chain—way past food, shelter and decent clothing—to a capitalist Valhalla of the sublime and the ridiculous.
A few years back, World Hum writer Bill Donahue went to Phoenix to explore SkyMall headquarters. Here’s hoping the catalogue pulls through.