We all know that carry-on bags cause delays and more, but it also helps us save money because who wants to check a bag for $30 and wait at baggage claim to pick up their bag only to find out their bag is lost? Well, JetBlue came up with a solution (or is it?).
The solution – More fees! No Carry On, $65 Checked bags
I personally think this new policy is a crock full of you know what, but the new rule begins today, July 20, 2021. JetBlue has a new baggage policy that they believe benefits travelers. They call it “Getting a handle on carry-ons.” JetBlue believes this new policy will help speed up and create less stress on domestic flights during the boarding process with a new baggage policy that guarantees overhead bin space for customers who travel on their Blue, Blue Extra, and Mint Fare class. This is a unique claim to have as no airline has ever tried to claim this.
To make it work, however, they are taking an entire fare class of customers – Blue Basic (also known as Basic Economy) and changing the policy to only include a personal item that fits under the seat in front of you (but what if you have a bulkhead?) and no longer allow carry on bags. If a traveler in Blue Basic brings a carry-on bag to the gate, JetBlue will require the bag to be checked, and the fee for checked bags is $65 for the 1st or 2nd checked bag! Now that is simply absurd! See the official statement from JetBlue.
JetBlue added a fare class called “Blue Basic,” which parallels legacy carriers’ basic economy. Like other basic economy fares, passengers who purchase Blue Basic will need to pay for advanced seat selection and can’t change their tickets, as they are entirely non-refundable (not even for a fee).
Blue Basic passengers will also earn fewer TrueBlue frequent-flyer points — 1 point per $1 spent on an eligible fare, as opposed to 3 points per $1 spent for the “Blue” fare.
What’s so “extra” about “Blue Extra”?
JetBlue is also introducing the “Blue Extra” fare class, which will create new flexibility by including changes in advance or same-day and allowing for cancellation. This will bring parity to the refundable economy fares of other major carriers. Still, it will come at a price as this will be the most expensive economy offering for JetBlue.
What about the original “Blue” and “Mint” fares?
“Blue” and “Mint” fares will remain unchanged, both in terms of flexibility as well as the rate at which passengers earn frequent-flyer miles. That means if you like the current JetBlue experience in terms of fares, those options will remain.
What do these changes mean for Mosaic members?
JetBlue Mosaic members will still retain all their privileges except for the new “Blue Basic” fare class, which will only allow for early boarding to Mosaics. Mosaic members still retain the benefit of up to two free checked bags, even in the Blue Basic fares, extending to travel companions, provided they book together on the same reservation.
Is JetBlue right for you?
JetBlue continues to stay competitive against the other mainstream carriers regarding price and amenities with the new changes. “Blue,” the economy fare for JetBlue, is still a viable option for many. However, if you are looking to avoid the fees and avoid the confusion of all these fare classes, simply booking Blue or their Mint product might be a better option. As a travel consultant at Chubit Travel, I always try to find and pair my travelers with the correct airlines for their flights. Before you book your next flight, consider contacting me to help you navigate the craziness of travel and book your next vacation at the best price!
In my professional opinion, as a travel consultant at Chubit Travel, I am extremely disappointed with these changes to Blue Basic. Blue Basic was a great option for those who had the flexibility to leave on a short trip and wanted to bring a small bag and hop onto a flight to their destination. To me, this change feels like a cash grab for the airline and has less to do with ensuring overhead space and more to do with ensuring they can line their pockets. This change is putting JetBlue more in line with the likes of Spirit and Frontier than towards where the legacy carriers are.