Wednesday, August 13, 2008

let jetblue charge for pillows

The crack editorialists at the Washington Post are bemoaning the fact that airlines are adding little charges, such as the recent decision by JetBlue to charge for pillows and blankets. We've also seen carriers start to charge for checking bags and even for water.

JetBlue and others in this competitive industry clearly are doing this because their profits are eroding badly as fuel prices remain very high. So what were their options? JetBlue could have added $7 to the cost of each and every flight. Instead, they are just hitting passengers willing to pay a bit more for the added comfort of a pillow and blanket. Personally, I never use them - but even if I did, such price discrimination is perfectly normal and preferable to a blanket (pardon the pun) rise in prices. Ditto for charging for checked bags. If you read your eticket closely, you see what the charge will be. You make the decision whether to take that extra baggage, and pay for it.

And I very much like the option of coughing up a few bucks for extra legroom in economy class.

Look at it this way. Do you begrudge people who pay extra getting better seats at the baseball game? Or would you rather charge EVERYBODY more for the tickets, regardless of whether you get or even want the better seat?

Same thing for the airlines. This is OK with me.



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