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Does any airline charge for (or sell) headphones anymore, or are they always free?

Does any airline charge for (or sell) headphones anymore, or are they always free?

Old Sep 3, 08, 6:28 am
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Does any airline charge for (or sell) headphones anymore, or are they always free?

On my recent SIN-AMS KLM flight, I started wondering how much it costs the airlines to provide those on-ear headphones, considering they give them away for free. I guess it must not cost too much. The KLM ones were nice "loop around the ear" types.

Which then started me wondering... in the old days, we had to pay $2.50 (and later $5) to *rent* those ridiculous pneumatic earphones. Now we get electronic ones to keep for free. Does any airline today actually charge for headphones these days? I would think it would make sense for them to charge a couple of bucks as they are quite decent and you get to keep them!

Cheers,
Sankaps.
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Old Sep 3, 08, 7:07 am
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AA charges $2 to domestic Coach class passengers for the earbuds, which are yours to keep after the flight. BYO headsets are also welcome.

http://www.aa.com/aa/i18nForward.do?...nment/main.jsp
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Old Sep 3, 08, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by swag View Post
AA charges $2 to domestic Coach class passengers for the earbuds, which are yours to keep after the flight. BYO headsets are also welcome.

http://www.aa.com/aa/i18nForward.do?...nment/main.jsp
CO does the same, but only charges $1 for the "to keep" headsets. Of course, always free in FC. CO are the loop around the ear type.
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Old Sep 3, 08, 7:19 am
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Originally Posted by cova View Post
CO does the same, but only charges $1 for the "to keep" headsets. Of course, always free in FC. CO are the loop around the ear type.
Interesting. How about on international flights? And do any foreign carriers charge for it?
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Old Sep 3, 08, 8:13 am
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Nickle-and-dime Airways, make that USAirways, still charges $5 for headphones. They used to add "you can use them on future USAirways flights, and you're free to use your own earphones that you may have", but conveniently leave that out on my recent trips. I still use my Shure 'phones, but I bet some folks shell out the $5 when they have 'phones with them, not knowing they can use their own.
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Old Sep 3, 08, 8:14 am
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Air Canada gives them away for free right now, but starting in October they'll be charging $3 a set. I think it's a good idea - the headphones are cheap, one use things that get tossed after every flight. What a waste!
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Old Sep 3, 08, 9:07 am
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Last trip to Hawaii on AA, FA offered to sell them to us, I forget how much (probably the same as others have said.) It was clear they were ours to keep if we bought them. She also specifically said that if we had our own earphones they would work with the in-flight entertainment system, which they did. I used the ones for my Zune and my wife used the ones from her iPod to watch the movie.

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Old Sep 3, 08, 9:26 am
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USAir = $5 = keep them
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Old Sep 3, 08, 10:02 am
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I have a whole bag full of them from when ATA went out of business..

I remember those old pneumatic earphones too! I wonder if there are still any airlines still using those things..
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Old Sep 3, 08, 10:25 am
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Jet Blue charges $2 for them.

I dont think any overseas airlines charge for them
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Old Sep 3, 08, 1:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Sankaps View Post
I started wondering how much it costs the airlines to provide those on-ear headphones, considering they give them away for free. I guess it must not cost too much.
The basic headphones themselves cost around $0.60 each with customised branding when ordered in bulk.

The unit costs of collecting, sterilising and repackaging the headphones can easily exceed $1 however. Hence, its often cheaper to toss them out than to recycle them.
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Old Sep 3, 08, 1:10 pm
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HA charges $5.00 in Y; free in F.
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Old Sep 3, 08, 1:47 pm
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Keep in mind tho....

Air Canada has IFE, not just a screen every 5 seats to watch...and really who doesn't have earbuds for their IPOD...I have no problem with them charging for this.
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Old Sep 3, 08, 2:16 pm
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Delta charges $2 in Domestic Y... free in Domestic F, International Y, and International J. They used to be on-ear but recently have been horribly uncomfortable plastic in-ear buds. The only time I use what they provide is from takeoff until 10k if I forget to get my QC2s out of my bag.
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Old Sep 3, 08, 2:25 pm
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Originally Posted by HomerJ View Post
Air Canada has IFE, not just a screen every 5 seats to watch...and really who doesn't have earbuds for their IPOD...I have no problem with them charging for this.
I don't. Not typical earbuds, per se. Some of us require specialised headsets for BTE hearing aids.

Didnt some airline charge $5 even if you used your own headset? Basically making it $5 for audio access. I want to say HA used to do this.
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