What Happened to SkyMall Magazine?

It's back in digital, so get ready for some serious tarmac shopping. Read More

What happened to SkyMall? It's back – in digital. (Source Shutterstock / alex_sweetest)

If you had the distinct privilege of flying in the ’90s and early ’00s, you were likely very much accustomed to seeing a dog-eared copy of SkyMall Magazine in the seatback pockets of every airplane. It was arguably more popular than the airline’s own magazine — a shopper’s fever dream, filled with the odd, the useless, and the occasionally useful.

Then 2015 hit and the magazine’s parent company filed for bankruptcy. Suddenly, we were disoriented and sad — how would we handle our takeoffs and landings without zombie gnomes and inflatable clocks? An era had ended.

If you’re one of those people who still reaches for a SkyMall while sitting on the tarmac, I’ve got some joyous news for you: SkyMall is returning.

Actually, to be more precise, SkyMall has already returned. You see, parent company C & A Marketing decided to relaunch the brand with a few tweaks. The new-and-improved SkyMall offers the old gadgets and gizmos, plus a lot of new inventory. As their website reads:

“Our full catalog (and then some!) joined the online shopping game and now we’re even better able to offer customers products and gadgets and tools and devices they once only dreamed of—not to mention more than a handful of items you never realized you needed until now.”

What does that mean for you air-bound jetsetters? Well, the print magazine is still out the window, but I suppose that’s just as well. Now, we can use our phones to flip through the essential and ridiculous — stretching from the life-critical VR headset to inflatable solar lanterns (they like inflatable stuff, I guess). There’s even a rewards program to encourage constant shopping; spend $1 and get $.05 in credit at SkyMall.com.

All of this prompts the question: How is this any different than Amazon or similar online retailers? It’s not, really. The big differentiator these days is the quirky inventory that SkyMall continues to stock; at least if we crave something truly bizarre, we know where to look.

With that, we’ll leave you with some truly odd inspiration from SkyMall Magazine:

Laptop Beverage Holder: For those moments when you don’t have access to a table but you do have a steaming hot thermos of coffee and cannot possibly set it on the ground next to you.

Aquabells Mini Travel Weights: For pumping iron — er, water — when you wouldn’t even think of visiting the hotel gym. Yep, as seen on TV.

Just fill these puppies with water and you've got the makings of a sloshy workout. (Source: SkyMall.com)
Just fill these puppies with water and you’ve got the makings of a sloshy workout. (Source: SkyMall.com)

Full-size Electric Guitar: For those plane-stalled-on-runway moments when you think to yourself, “I always wanted to learn how to play that one Eric Clapton song.”

Memory Foam Console Arm Rest: Because the worst part of driving is not having anywhere to put your elbow.

Cap Washer: You know all those dirty baseball caps you throw away? ALL of them. No longer; this cap frame ensures you’ll remember to wash them and ensures they’ll keep their shape when you do.

Dog in Dog Bed: A real pet without the realness. Or expense. But it breathes! To be honest, we’re not really sure what this is about, but it’s kind of cute.

Your kids will love being toted around on the back of your luggage. (Source: SkyMall.com)
Your kids will love being toted around on the back of your luggage. (Source: SkyMall.com)

Paint Tube Ringer: For getting that last little bit of paint if you don’t happen to have thumbs.

Ride-on Carry-On: If you’d rather drag than carry your kids when you get to the airport, this ingenious doodad will accommodate you.

Want more? We know you do. Bookmark skymall.com and ready your thumbs for some browsing the next time you board a plane. It will make every delay, cancellation, and reschedule worth it.