Want A Pillow? JetBlue To Charge $7

Jet Blue airplanes are seen at JFK airport on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2007 just after a snowstorm that caused days of cancellations and criticism. JetBlue canceled about 100 flights Friday March 16, 2007 in advance of an expected winter storm, an airline spokesman said. The canceled flights were mostly headed to or from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, Washington's Dulles International Airport, and Boston's Logan International Airport, said JetBlue Airways Corp. spokesman Sebastian White. (AP Photo/Rick Maiman)
AP Photo/Rick Maiman
JetBlue Airways Corp. said Monday it will begin charging customers for pillows and blankets.

The carrier has done away with the recycled blankets and pillows used on its flights, and will begin offering an "eco-friendly" travel blanket and pillow that can be purchased for $7 on flights longer than two hours. The pair will come in a kit with a $5 coupon to home furnishings retailer Bed Bath & Beyond.

The carrier claims the pillow and blanket feature a fabric technology, developed by CleanBrands LLC, that blocks pesky critters like dust mites, mold spores, pollen and pet dander.

JetBlue already offers free "Snooze Kits" on overnight flights from the West that include an eyeshade and ear plugs.

But the blanket and pillow kit is the latest in a string of a la carte items the company says are providing a revenue boost to help offset the soaring price of jet fuel.

"An airline ticket today allows you to step foot on a plane and step foot off the plane," said Rick Seany, CEO of FareCompare.com. "Anything else besides that, except for airlines like Southwest, you're gonna pay an extra fee for."

Add those extra fees to higher fares, check websites like FareCompare.com, and you'll find the cost of a plane ticket hasn't risen this much in nearly 30 years.

To offset soaring fuel costs, the average airfare is up 20 to 25%, reports CBS News business correspondent Anthony Mason. In some markets, it's gone sky high. Like U.S. Airways Chicago to Minneapolis route, which is up 276%. A Continental ticket from Atlanta to Boston, and United's Dallas to Miami fare are also up more than 200%, Mason reports.

A JetBlue spokeswoman declined to predict how much the sale of these kits will bring in, saying that the company only provides revenue details for specific items in its quarterly earnings conference calls.

The carrier said last month it expects to collect about $40 million from customers buying seats with extra leg room this year. Its $15 fee for a second checked bag is expected to translate into about $20 million in additional revenue.

A ticket change fee, which doubled to $100 in the second quarter, is part of a "basket of fee changes" expected to produce about $50 million in extra revenue in 2008.