Seven months after JetBlue said it planned to adopt a new fare structure, it has finally put one in place — one that, as expected, eliminates a free checked bag for those paying the lowest prices.
Business travelers, who typically pay extra for more flexible fares and/or who achieve elite frequent flyer status (and rarely check bags) are unlikely to be affected by the new structure.
As outlined on its website, JetBlue’s new structure includes three fare types for economy seats. From lowest to highest, they are designated Blue, Blue Plus, and Blue Flex. (A four fare category, Mint, is for the premium cabin that JetBlue offers on transcontinental routes.)
For persons traveling on Blue fares, the first checked bag costs $20 when bought during web check-in or at an airport kiosk, or $25 at the check-in counter. Those on Blue Plus fares get one free checked bag, and Blue Flex provides two free checked bags. Blue Flex also waives cancellation and change fees, allows same-day changes for no charge (that costs $50 on the other two fare types). The second checked bag fee for Blue and Blue Plus fares is $35.
Cancellation/change fees for Blue and Blue Plus fares vary from $60 to $135 depending on how far in advance of travel the change is made, and the dollar cost of the fare the traveler paid. All the details are on JetBlue’s website.
Members of the airline’s TrueBlue loyalty program who achieve Mosaic status will still get two free checked bags. That requires earning 15,000 base flight points in a calendar year, or 30 segments and 12,000 points.
The changes at JetBlue leave Southwest as the only large U.S. carrier that still lets passengers check a bag (in fact, two bags) for free.
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