Posted by Cara McDonough to findingDulcinea
Charging for pillows is the newest entry on a growing list of airline-industry fees and cost-cutting geared to combat fuel prices and decreased profits.
JetBlue has replaced the free pillows aboard its flights with what it’s calling “a new, high-quality pillow and blanket kit,” for which it charges $7, ABC reports. The company claims that the pillow and blanket are much cleaner and better quality than typical airline-issue versions.
But the move is just another of the many ways airlines are trying to offset rising costs. In June, American Airlines and other carriers announced fees for checked bags and other services. In July, Northwest announced plans to cut staff on the same day that US Airways said that it would remove in-flight entertainment systems on domestic flights in order to lighten planes and save fuel. Emirates, the airline of the United Arab Emirates, recently announced plans to get rid of in-flight magazines.
JetBlue’s announcement comes just days after Delta announced that it is doubling its checked bag fee to $50 for a second bag. US Airways also announced this week that it would begin charging $2 for soda and juice.
So where do the fees end and how will customers react?
“These fees will be annoying at first,” said Ray Niedl, an airline analyst for Calyon Securities. “But passengers will adjust because of the need for air travel.”
Some travelers aren’t so sure.
“Great, so now I’m gonna starve AND not sleep,” JetBlue passenger Audrey Morris told the New York Daily News while waiting to board a Denver-bound flight. “I’d rather have a stiff neck on vacation than give them seven bucks.”
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