Delta Sky Magazine Lays Off Its Entire Staff

Delta’s current inflight magazine Delta Sky launched in 2009. The magazine was outsourced, published by MSP Communications. It used Delta’s brand, was distributed on Delta aircraft, and Delta’s media team promotes it on the website. It’s always been presented as Delta’s:

However writers were not Delta employees. Now they’ve lost their jobs.

The $58 billion airline bailout will require carriers accepting money not to lay off their staff until October 1. However these protections do not apply to contractors, or employees of partners.

An early move by US Airways management after taking over the airline was to outsource American Way magazine. At the time I hadn’t realized it was being produced in-house, except that The Onion once suggested that the airline stop flying passengers to focus on its core magazine business.

At the moment, without passengers flying, there aren’t many people to advertise to – and ad revenue was the reason for producing the content. As SkyMall learned, inflight internet and personal entertainment devices mean there’s no longer a captive audience for selling inflight. Nonetheless, these magazines survived. I have to think Delta’s won’t be the only casualty.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Does anyone ever read them? The magazines were (are) probably covered in germs. The few times I read it I noticed right away that it was 100% advertorial — all the writing was pay-to-play. The destinations that bought ads got feature articles written about them.

  2. Is that the same woman who spoke about not smoking in lavatories on the airplane?
    Very good now and then.

  3. I think after all the Chinese coronavirus dust has settled we will find that a lot of the things we thought were useful or necessary will be found not to be. Not just in-flight magazines. Bad news for the folk providing those products and services.

  4. Without the Delta Sky Magazine, some Delta 360 and Diamond Medallion elite frequent fliers had better start hoarding toilet paper.

  5. @FNT Delta Diamond, those magazines served a VERY important purpose, much like any printed newspaper in the last ~20 years: 1)Lining the bottom of a birdcage, or 2)Protecting the floor while housetraining a new puppy

  6. @Woofie @Roberta — can you please let me know the names of your local newspapers. I will scan the obituaries section for your names, and when it comes time, I will drop a big deuce on your grave. It’s the only proper way to celebrate the end of your vile racism.

    Please remember to also leave for me some of the toilet paper that you hoarded.

  7. @Jason, these folks will likely succumb to the Trump Pandemic, but won’t know til it’s too late with their heads in the sand.

  8. Before MSP did the work, Sky was published by Pace Communications since 1995. Pace started business in 1973 doing the Piedmont magazine – remember that Piedmont was the “Route of the Pacemakers”. Pace later did the USAir magazine (post Piedmont merger) and Hemispheres for UA.

  9. As for the content of the magazine, I mostly used it for finding out what the current beverage offerings were. Going back decades, Braniff’s magazine even had a bridge column.

  10. The Chinese Originated Viral Infectious Disease 2019 or COVID-19 for short which originated in Wuhan China will have long term ramifications for everyone. I think it will show us how certain things like airlines magazines and some business travel are unnecessary. It teaches us that social distancing is not a joke but a good way to keep people safe not just now but in the future. Handshakes hopefully will be discouraged. It will alter the growth of travel blogs and make people more skeptical because we can’t always assume unlimited uninhibited and unrestricted travel. The Spanish Flu happened in a much different time and I think the effects of the Chinese Originated Viral Infectious Disease 2019 will be greater even though the deaths will be much smaller.

    With kids staying at home maybe parents will realize there really is no difference in intellectual development at home or in school. Curious and naturally smart kids will seek out knowledge online from multiple sources and learn. They can be kids and play at home rather than sitting in a classroom 7 hours a day instructed and programmed according to a government mandated curriculum and forced to wake up at 7AM. Maybe parents will sit in on a virtual lesson and realize how dumb many of these teachers are. Dumb kids will do as well at home as when they were in school and no amount of money spent on school funding will change cognitive ability. Intelligence is a function of genetics and with so many online sources does not take 7 hours a day 5 days a week in a classroom to cultivate for those who are receptive. School is daycare.

  11. @Jackson Aimson “COVID” stands for “COrona VIrus Disease,” but you don’t seem like the kind of guy that ever let’s the facts get in the way of a good story.

  12. @Jackson: Perhaps one of your kids “dumb…teachers” taught you the definition of COVID??

  13. Were these magazines covered in more germs than shopping carts, or shopping baskets, or door knobs or debit card readers or gas pumps or scores of other objects that see WAY more traffic than an airplane? I doubt it. Germs are part of life. Why are we acting like we forgot that?

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