By the way, advertising on planes isn't exactly new: US Airways has had ads on tray tables, while late last year, AirTran announced plans to place advertising on the undersides of the tables; their first ad was for Mother Nature Network, a website devoted to environmental issues. I wonder if that would have worked on the window panels that Spirit is selling as ad space; better that than an ad for a suicide hotline, I suppose. ("Don't jump!")
And let's not forget aircraft exteriors -- you can purchase that space from Spirit as well.
Airlines have been decorating their aircraft for years with everything from professional sports team logos (American Airlines, for example, was 2009's "Official Airline of the New England Patriots") to stiletto-heeled bathing beauties on planes (AirTran "partnered" with Sports Illustrated to celebrate the annual swimsuit edition, naturally).
I have no doubt the crack marketing and sales teams at Spirit will go them all one better. After all, these are the folks who introduced the world to the "pre-reclined" airplane seat which according to all the news reports I've seen, is a seat that does not recline. Now that's genius.
Let's see, Spirit is also selling ad space on beverage carts and drinking cups and boarding passes. What's left to sell?
Some of you cynics out there may be saying, "their soul." Now, now. Besides, based on the reaction from some in Congress, I think they might have already done that when Spirit began charging for carry-on bags.
This work is the opinion of the columnist and does not reflect the opinion of ABC News.
Rick Seaney is one of the country's leading experts on airfare, giving interviews and analysis to news organizations that include ABC News, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, the Associated Press and Bloomberg. His website, FareCompare.com, offers consumers free, new-generation software, combined with expert insider tips to find the best airline ticket deals.