JetBlue has never been afraid to change, finding ways to disrupt the market with low fares and great service – all while living our mission to inspire humanity. Now, we must be open to changing again so we can keep our competitors on their toes while also rebuilding the financial foundation of our company as we emerge from the pandemic.
As part of that plan, we are evolving fare options to further segment our suite of products and price points for Customers who value different things. Currently, our Blue and Blue Basic offerings are very similar to each other. We need to better differentiate the two by making Blue the gold standard, while strategically focusing on lowering the price of Blue Basic.
This updated menu of options gives Customers more choices, more flexibility, and more low fares. With our new core and Mint experiences continuing to roll out this year, supported by our refreshed fare options, we have the tools to compete through a long recovery and in an increasingly segmented market – where both legacy and ultra-low-cost (ULCCs) carriers sell a spectrum of offerings from premium to fully unbundled.
We continue to invest in the onboard experience;
our Mint and core offerings surpass every other airline.
Here’s what’s changing in fare options:
- A new era of travel flexibility
To support Customers with peace of mind in these unpredictable times, we are eliminating change/cancel fees on Blue, Blue Extra, Blue Plus and Mint fares. This flexibility brings more value to our fares and further differentiates Blue Basic. However, we believe those traveling on our lowest fares deserve flexibility too and we will begin offering the option to change/cancel Blue Basic for a fee. This makes JetBlue a better choice than airlines that have “permanently eliminated” fees, but still don’t allow basic economy tickets to be changed (meaning their customers lose their money).Our Back and Forth With Confidence fee waiver remains in place through March 31 and will cover all fares sold until then.
- Waving goodbye to overhead bin stress
Carry-on bags are a major pain point during boarding because there isn’t enough room in the overhead bins for everyone to bring a bag. It’s time to rethink our approach. The pandemic and low Customer counts have offered a glimpse of life without “overhead bin stress.” As Customers return, we want to hold on to a little of this zen during the boarding process and make overhead bin space an expectation, not a gamble.Beginning with travel on July 20, Customers who purchased Blue, Blue Extra, or Mint for domestic flights will be guaranteed overhead bin space for one carry-on bag. Blue Basic Customers who purchase Even More Space will also receive the guarantee. In the unlikely event we run out of overhead bin space and have to gate check a Customer’s bag, we’ll make up for it with a $25 credit good for travel on JetBlue for one year.It’s worth noting that even before these changes our Blue fare gave Customers all the things they love about JetBlue at an affordable price. Now with no change/cancel fees and a guaranteed carry-on bag in addition to all the other features, we’ve made Blue even better, positioning it as the best value by far and setting the standard for what our everyday low fare is all about.
- Competing with ULCCs on lower fares and better service
ULCCs were growing in our key markets even before the pandemic, and we introduced Blue Basic as a better alternative. Even though our current Blue Basic gives more bang-for-your-buck than ULCCs, many travelers still choose stripped-down, à la carte offerings if the ULCC fare is slightly cheaper. As we make Blue more compelling with new features, we need to strategically lower fares in Blue Basic to attract ultra-low-cost Customers to JetBlue.
Beginning July 20, we will limit Blue Basic fares purchased on or after February 25 to one personal item that fits underneath the seat. Given that overhead bin space is limited, this is a logical way to differentiate Blue Basic on price and ensure we have the space we need for our new carry-on bag guarantee. Customers who have a carry-on bag should buy Blue or Blue Extra, otherwise they will need to check it at their own expense.
We never liked “no frills” flying much and Blue Basic Customers have access to the perks of flying JetBlue, such as free live TV and streaming entertainment, free wi-fi, the most legroom in coach, and snacks and soft drinks.
These changes will take some adjustments for both our Crewmembers and Customers, but our passion for great service and hospitality will help us do it with a JetBlue touch. We’ll share more details before these changes take place in July.
We are entering a transformational year with new core and Mint experiences, 80+ new routes and destinations, and London on the way. Fare options changes further support our recovery by complementing these product and network enhancements. Customers should not be forced to choose between a low fare and a great experience, and we are ready to offer both in every fare option we offer.
President & COO