American Airlines confirmed that it will eliminate free blankets in coach and sell an $8 packet that includes a pillow and blanket starting May 1. The change is for flights over two hours in length to and from Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, the Caribbean and Central America.
AA joins JetBlue and US Airways, which began charging $7 for a pillow-and-blanket set in 2008 and 2009 respectively. The airline will still provide pillows and blankets at no extra cost in first class and business class and to all passengers to other international destinations.
The $8 will buy a passenger a blue fleece blanket, an inflatable neck pillow and a coupon good for $10 off a Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. purchase of at least $30, all contained in a clear, zippered pouch, AA said. JetBlue Airways Corp. and US Airways Inc. already offer $7 kits to passengers who want a blanket and pillow, the Associated Press says.
Southwest Airlines pulled its blankets off its flights last year, citing health concerns during the H1N1 flu outbreak.