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Land Freelance Magazine Writing Gigs with Airlines: 8 In-Flight Mags that Pay & Where to Find Lots More

A while ago, I did a post entitled, Get Paid to Write Fun Stuff: 33 “Lifestyle” Outlets that Pay Freelance Writers. In that post – which included a lot of travel-related gigs – I promised to do a post specifically listing airline magazine writing gigs.

The reason is, they tend to pay well (normally anywhere from 50 cents to $1.00 per word or more) and it’s fun writing that a lot of freelance writers don’t get to do much of the time.

8 In-Flight Magazines that Pay Freelance Writers

Today I managed to track down 8 freelance writing jobs leads in this niche.

As you’ll read at the end of this post, they’re not as easy to come by – at least not in the traditional way – as they used to be. But, they do still exist – in fact, more than ever. You just have to know where to look to get them. Here goes …

1. WestJet Magazine: Dedicated to inspiring travel and enriching trip experiences, WestJet Magazine features well-crafted, informative stories about WestJet destinations in Canada, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe.

Pay: Fees are determined on assignment.

2. Delta Sky Magazine: Seeks expertly executed stories about travel, lifestyle and business. Use AP Style, with some variations (ie. italicize movies, books, etc.). Four-month lead-time. Features range from 600–2,000 words.

Pay: Not listed.

3. AIR & SPACE/Smithsonian: A general interest magazine about flight. Its goal is to show readers, both the knowledgeable and the novice, facets of the enterprise of flight that they are unlikely to encounter elsewhere.

The emphasis is on the human rather than the technological, on the ideas behind events, rather than a simple recounting of details.

Pay: Fees vary widely, depending on the type of treatment proposed.

In the event that an article is not accepted for publication, a kill fee is negotiated. Payment for first North American Serial Rights is made upon acceptance.

4. Alaska Airlines Magazine: Monthly in-flight magazine for Alaska Airlines.

It reaches more than 2 million travelers each month in nearly 100 destinations, including Alaska, California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Arizona, Nevada, Western Canada and Mexico. It is 75 percent freelance written.

Interested in writers who can cover business with insight and style; local writers who can lend inside perspective to our destination and travel columns; and journalists who write with a sense of humor.

Pay: $150 to $700, depending on piece/section.

5. Air Canada enRoute: Travel magazine with a Canadian perspective that speaks to an international readership. The magazine is read by over 1 million travellers a month.

Air Canada enRoute commissions travel stories that focus on everything from food and drink, wellness, design and architecture to style, arts and culture, technology, social trends and sports.

Pay: Not listed.

6. Hana Hou! The official magazine of Hawaiian Airlines. Published every other month. Seeks fresh, insightful views of the people, places and cultures that make the island so special.

Pay: $50 to $175 for specific sections; 40 cents/word for features.

7. ZiNG: Inflight magazine for LIAT, the Caribbean Airline. ZiNG is read by passengers on LIAT’s flights between 22 Caribbean countries. About 85% of ZiNG’s readers live and work within the Caribbean, with only about 15% being foreigner leisure travellers. Published out of the UK four times a year.

What most of our readers have in common is a love and understanding of the Caribbean – and a desire to find out how to deepen their knowledge and get the very best out of their travels there and feel the sense of pride they feel towards their home.

Pay: The fee payable for a commissioned assignment will be fixed, in UK pounds sterling or United States dollars, at the time that the work is commissioned. Reproduction fees for syndicated text and images including stock photos will be agreed prior to publication wherever possible.

8. Flight Journal: It is important that prospective writers understand that we are NOT a general aviation magazine—so we are not interested in articles such as “My Flight to Baja.” Nor do we wish to publish articles that are simply detailed recitations of the technical capabilities of an aircraft.

Flight Journal presents aviation-oriented material, for the most part with a historical overtone, but also with some modern “history in the making” reporting. Average article length is 2,500–3,000 words.

Pay: Base pay for a full-size article is $600 and builds for later submissions. In certain situations and with well-published authors the rate is negotiable. Color photographs are purchased separately unless a bundled fee is negotiated.

How to Increase Your Chance of Getting Published by an Airline Magazine

At the end of this post, there’s a great list of tips that summarize what freelance writers should do to up the odds of having their submission accepted, eg:

  • In-flights receive many queries for travel pieces. It may be easier for a newcomer to break in by pitching an article on a business or service topic.
  • Pitch a specific column. You’ll be more likely to get an assignment if your pitch matches the magazine’s format.
  • Keep your articles positive, not challenging. In-flight magazines want to keep their readers relaxed and entertained.

Getting In-Flight Magazine Writing Jobs: One Thing I Noticed in My Research

Many of them used to be published independently, eg, by the airline itself. Now, many of them seem to be outsourcing their content to publishing and media companies. For example, United Airlines popular magazines Hemispheres and Rhapsody. When you search for submission or writing guidelines for these publication, eventually you’ll land on this page, which states:

Hemispheres and Rhapsody are the award-winning onboard magazines for United Airlines. The magazines are published byInk and produced by a dedicated staff of media professionals out of an Ink satellite office in Brooklyn, New York.

American Airlines magazine is also published by them, as well as WizzAir, a low-cost European travel airline, and quite a few others.

Who to Query to Get Freelance Airline Magazine / Travel Writing Jobs

As stated on their site,Ink is the world leader in travel media.” They have partnered with more than 22 airlines and travel groups, so would be one of the go-to outlets to query for freelance writing jobs in the travel sector in my opinion.

Another agency that seems to handle a lot of these types of publications that I ran across is Nexus Media, which “includes skilled publishing and content professionals with a wealth of experience in producing luxury, consumer, business and technical content for custom, B to B and consumer media.”

Conclusion

Bottom line – consolidation seems to be the name of the game these days for a lot of content in various industries. It’s why contacting content marketing and media firms is one good way to land on-going freelance writing gigs.

Hope this insight helps, and that your week is off to a great start.
Yuwanda

P.S.: When was the last time you marketed for freelance writing work? I haven’t for a while, as most of mine comes via referral and I spend the vast majority of my time on my own writing projects these days, but just this morning I received the following email from a query I sent out last spring (yeah, almost a year ago!):

Yuwanda,

I am reaching out to you to see if you are still interested in some contract content work. I have stepped in to manage our Content Team and I have some regular content work to contract out if you are interested.

If you’re a regular reader, you know I’m always saying that marketing is a numbers game and if you submit regularly, you will get work. This is an example of why. Many times, prospects hang on to resumes/inquiries received for months (even years).

So keep marketing – even when it seems that no one is paying attention. Out of the blue, you’ll be busy and wondering why. THIS is your answer (if you’ve been consistently putting yourself out there).

P.P.S.: Thursday is the last day to get the discount on the email ecourse creation course. I’m polishing it up now, and it will be released this Friday.

P.P.P.S.: Here’s How to Start Earning $100-$250+/Day as a Freelance Writer.

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Hey Yuwanda,

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