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American to Charge for Blankets

New York TimesAmerican 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.

According to Joesentme.com, a subscription travel site that reported the move last Friday, the airline based its decision on consumer surveys. Joe Brancatelli, the site’s publisher, raised a skeptical brow. “American executives run focus groups on blankets?,” he said. “You think they’d look for customer focus group data on what fliers think about American’s worst-in-the-nation on-time performance, its atrocious baggage-handling ability or the hideous condition of its planes.”

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