Corporate Eye

Continental Airlines Teams up with Winstar Interactive to Display Third-Party Ads on

We all know that airlines are struggling financially.  Apparently, charging passengers for baggage, taking away meals, and adding all kinds of fees isn’t enough even though fuel costs have fallen significantly from a year ago.  Still, those airline companies are feeling a pinch.  What to do … what to do?

Never fear!  Naturally, someone came up with a way to bring in some revenue.  Don’t worry, you won’t be charged for the oxygen you use while onboard.  Although, don’t rule it out.

Continental Airlines hopes to make some money by displaying third-party ads on its Web site.  The company is teaming up with Winstar Interactive to monetize its site through ads that will complement the site and feed into the travel/buying mode of visitors. But what does this say about the Continental brand?

What say you?  Brilliant or pathetic?

What do you think of’s strategy to sell ad space to third party advertisers?

I wonder what’s next.  Selling ad space on the inside and outside of airplanes like ads on subway trains and buses?  Or maybe flight attendants should wear uniforms covered in sponsors logos like NASCAR drivers?  Should I be charging for these ideas?

How do you think airlines should try to bring in additional revenue?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts.  Don’t be afraid to think out of the box.  When they bait you like this, it’s hard to resist.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

It’s interesting that you joked about paying for the oxygen you breathe. I was just thinking about new ways the airlines can hit you with fees and thought of the brilliant “Arrive Alive” program where paying the fee for the pressurization and oxygenation of the cabin ensures you survive the flight. Maybe they would just deploy the oxygen masks for paying customers rather than using them only in emergencies.

I had thought of paying for use of the toilet; you know hunting for coins to unlock the restroom door while you’re dancing about with a full bladder, but Ryanair was onto this idea already:

You know I would be willing to shell out a few dollars for pleasant flight attendants. The surliness gets old after a while and I already get that from the TSA screeners.

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