JetBlue announced it will begin charging $7 for a blanket and pillow onboard flights longer than two hours. The change is effective immediately. According to the airline, both products are eco-friendly and resistant to dust mites, mold spores, and other irritants. The blanket and pillow may be taken home following the flight.
JetBlue is spinning this as a customer-friendly move, saying, "We are constantly seeking ways to enhance the in-flight experience for our customers, and providing them the option to purchase The World's Cleanest travel pillow and a fleece blanket at an affordable price delivers on that promise."
Sure, the new blanket and pillow sound great, and it's not a total gouge because you can take both items home with you, but I don't think many people will be praising JetBlue's move. The airline also says "both items fit neatly back into the enclosed carrying case for use on future trips," but with baggage fees on the rise, who has room in their carry-on for a pillow and blanket? The whole appeal of airplane blankets and pillows is that you don't have to carry them on.
Color me unimpressed, and a bit miffed that JetBlue would try to spin this as a good for its consumers. For once, I'd like to see an airline play it straight with its passengers and admit that costs are up, times are tight, and free stuff just isn't in the budget anymore.
JetBlue could have begun charging for the same old blankets instead of offering an improved product, so at least the airline didn't pull a total US Airways on us. But no matter how you slice it, JetBlue is once again charging for something that used to be free.
Will you pay $7 for a pillow and blanket? Let me know in a comment below.