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JetBlue Now Charges for Pillows and Blankets on Flights

This article was written by in Travel. 6 comments.


In order to remain competitive, airlines try to keep fare prices low. When that strategy starts to break down and airlines can’t compensate for the cost of flying in the normal way (increasing bookings, and decreasing flights) and they still resist raising fares, they look for new ways to earn revenue.

So now we’re charged for meals and luggage, both of which were once included in the fare price for most flights. JetBlue Airways is now selling a pillow and blanket set for $7. I’ve noticed the disappearance of the “free” pillows and blankets that once adorned seats while boarding, but now they’ve returned in another fashion.

The $7 will provide you with your own unused pillow and blanket set. As they are charging for the privilege of comfort, at least you don’t have to cuddle with the same bedding used by travelers before you. The set also comes with a $5 coupon for Bed, Bath, and Beyond, making the purchase a little more attractive.

JetBlue Starts Selling Blankets and Pillows, Micheline Maynard, New York Times August 5, 2008.

Published or updated August 5, 2008. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar CC

nothing new; pretty soon you won’t even be able to take luggage.
ha ha, not really funny.

You may find it may be cheaper to drive, esp if you own a little car or can rent one.

This is ridic. Delta has been charginf $5.00 for just a blanket for awhile. Although I don’t know why you’d need it, cause you could sweat to death on the plane.

We were on an overnight flight back to FL from vegas and it was quite warm on the plane, we were actually sweating, yep gross. We asked to put the air on and the stewardess asked “are you hot” are you kidding me, sweat pouring off my face nd other people complaining its hot.

What the hec she thinking. Just cause she’s cold doesn’t mean everyone is.

I will never fly delta again. I’m going southwest baby and at least I can still take 2 bags for free and get a snack and a drink and a good rate.

i got tickets from Fl to philly in sept fro $64.00 each way! yahoo

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avatar Twiggers

I wouldn’t pay it. Just buy your own pillow (those travel ones are way more comfortable) and throw your jacket over yourself :-)

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avatar Jason H

@ CC –
I heard complaints about Delta from the casual traveller all the time, however when it comes down to it most of the 80+ travellers that work with my company fly Delta when flying Domestically or to Canada, so I always wonder where complaints like your come from.

@Main Post

When you consider that when oil was at $130 a barrel it cost airlines $66/passenger to fly a Boeing 737-800 from LAX to Seattle or $69/passenger on an Airbus A320 (citation: Alaska Air July 2008 earnings call) and with the cut throat competition and the economic conditions raising airfare will only lead to demand destruction, just look at oil and gas to see that economic effect. Therefore the best way to increase revenue is to use ancillary revenue. Some airlines like Delta have a large revenue stream from non-passenger activities like ground handling, maintenance, etc, but others like JetBlue don’t have that non-passenger revenue stream, at least until Azul comes online and pays for JetBlue’s TV system, so they are against a wall.

Therefore, if you don’t like paying the fees, just don’t fly and you will help those of us that fly every other week get through the airport faster and have a more comfortable flight.

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avatar fathersez

Earlier I read that one airline was charging money to decompress the cabin.

The writer also commented that we may soon have to pay for seats. Others would have to stand all the way to their destination.

I think at this rate, the airlines will just charge themselves to a standstill.

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avatar Mike

People love to complain about this nickel-and-diming. But let me offer an alternative perspective:

Premise 1: IF airlines are for-profit organizations, THEN they have to find a way of passing on rising costs whenever they may occur.
Premise 2: airlines are for-profit organizations.
Premise 3: airlines’ costs ARE going up in recent years. So the “IF” from premise 1 has, thanks to premises 2 and 3, become a “THEN”. (If… then…)
Premise 4: IF some customers would prefer to do without certain frills rather than see their price for flying increase, THEN the airlines quite properly will separate those frills from the basic ticket price.
Premise 5: MANY customers would, indeed, “prefer to do without certain frills rather than see their price for flying increase.”

Conclusion: Therefore, it is proper that airlines would charge for certain frills, so that those who want them can pay for them and those who don’t want them can avoid them.

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avatar Mike

“Earlier I read that one airline was charging money to decompress the cabin.”

Well… DUH. OF COURSE they charge to decompress the cabin. Whether or not they itemize the bill as such, yeah, OF COURSE they’re charging for that.

And when you take a bus, the bus company charges you for putting tires on the wheels. Is this really that surprising?

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