AA Raises the Cost of Comfort

What was once free, now has a fee

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Flickr/Shutterdog

    Fresh of the heels of celebrating a big win with OneWorld Alliance partner Japan Airlines, word comes out that Fort Worth-based American Airlines will soon begin charging coach customers for pillows and blankets.

    The pillow and blanket bundle will cost customers $8 beginning May 1, according to a report in the New York Times, who also reported the following:

    According to Joesentme.com, a subscription travel site that reported the move last Friday, the airline based its decision on consumer surveys. Joe Brancatelli, the site’s publisher, raised a skeptical brow. “American executives run focus groups on blankets?,” he said. “You think they’d look for customer focus group data on what fliers think about American’s worst-in-the-nation on-time performance, its atrocious baggage-handling ability or the hideous condition of its planes.”

    The cost will be in effect for all domestic flights and some international flights to and from Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean and Central America. For those who purchase the pillow-blanket bundle, AA will toss in a coupon for $10 off a $30 purchase at Bed, Bath and Beyond, according to KRLD.  So, if you regularly shop at BB&B, you'll kind of be $2 ahead, thanks to AA.

    Blankets will, as you might have expected, remain complimentary to those in premium-class cabins.

    AA isn't alone in charging customers for added comfort. JetBlue and US Airways both charge $7 for the snuggle bundle.