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JetBlue Should Charge More for Blankets and Pillows

Posted 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.   

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Comments

Sue

Hmm, how about they just raise their prices? The more they nickel and dime us, the more annoyed "whiners" like me become.

I don't think anyone wants to see the airlines go out of business. It's the petty fees for everything that make me cringe. And my heart goes out to the poor flight attendants who have to deal with selling all this stuff.

Air travel is ridiculously underpriced; it actually costs less to fly some routes now than it did 20 years ago. These fees for this and that are just band-aids, and irritating ones at that.

CB

If you want to fly... you Must buy the ticket. However the choice is yours... likewise, if you want a pillow and blanket (brand new, without someone else's dust mites, hair, dried skin, and other nasty stuff... pay the $7, enjoy the "Free" TV and XM Radio and know that you are not getting the last person's "Cooties" that used the old "loaner" pillow and blanket that you are so attached to. And by the way, I believe JetBlue is including a $5 coupon to Bed, Bath and Beyond in the Pillow Kit, which would make the net price of a much cleaner "JetBlue Experience" only $2... and you can keep the pillow and blanket for next time you fly, ride the bus or train, go to a movie, watch TV at home, or whatever! Or just don't buy a clean $7 pillow/blanket set; I think it is JetBlue's way of NOT passing on extra fees to those of us that do not want to pay for them... only those that want them need pay. There are no free lunches in this world, nor are there free "Clean/new" pillows and blankets. I guess they could have raised the $129 fare to $136 and made everyone pay for the $7 pillow/blanket that way, but they have a business to run, passengers to serve, and shareholders to account to. I do not feel that JetBlue has "Nickel and Dimed us to death" by providing us with the option to purchase a sanitary pillow and blanket set for a net of $2!

Arthur's Colorado Ski Lodging

You could always just bring your own pillow or blanket. These little charges are annoying but if they need the money that bad, there's nothing any amount of whining can do about it.

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