JetBlue Will Raise Fees for Checked Bags, Cancellations and More
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JetBlue flyers, be prepared to pay more in fees. In a memo sent to employees, JetBlue detailed that fees will be increased for several categories — from checked baggage to change fees.
According to a source familiar with the changes, the new fee information was sent out to all employees in the August monthly bulletin. The new fees will likely be introduced quietly on August 31, 2018. Find the details for each of the new fees in the charts below:
Baggage and Pet Fees
|Checked Items||Current Fee||New Fee|
|Blue Fare - 1st Bag||$25||$30|
|Blue & Blue Plus - 2nd Bag||$35||$40|
|All Fares - 3+ Bag||$100||$150|
Change and Cancel Fees
|Fare||Fare Range||Current Fee||New Fee|
|Mint||All||$75 (60+ days from departure)|
$150 (within 60 days from departure)
|Vacations||All||$70 (60+ days prior to travel)|
TPG reached out to JetBlue for comment on the new fees but did not hear back by the time of publication.
While the new fees aren't yet displayed on JetBlue's official Optional Services and Fees page, they will likely be rolled out within the next couple of weeks. Aside from increasing the amount you'll be charged for nearly all categories, perhaps most notably, JetBlue is also doing away with its more generous 60-day out policy for both Mint fares and Vacations packages. Whereas travelers booked in one of those categories could pay less for canceling or changing more than 60 days from departure, you'll now have to pay the same amount — regardless of when you cancel or change. In addition, the fee you'll pay for Mint and Vacation fares is a flat $200 and the amount paid on the fare will no longer have any effect on the fee.
It's not clear at this time if the fee structure for Mosaic members will change. However, in the current scheme, Mosaic members have their change and cancellation fees waived for themselves and others on their itinerary. In addition, Mosaic members can check their first and second bags for free.
These sweeping changes come just days after the New York-based airline appointed B. Ben Baldanza and Sarah Robb O'Hagan to its Board of Directors. Baldanza comes from a career in the commercial airline industry — most recently as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Spirit Airlines, an ultra-low-cost carrier notorious for its nickel-and-diming of passengers. Prior to his stint at Spirit, Baldanza held senior roles at Continental Airlines, Northwest Airlines and US Airways — all of which are now defunct.
"Ben and Sarah each bring directly relevant experience and fresh perspectives on every aspect of building sustainable challenger brands," said JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes in a press release. "We believe their insights and experience will make them valued additions to the Board as we evolve JetBlue to deliver our financial commitments while protecting our unique culture and offering a best-in-class customer service."
In July, JetBlue underwent a company restructuring by "eliminating a number of positions" through layoffs, buyouts and attrition. As part of that move, one of its goals was to reduce operational costs by up to $300 million a year by 2020. While the cuts made last month didn't affect flight crew jobs, the company is trying to offset higher fuel prices and charge passengers more for things than it has in the past.
If you have upcoming travel with JetBlue that you might need to change or cancel, it could be a good idea to do so before the end of the month when these new fees are likely to take effect. Keep in mind, also, that with the introduction of the new checked baggage fees, the value of the JetBlue Plus Card goes up. The card, which currently comes with a sign-up bonus of 40,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days, allows cardholders to check their first bag for free — potentially allowing you to bypass the soon-to-be implemented $30 charge.