Today's Special: $7 Naps on Jet Blue

Jet Blue Airways has found another way to attempt to offset the rising costs of doing business these days: charge passengers for pillows and blankets. Disposable pillows are being replaced by a pillow and blanket package that will cost passengers $7. The change is cited in part as an environmentally driven decision, with paper pillowcases no longer destined for the trash.

When will the reach into passengers' pockets end? Consumers are being hammered with higher fuel prices, rising grocery costs, and greater expenses in many other categories. There is nothing wrong with a business covering its costs through the price charged for products, but the airline industry has chosen to charge for a wide variety of different services and amenities offered. The perception of price could be positively impacted if an all inclusive fare was charged that covered baggage, pillows, and any other "extra" that airlines now feel obliged to charge as an รก la carte item.

What's next? Here are some possibilities... although let's hope not:
- Pay to use the lavatory. Water is expensive, you know. Pay per flush model makes sense.
- Extra charge to recline seat. When you recline, you are using additional space on the plane. It's really no different than charging a large person for two seats.
- Air consumption fee. Providing air at high altitudes is not cheap.

Perhaps we should not give airlines any ideas. Given the new charges introduced in recent months, they do not appear to need our help, anyway!

Link: Washington Times - "JetBlue Puts to Bed Its Policy of Free Pillows and Blankets"