Airline Geekery: My In-Flight Magazine Collection

Collected these in the five months I've lived in Brazil.

It is impossible for me to step off an airplane without purloining that glossy gem filled with perky destination guides, colorful route maps, and ads for the best cosmetic orthodontist in North Atlanta.  I’m a fiend when it comes to in-flight magazines, and I’ve been hoarding them since at least the late 90s, when my collection heavily reflected my Florida-DC flying habits: dog-eared copies of Attaché (USAirways) and Sky (Delta) from before anyone knew what the hell a sudoku was.

Since then, I’ve amassed glossies from every continent through a combination of personal flying, ticket office raids, and harassment of friends and family (“You’re going where?  Could you pretty-please-with-sugar-on-top bring me back the in-flight magazine?  I’m not crazy, I swear”).

I could lie like many Penthouse subscribers and say that I actually read the articles, and sometimes I actually do, but mostly, I just stare intently at the route maps, tracing the red line between places like Frankfurt and Bangalore (then mouthing the word “Bangalore” as if it were an ancient word for “There’s no place like home”).  For me, the route map is the payoff in any in-flight magazine because it’s the very thing that inspires me to take another trip; I get ecstatic that I can be connected to a faraway place via that red line.  Well, with TSA hassles and weather delays thrown into the mix, but you know what I’m saying.

While I know stylish chronicle Monocle loves its Air France Magazine, I’m kind of partial to the Latin American beauties that I’ve picked up over the years.  LAN’s square-shaped in magazine offers sumptuous design, mixing media and typefaces that lift you from the sofa to Santiago and beyond in a too-thin 140 pages.  TAM’s specialized Red Report, offered only on long-haul international flights, posits surprisingly insightful articles by Brazilian writers—New York’s secret bars, the lady wrestlers of La Paz—printed on card stock.  Avianca en revista, from the Colombian airline of the same name, holds the top spot in terms of number of issues I own, while some of the more interesting one-offs are Cubana’s Sol y Son and Fragata, from the Cape Verdean airline TACV.

Love these!

As these monthlies tend to weigh more than my carry-on, my nascent library is housed in three separate locations: the storage shed at my parents’ house in Jacksonville, the closet in the spare room of my friend’s grandmother’s house with whom I used to live in Barranquilla, and my new crib in Brasília.  Some day, I might be in one place long enough to unify the collection, but until then, I pray Moms doesn’t get too happy with the spring cleaning.

Fly Brother’s In-Flight Magazine Roll Call:

  • AeroRepública
  • Air Asia
  • Air Berlin
  • Air Canada
  • Air France
  • Aires
  • AirTran Airways
  • American Airlines
  • Avianca
  • BMI
  • Continental Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Cubana
  • Delta Air Lines
  • Egyptair
  • Etihad Airways
  • Gol
  • Iberia
  • Jet Airways
  • KLM
  • Korean Air
  • LAN
  • Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano
  • Lufthansa
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Malev
  • Qantas
  • Ryanair
  • Santa Barbara Airlines
  • SAS
  • Satena
  • Southwest Airlines
  • TAAG
  • TACA
  • TACV
  • TAM
  • Tiger Airways
  • United Airlines
  • USAirways
  • Varig

Please feel free to contact me if you’d like to contribute any new or used magazines to the collection. 🙂

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12 Responses to Airline Geekery: My In-Flight Magazine Collection

  1. pam says:

    “mouthing the word “Bangalore” as if it were an ancient word for “There’s no place like home””


  2. i mighta maybe just mighta kept a great one we just got from either SAS or Easyjet…if i did, it’s yours.

  3. Ha..I’m kind of surprised you haven’t got a British Airways one!

  4. Lola says:

    That’s quite the collection! You should definitely send in some pitches too.

  5. dana says:

    OMG! You mean I am not the only one who loves inflight magazines??? Like you, I love looking at the route map to ponder my next trip!!

  6. Fly Brother says:

    @Pam: My blog has now been officially commented on by NEV. I’ve arrived!

    @Lisa: Thanks a lot, Madame! When you coming to visit?

    @Blackpacker: I’ve only flown BA once, and I don’t even remember grabbing the mag. Stupid, I know.

    @Lola: Speaking of, I read your Stockholm piece in Hemispheres on my way back east from SFO. I was like, “I know her!”

    @Dana: You know, there’s a rack of airline geeks like us with all kinds of collected paraphernalia: posters, timetables, barf bags. Thanks for stopping thru!

  7. ali la loca says:

    Man, if I’d know about this I’d have totally brought you back a LAM mag from Linhas Aéreas de Moçambique. I have some from South African Airways, but they have articles that are special to me so unfortunately they’re not on the donation list. 😦

  8. Shannon says:

    I always read the In-Flight magazine, but I’ve never thought of taking it. You’re crazy! Just kidding. (I think AirTran has the best articles.)

  9. Fly Brother says:

    @La Loca: AAAWWWWW!!!! I should have said something about it ages ago. 😦 When are you guys coming down? I’m heading to Rio from the 13th-17th of August. You’ve got an email coming your way.

  10. Fly Brother says:

    @Shannon: Wow…I think I’ve flown AirTran maybe once. It was like Greyhound. I much prefer JetBlue. That’s more like Peter Pan. 😉

  11. ali la loca says:

    We’re in Rio starting tomorrow (Wed) through next Thursday, then heading to Angra and back around to SP. I think we’re just going to miss each other!!!

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