JetBlue Airways planes are pictured at the departure gates of John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.
Fred Prouser | Reuters
JetBlue Airways exempts ticket exchange fees on most of its tickets, but travelers buying the cheapest fares should take light bags.
The New York-based airline announced Tuesday that it will guarantee seats on its standard bus fares up to Mint Business Class starting July 20. However, travelers who have booked Blue Basic, the airline’s cheapest option, are banned from using baggage hold, a policy United Airlines introduced when it began selling simple, no-frills economy tickets in 2017.
If JetBlue fails to deliver on its promise, travelers are given a $ 25 loan. That’s a relatively easy task during the pandemic, when few people are traveling, but finding luggage space has been a “major pain point” for travelers when boarding, the airline said.
Airline executives have stated that these simple options are designed to compete better with discount airlines Spirit Airlines and Frontier, which derive much of their revenue from bag and seat selection additional fees. However, they have also said that they would like many travelers to avoid these most restrictive fares and pay more for the standard economy.
JetBlue wants to make these cheaper, more restrictive tariffs cheaper.
“Right now, our Blue and Blue Basic offerings are very similar,” said JetBlue President and COO Joanna Geraghty in a message to employees. “We need to better differentiate the two by making blue the gold standard and strategically focusing on lowering the price of Blue Basic.”