I knew it would happen sooner or later.
I guess I’m just disappointed that I didn’t come up with it myself. I should have. I average visiting at least two airports a week. Sometimes I manage to waltz through six to eight airports in a week’s time. Do you have any idea what that means as far as boarding passes, Nathan’s Hot Dogs, lost bags, turnstiles, delayed flights, newspapers, and security bins? Mind boggling. However, it’s often easy to start taking all of these things for granted, which makes it very difficult for even the most creative person to recognize the potential that surrounds us every day.
For instance, I mentioned security bins. In all seriousness, I can’t even begin to imagine how many times I’ve grabbed one of those extraordinarily durable, dull grey or white 12-inch by 17-inch plastic bins that have, over the years, held just about everything man’s mind can conceive.
However, I never once visualized the monumental financial potential sitting there right in front of me as I filled it with my laptop, shoes, coat, belt, watch, wallet, change, cell phone, and anything else that my favorite TSA (Transportation Security Administration) shadow might detect should I not declare it. Moments later, after passing through the secret tunnel of darkness and technology, I would proceed to retrieve my personal property from that plastic monstrosity as I rushed off to another flight. Again, I missed the obvious. Sadly, someone else recognized it and acted upon it.
Someone must have been thinking billboards when they came up with the idea of selling ads printed on durable paper to be glued inside every one of those millions of security bins scattered across the nation. In fact, I’m sure it won’t be long before they can be found world wide.
The TSA has agreed to authorize this new method of advertising and is expecting to share the wealth with competing advertising companies. Of course, the TSA plans to benefit greatly as it requires vendors to stock airport checkpoints with new bins, carts, and stainless steel tables.
A pilot ad program began in July of last year at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). They began with Rolodex ads, but you can soon expect to see anything from peanut butter to luxury cars. Research reveals that these bin ads can be sold for $250,000 to $500,000 per year! Think about the number of airports across the country that would be interested in additional income at the expense of the vendors wanting to advertise. The potential is unlimited and will obviously give us passengers something else to read as we await the always late flight from wherever.