JetBlue Raises Checked Bag Charges, Provides “Peak” Bag Pricing

In current months, we’ve seen most main US airways improve checked bag charges, together with Alaska, American, Delta, and United, amongst others. The reality is that these adjustments haven’t been unreasonable, for essentially the most half — we’ve largely seen a $5 improve per bag, and it’s the primary improve in a number of years, so in some ways it simply covers inflation and wage will increase, if that.

Nicely, JetBlue has simply elevated its checked bag charges for the second time in current weeks, and has even launched the idea of peak and off-peak bag pricing. Let’s cowl the small print.

JetBlue updates checked bag charges once more

As of March 22, 2024, JetBlue has raised its checked bag charges as soon as once more, with two new elements figuring out the pricing:

  • You obtain financial savings of $10 per bag when you pay on your checked bag a minimum of 24 hours earlier than departure
  • There’s now peak and off-peak pricing, the place you’ll pay an additional $5-10 per bag if touring on peak dates; peak pricing applies on practically half of dates all year long, together with on holidays, over summer time, and extra

Let’s check out the brand new pricing inside the US, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada. Under you’ll find JetBlue’s bag pricing when you pay lower than 24 hours earlier than departure.

JetBlue checked bag charges

Under you’ll find JetBlue’s bag pricing when you pay greater than 24 hours earlier than departure.

JetBlue checked bag charges

As you possibly can inform, there’s now fairly a little bit of variability for bag pricing for an equivalent itinerary. For instance, an off-peak first bag paid for upfront would price $35, whereas a peak first bag paid for inside 24 hours would price $50.

For context, till lately JetBlue charged a flat $35 for a primary checked bag, plus $45 for a second checked bag. As earlier than, many passengers obtain free checked baggage, together with JetBlue Mosaic members, these with a JetBlue Credit score Card, and choose premium clients, together with these touring in JetBlue Mint.

How JetBlue justifies elevating checked bag charges

I believe the rationale JetBlue is elevating checked bag charges is apparent, however I nonetheless discover the reason to be fairly fascinating. Zach Griff quotes a JetBlue spokesperson as saying the next:

The price of transporting baggage has gone up considerably resulting from elevated wages and better gasoline prices, and we stay unprofitable since COVID. Whereas we don’t like growing charges, we’re making these changes to assist get our firm again to profitability and canopy the elevated prices. By adjusting charges for added providers that solely sure clients use, particularly during times of highest demand for restricted house within the cargo maintain, we are able to maintain base fares as little as potential and guarantee buyer favorites like seatback TVs and high-speed Wi-Fi stay free for everybody.

As you possibly can see, the airline explains that it’s growing checked bag charges to return to profitability. Typically airways select what bag charges to cost primarily based on what they suppose will maximize income and profitability, fairly than what’s truthful. And what the airline can get away with largely is dependent upon what rivals are doing.

With this new bag pricing mannequin, JetBlue is on the very excessive finish of checked bag charges, and it’s additionally one of many first non-ultra low price carriers to introduce peak and off-peak pricing for checked baggage.

JetBlue is present process fairly the transformation. The airline has a brand new CEO, and a part of the corporate’s turnaround technique is to extend ancillary income. Clearly larger checked bag charges are a part of that, however the airline can be doing issues like including new “most well-liked” seat charges, for normal economic system seats nearer to the entrance of the airplane.

I’m curious to see how JetBlue’s scenario evolves, because the airline has a little bit of an identification disaster. JetBlue has traditionally supplied a differentiated economic system expertise, whereas not with the ability to command a income premium for it. Now the airline appears to be taking extra of a center floor strategy, nonetheless having free leisure and Wi-Fi, plus business main legroom, whereas additionally growing charges on the similar time, and shifting extra in step with rivals.

I don’t essentially suppose that’s a foul technique, however I do suppose the airline must additionally lean into its premium providing, with doing issues like putting in firstclass all through its fleet, given most of the markets through which JetBlue operates. There’s nothing incorrect with more and more attempting to phase your buyer base, however there needs to be a technique behind it.

Does JetBlue have a little bit of an identification disaster?

Backside line

JetBlue has as soon as once more elevated its checked bag charges. The airline is charging an additional $10 when you pay on your checked bag inside 24 hours of departure, and likewise has new peak and off-peak bag pricing. The primary and second checked bag charges now vary from $35 to $70, in order that’s fairly some variability.

What do you make of JetBlue growing checked bag charges?

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