Now Boarding: Monday Hat News- American charges for blankets!

Happy Monday everyone! Here’s the latest in travel news.

American Airlines is charging for BLANKETS and PILLOWS – at a whopping $8 a blanket/pillow set on domestic flights and flights to/from Mexico and Canada. Those questionably clean (even though sealed in plastic), staticky nappy blankets and bunchy little pillows that everyone fights over that American has realized its demand and put a price on it. Yes, it’s a conspiracy. The plane is air-conditioned to a chilling 60 degrees, forcing people to hand over $8, earning that one flight up to $1,500+. And to carry your own blanket takes up half your carry-on, and then you have to check your baggage for $25/ first piece. Granted, you’ll get to keep your $8 inflatable neck pillow and fleece blanket, which is a deal compared to what’s sold at retailers, but you’ll still have to carry them onto each flight and be dinged for the extra load. But don’t fear, I’m sure hundreds of entrepreneurs and companies (Brookstone – I have my eye on you) will be coming out with their own lightweight, folds-into-a-matchbox blanket-pillow set to challenge this latest charge.

On a more exciting front with American, the airline is now opening a non-stop route between Chicago and Beijing.

Southwest’s newest route, non-stop between Philadelphia and Boston’s Logan to start this June, has caused shuttle fares on other airlines to drop by 90 percent. US Airways is one of the popular choices for this commuter route, and travel is expected to shoot up between the two airports as a result of the price drop.

In other Southwest news, overweight actor-director-writer Kevin Smith was removed from a Southwest flight because he violated the airline’s “too fat to fly” policy. Individuals of a certain size (those who cannot put the armrest down) are required to purchase two tickets so they do not encroach his/her neighbor who paid for an entire seat. The producer of Clerks, Dogma, Chasing Amy and other film hits had purchased two seats, but then flew standby and was given one ticket/ one seat. As a result, he was asked to leave the flight, which he caused a great scene and Southwest gave him a $100 voucher which he turned down.


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