After resisting for many years, JetBlue includes checked bag cost

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Elaine Thompson/ AP

In this April 23, 2013, file photo, a JetBlue plane takes off in view of the air traffic control service tower at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015|8:27 a.m.

New York City– The period of free inspected travel suitcases on JetBlue has actually pertained to an end.

The airline company happily declared itself a holdout on costs for years, permitting passengers to check one bag free of charge. Now it will certainly charge up to $25 for checked luggage.

The step leaves Southwest Airlines as the only significant U.S. carrier not to charge a bag fee.

JetBlue Airways had actually revealed the modification in November however didn’t information how it would be implemented till Tuesday. The charge just puts on brand-new reservations; existing reservations still get one free bag.

Passengers will pay less if they plan ahead. Those with the cheapest tickets will pay $20 each method if they check in online or at a kiosk. The cost jumps to $25 if they go to the counter. A brand-new fare class that costs about $15 extra each method would consist of one totally free bag.

Fees for a 2nd examined bag and reservation changes are being reduced.

The airline company plans to reinvest the millions of dollars it will certainly collect from bag fees into new seats and TVs, according to Marty St. George, JetBlue’s executive vice president of commercial items and planning.

“A few of these changes are going to help pay for what’s the most significant item upgrade JetBlue has had in the history of the business,” he informed The Associated Press in advance of the announcement.

Under pressure from investors and Wall Street experts, JetBlue has actually been slowly embracing the practices of other airlines. It has launched then broadened a very first class item called Mint. It has decreased legroom on some airplanes to fit more passengers. Now it is charging for bags, something other carriers began performing in 2008.

The New York-based airline still sticks out in other methods. By the end of next year, it will certainly offer free Internet on all its Plane A320 and A321 jets. Travelers likewise get free access to more than 100 channels of live satellite TELEVISION and radio and JetBlue still has more legroom than its competition.

JetBlue doesn’t have a repaired bag cost like other airline companies. Instead, it has actually rolled out three brand-new fare classes. The cheapest, called Blue, doesn’t consist of an inspected bag– although travelers can constantly add one later at a higher cost. The next fare, Blue Plus, includes one free checked bag, more frequent flier points and lower fees if passengers wish to make modifications to the reservation. The most-expensive tier is called Blue Flex and comes with two totally free inspected bags and allows modifications without penalty.

The fare difference in between Blue and Blue Plus will certainly change based upon path and need but ought to be “about $15,” according to JetBlue. Blue Flex would cost about $100 more each way than the least expensive tickets and is fully refundable.

Online travel agencies like Orbitz, Priceline and Expedia, will– for the foreseeable future– just offer the cheapest fares, those that do not consist of an inspected bag. Travelers will certainly still have to pay at the airport for their examined bags but St. George notes that about 75 percent of passengers book directly with JetBlue.

Some charges are being cut. The charge for a second inspected bag will certainly drop from $50 each method to $35. JetBlue used to charge $75 to $150 to make modifications to a reservation, based upon the rate of a ticket. That charge is dropping to $70 to $135 for the least expensive tickets and $60 to $120 for the Blue Plus fares.

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