Almost every passenger reads during the flight through the magazine that is tucked into the seat in front of them. Many even take them home. Which means, with more than 250 in-flight magazines, there are lots of possibilities for professional writers to freelance for airline magazines. Airline magazines have always been good patrons for freelance writers.
When the travel industry is succeeding, there are even more opportunities in the sector. Benefits of writing for airlines include:
- high circulations of In-flight magazines
- a wide reach
- and a long shelf life
Airline magazines are a fantastic addition to your portfolio of published articles. Once you’ve been published in an in-flight magazine it is much easier to get assignments from other prestigious magazines.
What Types of Content do They Purchase?
In-flight magazines purchase many travel articles. They also have a diverse range of content that includes general interest pieces as well as articles on business, entertainment, health, and lifestyle. However, there should be some connection to the destinations to which the airline flies.
Getting a Foot in the Door.
If you are just starting out as a freelance writer, you will not have much chance of getting published in an in-flight magazine. Editors prefer to work with experienced, professional writers who have solid credentials.
If you have not yet built up a solid portfolio of magazine credits, begin by writing for local publications or target smaller magazines. Once you get some pieces published in local publications, raise the bar and target some regional publications. In the USA alone there are hundreds of smaller magazines freelance writers can write for.
A few airline magazines in North America include writer guidelines on their websites, but the majority, in other parts of the world do not publish their guidelines online. You certainly can write the editor a friendly note to request a copy of their writers guidelines.
Research the In-flight Magazine
Many airlines make media kits available from their websites. Use it to find out a lot about the airline’s passengers – and therefore about the audience for the in-flight magazine. It also shows the editorial mission and calendar. Find the airline’s destinations / routes in the media kit as well. In-flight magazines typically pay writers from $0.70 to $1.00 per word, and sometimes even more.
Read as Many Magazines as Possible
Most airline magazines are available online. Study all the issues for the past twelve, better twenty months and figure out:
- What features does the magazine include?
- What writing styles?
- Lengths of articles?
- Which destinations did the magazine cover already?
- What hasn’t been covered for a while, or at all?
- What is the editor(s) name(s) and title(s) from the Impressum / Masthead of the digital edition, or from the Contact webpage for the publication.
The audience on an airline flight is much more diverse than at other publications, and their magazines must cater to this diversity. The content is chosen for their passengers to remain happy and calm. Editors look for content that will entertain and relax their readers, not being controversial.
More Tips What to Pitch
Freelance specialist Gary McLaren: “Pitch a specific idea to an in-flight magazine, and not only a destination. Try to think of an idea that is seasonal or timely for a particular month. But pitch it six months in advance and consider the editorial calendar.”
“Alternatively, try to think of an “evergreen” idea, since in-flight magazines tend to have long lead times, and it may take them some time to consider your idea and respond. Follow the news for airlines in which you are interested. One of the best times to pitch a story is when the airline announces a new route.”
“Editors of in-flight magazines receive plenty of queries every week. However, many of those queries are from writers who do not research the publication properly! If you do, you have much better chances.”
Read also: How to Get Freelance Writing Jobs for Airlines – Lots of Tips and Links
How to Pitch to an In-flight Magazine
Author Gary McLaren offers: The Inflight Magazines Report, a listing of 250 inflight magazines with all details.