Skift Take

Spirit Airlines' all-encompassing inflight advertising program is totally in keeping with the airline's culture. Whether it is charging passengers myriad fees or offering advertisers the chance to place their logos on everything from flight attendants' aprons to window panels, no revenue opportunity is ignored.

Lots of airlines offer advertising on napkins and boarding passes, but Spirit Airlines is setting a new standard for sponsorship.

It is now giving marketers access to the entirety of its planes — a plane wrap ($400,000 for one plane for the year), window panels, bulkheads, overhead bins, tray tables, inflight menus, flight attendants’ aprons, and Styrofoam cups.

Even the barf bags — also known air sickness bags — are available for branding purposes. An outlay of $30,000 provides the opportunity of spread your company’s messaging on 150,000 air sickness bags per quarter.

Skift obtained the Spirit Airlines onboard advertising rate card (see below for a pricing chart and the gallery above for images of some of the advertising vehicles), and it is clear that the self-styled “ultra-low-cost carrier” hopes to generate advertising revenue from nearly every stationary and moveable object on the plane with the exception of passengers’ foreheads.

Once implemented, Spirit’s inflight ambiance may come to resemble subway cars and trolleys where advertising becomes an obstruction everywhere a passenger gazes.

Remember that Spirit routinely has the lowest rate available on every route it flies, as well as an additional fee for anything it can think of.

Before your company shells out $250,000 per quarter (production and installation included) to run ads on 1,544 window panels in Spirit’s fleet, consider that Spirit’s customers “skew female,” are 25 to 54 years old on average, are ethnically diverse, and their household income averages more than $100,000.

There are plenty of considerations and tradeoffs. For example, is it more cost-effective to spend $160,000 per quarter to be the exclusive advertiser on Spirit’s tray tables, or to spend $25,000 for advertising on 1,100 aprons. Do that math, and calculate ROI.

Spirit Airlines is renowned for charging passengers optional fees for everything from carryon bags and checked bags to boarding passes at the ticket counter and reservations over the phone.

Now, the pitch to advertisers really rounds out the revenue-generation picture.

Following are most of Spirit’s onboard advertising rates, and we imagine they are subject to negotiation.

Spirit Airlines Onboard Advertising Rate Card

Advertising Item Quantity Per Quarter Cost Per Quarter
Styrofoam Cups 250000 $25000
Aprons 1100 $25000
Air Sick Bags 150000 $30000
Boarding Passes 1000000 $30000
Ticket Jackets 400000 $45000
Clear Cups 600000 $55000
Overhead Bins (All bins/all A319s, A321s) 940 $225000
Beverage Napkins 3500000 $60000
Inflight Menu 50000 $60000
Seatback Inserts 70000 $60000
Tray Tables (Exclusive, all trays) 5790 $160000
Bulkheads 126 $130000
Window Panels 1544 $250000
Plane Wrap (6 months) 1 $300000
Plane Wrap (1 year) 1 $400000

Note: The cost per quarter includes production and installation with the exception of the rate for seatback inserts, which do not include production costs

Source: Spirit Airlines (January 2013)

The advertising opportunities are boundless. In addition to taking advantage of “a custom-designed wrap of our Airbus aircraft,” Spirit mentions that the advertiser can also organize “an optional media event” for an unveiling ceremony.

And consider the effectiveness of advertising across Spirit’s window panels; they sure do beat certain traditional forms of advertising.

Says Spirit of the window panel advertising: “Every passenger will notice your ad while seated for the duration of their flight. The recall from these window panel ads is unparalleled by any outdoor billboard.”

For more information, see


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Tags: advertising, fees, in-flight, spirit airlines

Photo credit: From Styrofoam cups to plane wraps on its Airbus aircraft, Spirit Airlines is turning inflight assets into advertising opportunities at an unprecedented clip. Spirit Airlines

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