Newspaper reading habit is on the wane. There are fewer people now who start their day with a newspaper and a cup of coffee. In the present times, even airlines are also experiencing this. A study recently said that the ritual of newspaper reading is also being skipped by the passengers on board their flights. There are some airlines which offer newspapers to first and business class customers in-flight, but this practice is going to finally stop.
Leading U.S. carrier United Airlines has recently canceled the subscriptions of newspapers, which were being offered to first and business class passengers traveling on international routes. Maddie King, Spokeswoman of United Airlines, said, “Reading habits of people have changed. It was for quite some time being seen that most premium customers were simply not interested in reading newspapers. This might be because of the fact that news is usually consumed on mobile devices when traveling on board the flights. Moreover, this has also become possible as Wi-Fi is available on most flights nowadays.”
King however said the print is not being abandoned entirely by United Airlines. The customers will still be provided a selection of newspapers and magazines in the first and business class lounges of the airline. Apart from this, the airline’s magazine ‘Hemispheres’ would be offered in the travelers’ seat-back pockets.
According to King, United Airlines is providing free access to a wide range of digital publications with the help of an app called ‘Foli’ in its United Clubs. However, the airline currently hasn’t any plans for adding a similar in-flight service in future.
Meanwhile, the customers of United Airlines have also reacted on hearing the news of the cancellation of newspapers subscriptions on board the flights. The customers took to online forum to express their views. Some passengers said that the absence of newspapers in-flight won’t affect them in any way. Few passengers seemed to be disappointed, but weren’t surprised at the airline’s move. Many passengers though said that they were quite happy on reading or consuming news on their smartphones, tablets or laptops.