I’ve seen the deluge of credit offers I used to get in the mail drop to a trickle and a dead stop the last couple months. It’s not the economy, I think, but that I removed my name from the direct mail lists. At any rate, I thought there was a credit crunch stretching from banks to consumers. Loose lending helped create our problems, so it’s time to tighten up lending practices, right? So I thought until my flight home on US Airways (in late October).

The airline joined forces with Bank of America to offer a new credit card - in the air. Somewhere over southern New England or perhaps New Jersey one of the flight attendants got on the PA and launched into a sales pitch for the new card, enticing us with 25,000 miles and a bonus 500 if we signed up in-flight. WTF? He proceeded down the aisle, offering applications to passengers. I didn’t see anyone fill one out.

Now, really, any new business model that promises to lower airfares is good by me. The full tray advertisements on the meal trays? Grand idea. But offering credit? And offering credit so flippantly in the immediate wake of a financial crisis borne of careless lending?