Oct. 6, 2010 -- The maker of a travel clothing line known for its ample number of pockets says Delta Air Lines censored and rejected one of his in-flight magazine ads that criticized the airline's baggage fees.
Scott Jordan, CEO of ScotteVest, recently ran an ad in the New York Times Travel Magazine for his 26-pocket jacket titled: The Most Stylish Way to Beat the System. Underneath, it said that the jacket helped you stay organized and "avoid extra baggage fees."
Apparently, that was not appropriate for Delta which said the full-page ad did not meet the creative standards of its Sky Magazine.
"Our discrepancy with this particular vendor was strictly based on creative standards. The submitted advertisement implied this product could help passengers avoid baggage fees, particularly for carry-on items," said Delta spokeswoman Heather Faulkner. "Delta Air Lines has no fees for any carry-on baggage, therefore this could be potentially misleading to our customers."
Faulkner said ScotteVest is welcome to advertise in Sky Magazine if it provides an ad that accurately represents the airline's policies.
Jordan notes that the ad, which features an x-ray view of a ScotteVest carrying an iPhone, iPad, passport, mints and other small items, never mentioned carry-on fees. (For the record: Spirit Airlines is the only carrier currently charging such a fee.)
"Since Delta -- and other airlines -- limit passengers to one carry-on bag not to exceed a certain size, once you fill up that carry-on bag, you have no other choice other than to put your added stuff in another bag, which you then must check for a fee," Jordan told ABC News.
Avoiding Airline Fees
He said there is nothing inaccurate or misleading about the ad. Jordan said the airline asked his company to make several tweaks to the ad, including the lines about beating the system and avoiding extra baggage fees. He refused and has since been getting lots of free publicity thanks to a YouTube rant and several popular blogs that have detailed his rejection.
ScotteVest is trying to push the fewer-bags approach to travel. The company is currently sponsoring a travel writer's around-the-world trip without luggage.
Jordan said that Delta's rejection of his ad is just another sign of how out of touch the airlines are with an American public fed up with fees.
Last year, U.S. airlines took in more than $7.8 billion in baggage and other types of fees from passengers, according to the Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics. This year, fees have been growing at an even faster pace.
"What's next?" Jordan asked, "charging by the number of pockets or weight of the passenger fully dressed?"