JetBlue Bans Overhead Bin Access for “Basic” Passengers
Oh no, not you too, beloved only-airline-that-isn't-terrible
When it comes to major airlines, JetBlue’s customer service is, in my opinion, unparalleled. They have the most leg room in economy, the best (and unlimited) snacks, and free wifi at every seat. As far as the increasingly commodified world of commercial flight goes, they’ve generally zigged where others zag, putting passengers first to build a loyal following.
But it appears the airline is joining ranks with the other airlines by taking away overhead storage for the cheapest ticket option, allowing Blue Basic ticket holders only an under-seat “personal item.” Unsurprisingly, frequent flyers are less than impressed:
Hey @JetBlue so starting in July if I want to take my carry on bag I need to purchase a more expensive seat because it’s not included in blue basic fare? @Delta what is your carry on bag policy? I think you might have yourself a new customer!— Yes Honey (@YesHoney_Ja) February 17, 2021
Seems @JetBlue is on that Spirit let me charge you to breathe bandwagon. You will now have to pay $65.00 for your carry-on bag if you buy a Blue Basic fare ticket. Please sit your Dominican relatives down before sharing this news. #JetblueShameOnYou— MarsLaBarS (@LaRealMalvada) February 17, 2021
@JetBlue sorry to hear you’re changing your free carry-on policy and implementing change fees for Blue Basic fares. It’s what set you apart from the rest, now you’re just 1 more carrier making it more expensive for the basic traveler. Wrong policy in a struggling industry.— Andres Facusse (@AndresFacusse) February 17, 2021
While the announcement comes as a disappointment for many — myself included — it’s not exactly shocking. United Airlines pulled a similar stunt back in 2017, when they began selling their new “no frills” economy ticket in an effort to stratify pricing and widen their margins. JetBlue who, like several other major airlines, has found itself in increasing competition with budget airlines like Frontier and Spirit — has apparently been taking notes.
Effective July 20 and pertaining to flights booked on, or after, February 25, all Basic Blue passengers will be allowed one personal item, so long as it fits under the seat in front of them. All other baggage will need to be checked, with fees starting at $65.
Alternatively, Blue, Blue Extra and Mint fares will now have the option to book an “Even More Space” seat on domestic flights, which guarantees passengers overhead bin space and, in the event that it isn’t available, a $25 credit.
We just wrote about how maybe — maybe — it’s time to lighten up on airlines given that ticketing policies are about as lax as they’ve ever been. Then our beloved JetBlue hits us with this. Enough to put us off them for good? Probably not. But as far as customer service, not to mention travel inclusivity in the midst of a pandemic, goes — this ain’t it.
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