JetBlue Promises Cheaper Tickets, Announces Changes to Fees and Carry-Ons
JetBlue has announced an update to changes fees and carry-on rules for passengers. The announcement includes both good and bad news. JetBlue says the changes are necessary to “to keep competitors on their toes while also rebuilding the financial foundation” of the company as it emerges from the pandemic. Currently, the Blue and Blue Basic offerings are very similar to each other, JetBlue says. So it needs to differentiate the two by making Blue the gold standard, while strategically focusing on lowering the price of Blue Basic.
That means that JetBlue is eliminating change fees on most economy fares, except for Blue Basic. But the New York based airline is also eliminating free carry-ons for Blue Basic fares while guaranteeing overhead bin space for others.
“Carry-on bags are a major pain point during boarding because there isn’t enough room in the overhead bins for everyone to bring a bag. It’s time to rethink our approach,” JetBlue notes in the press release.
JetBlue is eliminating change/cancel fees on Blue, Blue Extra, Blue Plus and Mint fares. This flexibility brings more value to JetBlue fares and further differentiates Blue Basic. However, those traveling on the lowest fares deserve flexibility too and JetBlue will begin offering the option to change/cancel Blue Basic for a fee.
All fares will still enjoy no change or cancel fees through 3/31/21. After that, changing or cancelling your plans will works as follows:
- Blue Basic fares can be changed or cancelled for a fee, based on route.
- No change or cancellation fees for Blue, Blue Plus, Blue Extra and Mint fares (fare difference applies). Same-day switches can be made on the day of departure (after 12:00 midnight in the departure city’s time zone) for $75, without paying a fare difference.
- There is no charge for same-day switches with Blue Extra fares.
Starting 7/20/21, JetBlue’s new carry-on bag policy will guarantee overhead bin space to those traveling on a Blue, Blue Extra or Mint fare or who book an Even More® Space seat on domestic flights within the U.S.. If you don’t find any space, then you get a $25 Travel Bank credit. That means that JetBlue will no longer allow Blue Basic passengers to bring a free carry-on bag into the cabin. They will only be allowed a small personal item that fits underneath the seat.
- Blue Basic fares booked on or after 2/25/21 for travel 7/20/21 or later will only include a personal item that fits under the seat in front of you. Carry-on bags that go in the overhead bin will not be allowed.
- Exceptions to the Blue Basic no-carry-on bag policy extend to Mosaic members, travelers combining a Blue Basic fare with an Even More® Space seat, unaccompanied minors and active military.
JetBlue says that customers should see lower prices on many basic economy tickets. That is one of the reasons why the airline is instituting the no-carry-on bag policy for Blue Basic fares. On the other hand, other passengers will get a $25 travel credit good for one year, if they can’t find any space for their carry-ons.
The other good news is that JetBlue is also joining its rivals in eliminating change fees for most tickets. The bad news is that is doesn’t apply to basic economy tickets.