Okay, once in a while I get to gripe about stuff that doesn’t involve either evolution or religion.
This is a bad one. The New York Times “In Transit” website (via Joesentme.com) announced that, as of May 1, passengers on flights longer than two hours will have to pay for blankets and pillows:
American Airlines quietly announced last week that it would 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. The airline will join JetBlue and US Airways, which began charging $7 for a pillow-and-blanket set in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
(Note that they announced this “quietly”!)
Enough is enough. I’ve watched while American (and most airlines other than Southwest) started charging for baggage and any food more substantive than a bag of pretzels. The planes have gotten dirtier and more unkempt (on my last American transAtlantic flight, my back-seat video and audio weren’t working, and the plane was too full to change seats), and the food has gone from mediocre to inedible. But this—the gouging of passengers for an EIGHT DOLLAR BLANKET—is nothing more than a money-grubbing insult.
You can file a complaint here.
Bonus: If you want to see what the cabin crew say to each other on their communal website, go here. (A fun thread is “celebrity sightings”, where flight attendants recount their experiences with famous passengers. Sample: “Jennifer Lopez: I CANNOT STAND THIS WOMAN…she yelled at me because I couldn’t make her a double espresso, and then told me that my shoes looked cheap!!!!!! can you believe it!? so I replied “well at least they match YOUR bag!”)