JetBlue introduces a baggage ban for economy class passengers and lowers the cost of elite status.
Gary Leff at 16. February 2021.
JetBlue is banning its customers in basic economy class from bringing large bags on board and permanently eliminating transfer fees on other types of tickets, as its competitors did last summer.
Elites used to be exempt from the change fee, but the airline says it doesn’t think about new benefits for elites in return – what it does for members is enough already.
- Eliminate change fees for fares outside of basic economy You’re late to the party, United, Delta, American and Alaska did it last summer. Change charges have long been unforeseen, and the basic economy is a new strategy for distinguishing business travelers from price-sensitive travelers – change charges are no longer the primary means of achieving this, and the elimination of change charges for fares other than those in the basic economy is therefore accompanied by some negative changes for customers in the basic economy, such that these types of fares are not viewed as interchangeable by customers.
- No more normal cabin baggage at basic economy fare. JetBlue has been copying it since the 20th. July United, though its new Northeast partner, American Airlines, tried the move and found it counterproductive. JetBlue says they […] want to align their restrictions with those of the airlines, which doesn’t make sense because Spirit and Frontier customers can pay a surcharge to have these bags on board, while JetBlue customers can’t if they buy fares designed to travel with them…. Spirit and boundary.
- For basic economy class tickets a change fee will be charged. The standard approach to basic economics doesn’t change at all, at least not when we come out of a pandemic. JetBlue will offer a rebooking fee of $100 for domestic flights and $200 for other routes.
- Other passengers are guaranteed a seat in compartment. If you get checked in at the gate, you get $25 (meh) travel credit. Garbage room isn’t that big of a problem when the planes aren’t often full, but it is when they are full of travelers who tend to check their luggage in (and if they tend to take luggage, they buy basic economy class tickets so they can’t carry it). The $25 travel credit is too small to matter, and it only serves to encourage people to book more JetBlue tickets in the future after their split. Consider this an automatic gesture of poor customer service.
By the way, I find that on American Airlines’ Oasis planes, with their large trash cans, there is no room for trash. The installation of sufficiently large containers seems to be the best solution, and the fact of not having to deal with checks at the boarding gates facilitates the airlines’ activities (departing on time, avoiding last-minute delays in moving luggage from the cabin to the waist).
JetBlue’s elite members have already received free status changes, so their status will receive fewer additional benefits. The airline tells Zach Griff that it has no intention of offering additional benefits to the elite in compensation, that what it has already done is sufficient.
Dave Clark, vice president of sales and revenue management, says Mosaic’s new services, announced late last year, have several new benefits. The free extra space at the entrance is an advantage of the marquee that replaces flexibility.
JetBlue, which was already on a cost-cutting path before the pandemic, doesn’t even offer the extra legroom for the confirmed coach when booking for its elite, as United and American (and to some extent Delta) do. They do not offer free cabin upgrades (Mint), even on domestic routes that do. They only offer an elite pass until May 2021 and extra legroom if available at the airport.
The airline’s new business class is quite nice, but I wouldn’t want to treat the lowest fare passengers as badly as American has started giving elite benefits to passengers with basic economy class status (basic economy class passengers are pretty much everyone these days). This decision makes me less concerned about the alliance between the United States and the Jews.
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