SkyMall's Crash Landing

How the smartphone and the FAA ended the era of in-flight schlock purchases

Wouldn't you rather be reading a cheesy catalog?

Photographer: Simon Maina/AFP/Getty Images

Your one-stop shop for Lord of the Rings memorabilia, pet ramps, and snake-oil baldness cures is no more. Skymall, the catalog that for years filled the long minutes between takeoff, and permission to turn on your electronic devices, has suspended its catalog, fired almost 50 employees, and filed for bankruptcy. The reason? Apparently, the Federal Aviation Administration's recent decision to let people use small electronic devices during takeoff and landing. Without its captive audience, the catalog couldn't do enough business to survive.

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