US Airways said Thursday it will begin charging for its "Power-Nap Sack" on Feb. 16. It's following the lead of JetBlue Airways, which announced a similar policy last summer.
Airlines are adding fees on checked luggage and now pillows and blankets to raise more money as they battle a downturn in travel caused by the recession. US Airways reported that January traffic fell 6.2 percent.
Kevin Jackson, a marketing official for Tempe-based US Airways, said selling the pillows and blankets "is a natural extension of our 'pay for what you choose and use' model we began rolling out last year."
Jackson said the sleep kit was an affordable way for passengers to increase their comfort while flying.
The kits include a 34-by-60-inch fleece blanket, a neck pillow, eye shades, foam ear plugs and a $10-off coupon for items in the SkyMall catalog. They come in a fleece drawstring bag embroidered with the airline's logo.
The airline said it will stop handing out free pillows and blankets in coach on domestic flights. Customers in first class and in Envoy and Economy class on trans-Atlantic flights will continue getting complimentary pillows and blankets.
The kits won't be available on US Airways Express.
For customers who can't wait until Feb. 16 for their own US Airways-embroidered nap kit, the company said they went on sale Thursday at the airline's Web site.