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Fri, Apr 01, 2011

Airlines Add Commercials To Cockpit Announcements

Cockpit Naming Rights Also Being Considered

ANN April 1st Special Edition: Several major airlines announced Friday that, as of April 1st, announcements from the cockpit will be preceded by a commercial. Airline executives said they had several major sponsors lined up for the launch of the service.

"Nothing is more American than advertising," said American Airlines CEO Gerard J. Arpey (pictured, above). "It only makes sense that, with 50-400 captive sets of ears in the back that we'd be able to make a significant impact on the buying public."

"Pilots are known for their smooth delivery in their "this is your captain speaking" announcements," added Jeffery A. Smisek, president and CEO of United Continental Holdings. "The smooth, usually baritone, measured delivery telling the passengers that "we're about to experience a little turbulence" is a natural for selling shampoo or floor wax. To return the airline to profitability, we had to think outside the box. There are only so many fees with which you can gouge ... er ... ask your customers to pay."

A Southwest employee speaking on condition on anonymity said the low-fare carrier is also considering selling the naming rights to its cockpits. "We've got to do something to keep up," the employee said. A sample script sent to ANN has captains saying "Good afternoon ladies and gentleman, from the Geico Flight Deck, this is captain ______________, and I'm assisted here in the Geico cockpit by first officer ___________________, ...".

Jeppesen is reportedly working on a teleprompter iPad app for inclusion in its electronic flight bag.

"Advertising is here to stay, and it's included in everything," said Delta CEO Richard H. Anderson (pictured, above), who said the Atlanta-based carrier has already locked up a deal with fellow Atlanta company Coca Cola. Anderson said the deal is not only for cockpit announcements, but also for new livery to have Delta jets painted like bottles of Coke.

FMI: www.aa.com, www.unitedcontinentalholdings.com, www.southwest.com, www.delta.com

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