Air Transport World

Inflight shopping enters domestic markets.

Inflight shopping enters domestic markets

The airborne boutique may be on its way to joining beverages, meals and audiovisual entertainment as a routine component of inflight service.

Duty free shopping has, of course, been a fixture aboard international airlines for years, and U.S. carriers have finally begun, with varying degrees of success, to go after the revenues that an aggressive duty free program can produce.

Now, in a move that is being watched with great interest--and that is sure to be emulated quickly is successful--TWA is taking the next step by offering passengers on domestic routes the opportunity to browse through and purchase prestige gift and accessory items in flight.

The addition of gift shops to domestic flights is one of several marketing initiatives, among them a cable television travel /shopping channel, launched in early 1987 by new subsidiary TWA Marketing Services Inc.

Joann Capece, VP-airline sales for the subsidiary, told ATW that the carrier began by turning its duty free program over to TWA Marketing Services last November. "We qutted it and remodeled it,' she says, and the greatly expanded Ambassador Boutique program was introduced on Feb. 1. The number of products was nearly doubled to 50, most of them "quality gift-type items' like pearls, silk and cashmere scarves, designer ties and watches, "and those wonderful sounding perfumes like Poison. …

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