Now Arriving at Baggage Claim: Ads

On our recent trip to the West Coast, the airline (let’s call them “United”) managed to misplace our luggage—a slightly scuffed Marc Newson for Samsonite wheelie—on the way there and the way back. We spent what seemed like hours staring at the emptying conveyor belt with a growing mix of anger (at the airline) and fear (for our cache of imported periodicals, granola bars, and Tomas Maier beachwear). Next time, we may be able to associate that fear and anger with a procession of advertisements! At least that’s the vision of DoubleTake Marketing, the company behind “patent-pending AdSpressive Graphics” (note that “AdSpressive” is trademarked and without the InternaCap sounds vaguely pharmaceutical).

“It is our goal to ensure delivery of your advertising message to a captive audience while they wait for luggage to arrive from the plane,” notes the company’s website. “The impact of these graphics is undeniable.” And that impact, whether positive or negative, is probably coming to an airport near you. According to USA Today, the Kansas City, Seattle-Tacoma, and Omaha airports have already signed on to place ads on their baggage carousels, and 13 other airports—including Atlanta, Boston Logan, and Philadelphia—plan to do so. We’re already nostalgic for the days when all there was to do at the baggage claim was stare at the black suitcase repurposed as a cheeky sign warning that many bags look alike.