View Full Version : Garden Zombie

11th February 2011, 06:46 AM

SkyMall fascinates, entertains travelers

(CNN) -- There are two certainties in airline seat pockets: pretzel crumbs and SkyMall.

And while most travelers try to avoid the mysterious debris left by passengers past, SkyMall has been a welcome addition to the seatback catchalls since the 1990s.

"I found that it was one of those things that anyone who had traveled in the United States kind of knew about," said Mike Barish, a freelance travel writer who reviews SkyMall products for the travel site Gadling. "Some people are in business class; some people are in economy ... some people like to travel, and some people hate it. But everybody knows SkyMall."

The catalog's merchandising team receives hundreds of inquiries every week from vendors, manufacturers and retailers who want their items to be featured, said Joey O'Donnell, customer experience manager for SkyMall.

"We're looking for really special items," O'Donnell said. "We have to look at it and say, 'this solves a problem, and this is so unique. I know our customers will love it.' "

And where else could you purchase a Harry Potter wand, an indoor dog restroom and a fire escape ladder, all from the same place?

The merchandising team has been doing its job so well for so long that it can just look at an item and know it's going to be a winner with SkyMall's audience, O'Donnell said.

"We have this garden zombie -- the size of a person -- crawling out of the ground," he said. "When I saw it, I was like, 'no way.' But sure enough, it became one of our top sellers."

more: http://www.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/02/11/sky.mall.catalog/index.html?hpt=C2