JetBlue Should Charge More for Blankets and PillowsPosted by Jonathan Tannenbaum on August 05, 2008
A lot of people are angry with the airline companies since they're now requiring payment for once free amenities. Their outrage has only increased with JetBlue's announcement that it will begin charging $7 for a blanket and pillow set. I have news for these whiners: the airlines aren’t doing anything wrong. When you're in financial trouble, it’s entirely appropriate to charge money for some non-essential good or service. It’s simply the rational thing to do.
Like the rest of us, the airline companies are coming to terms with the fact that staying afloat entails making decisions that were previously unnecessary. JetBlue posted a $7 million loss in the last quarter. While this pales in comparison to the losses witnessed by other airlines, the costs of providing air travel are rising, and JetBlue needs to keep its business viable. Quite frankly, I rather JetBlue protect its profit margin raising prices, rather than resorting to more layoffs.
The fact of the matter is that we’re all JetBlue – through and through. I’m sure you could come up with at least one example in the last year where you decided to charge more for something, or decided to stop doing something voluntarily. You were simply making a reasonable decision, one that said you had to change your behavior in the face of tough economic circumstances. If by some small chance if you haven’t made such a change, it’s either because you’re weak – or because you have a trust fund.
If people take offense to such pragmatic decisions, well, that’s their problem. In the case of JetBlue, customers’ indignation stems from their own sense of entitlement. They’ve enjoyed some degree of comfort for a period of time and now they feel they have a god-given right to it. However, they’re living in a dream world. Why should the airline companies sacrifice just so they can be cozy?
Looking at the times in which we live, the CEO of JetBlue would be wise to charge more for blankets and pillows. Especially considering that passengers get to keep the set, $7 is too generous. JetBlue should charge at least $12.