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SkyMall Lands in Bankruptcy, Social Media Pays Tribute to Kooky In-Flight Magazine

The in-flight retailer fell victim to the ”increased use of electronic devices on planes,“ says CFO, and travelers including Chrissy Teigen are not happy

SkyMall Magazine, which for years has tempted airline passengers with outlandish products such as wind surfing skateboards and dog raincoats, filed for bankruptcy on Friday.

“With the increased use of electronic devices on planes, fewer people browsed the SkyMall in-flight catalog,” said Scott Wiley, Chief Financial Officer of SkyMall parent company Xhibit, in the filing.

“The substantial increase in the number of air carriers which provide Internet access, and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s recent decision to allow the use of electronic devices during take-off and landing, resulted in additional competition from e-commerce retailers and additional competition for the attention of passengers, all of which further negatively impacted SkyMall’s catalog sales.”

Found in the seat backs on most planes and with an annual circulation of around 20 million, the Phoenix-based quarterly magazine was launched in 1990 and captured the attention of around 650 million air travelers each year. However, it has now fallen victim to changing aviation rules that allow  travelers to use smartphones and tablets throughout flights.

The SkyMall business generated approximately $33.7 million in 2012 revenue, but that dropped to $15.8 million for the nine months that ended Sept. 28, according to the filing.

The news of the iconic in-flight magazine’s demise took flight across social media, and few seemed more upset than model Chrissy Teigen, who tweeted:

Likewise, singer Josh Groban chimed in with this Tweet:

Unfortunately, it looks like the Groban family will not be getting their own paper towel holder/USB dock any time soon.    

Keep scrolling to see other reactions to the SkyMall bankruptcy announcement.