With airlines angling to get your business as they aim to return to normalcy, many of them are rolling out new fare types as well as changes to existing tickets. JetBlue is making one such change to their cheapest fare class, Blue Basic. The fares will be getting even cheaper, but you’d better be traveling light: the new Blue Basic will no longer come with overhead bin space.
The airline's move to make its basic economy ticket even cheaper comes as they continue to battle other budget airline options like Spirit, Frontier and Allegiant. Beginning February 25, 2021, travelers purchasing JetBlue's "Blue Basic'' tickets will not be able to bring a carry-on bag after July 20, 2021. Instead, flyers will only be allowed to bring a bag that can fit underneath their seat. If you bring a carry-on, it will need to be checked—for a fee, natch. Of course, this still differs from most budget carriers, where passengers pay extra just to bring a carry-on bag on board.
The move to a more “no-frills” ticket also helps free up space for the carrier’s new overhead bin space guarantee to those traveling on a Blue, Blue Extra or Mint fare or those who book an “Even More Space” seat on domestic flights within the U.S. If you still find there is no space for your bag, the company will give you a $25 Travel Bank credit.
In an e-mail to employees regarding the changes, JetBlue pointed to travel during the pandemic as inspiration for the new policy. The company says travelers on the less-than-full flights have enjoyed the ease of not fighting for overhead space. "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,'' the memo said.
Elsewhere, the company is also planning to eliminate change fees for all tickets but those Blue Basic tickets. For those flying on a non-basic fare, same-day switches can be made on the day of departure for $75, without paying a fare difference. Basic Blue flyers, however, can request changes for a fee of $100 or $200 per person, depending on the route. American, United, and Delta do not allow any ticket changes for basic economy passengers, with the exception of some same-day tickets.
JetBlue has been waiving change fees—even basic economy—during the pandemic, but that policy will end on March 31, when the above ticketing policy will go into effect.
On the bright side, Blue Basic flyers, at least you will never have to fight for overhead bin space ever again.