June 23, 2011, 12:43 PM

Miles above the earth, no shoe store in site—unless you’re on Delta

Zappos.com, Delta Air Lines and Aircell give airline passengers a free shopping pass.

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Some consumers just can’t go that long without shopping for footwear. That’s the idea behind a promotion this month offered to passengers on Delta Air Lines. Shoppers on planes equipped with WiFi can access Zappos.com for free and have their snazzy new kicks shipped to their destinations.

The month-long promotion was organized by Aircell, the company that provides in-flight WiFi access for Delta and several other airlines under the Gogo Inflight Internet brand. Travelers on WiFi-enabled Delta flights see a Zappos promotion banner at the Gogo access page, where consumers normally enter their payment data to buy in-flight web access. From there, they can visit the Zappos.com e-retail site and shop its full product catalog. At the checkout stage, consumers can enter their destination address for shipment. Zappos.com is a subsidiary of Amazon.com, the No. 1 e-retailer in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide.

In-flight web access normally ranges from $4.95 to $12.95 per flight, depending on the length of the flight, an Aircell spokeswoman says. Aircell declined to reveal the financial arrangements for the promotion. “Ensuring our airline partners reach their e-commerce goals is one of our key objectives, whether that’s providing shopping, entertainment, news, games or simply keeping people connected to their lives on the ground,” the spokeswoman says. 

Normally, non-paying travelers can access limited content from the Wall Street Journal and travel news site Frommers.com, the spokeswoman says. The promotion marks the second e-retail-centered effort organized by Aircell. In December, it ran a month-long promotion that allowed passengers free access to SkyMall.com, the e-retail arm of the merchant’s shopping catalog, which pokes up from seemingly every airplane seat pocket; Aircell made SkyMall.com available on Gogo-equipped flights on AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, US Airways, United Airlines and Delta. Sky Mall Inc. is No. 185 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide.

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