Next time you're on a plane, it's possible you'll no longer have the iconic SkyMall magazine as reading material. The parent company behind the whimsical, wonderfully weird catalog — a mainstay in the seat-back pocket of commercial flights for decades — has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. As part of the process (and if a bankruptcy court grants approval), Xhibit Corp will do its best to find a buyer for SkyMall. "We are extremely disappointed in this result and are hopeful that SkyMall and the iconic ‘SkyMall’ brand find a home to continue to operate as SkyMall has for the last 25 years," said Scott Wiley, the company's acting CEO.
Launched in 1989, SkyMall saw a rise that eventually resulted in 650 million passengers thumbing through its catalog each year, according to The Atlantic. (In 2013, The Atlantic suggested that the merger between SkyMall and Xhibit spelled serious trouble.) In many of those situations, it was picked up because travelers forgot to bring along a book or magazine for the flight. But now, everyone's got a smartphone or tablet in their carry-on, and in court filings, Wiley said that's become a real problem for SkyMall. "With the increased use of electronic devices on planes, fewer people browsed the SkyMall in-flight catalog," he said. Simply put, SkyMall is no longer the default boredom cure it once was. The website remains in business for now, so it's not too late to spend $1,000 on some Hovertrax or get yourself this $200 bear statue.