JetBlue Introduces a New, Cheaper Way to Fly

"Everyone's favorite airline" joins the à la carte model, offering cheaper tickets with fewer amenities.

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On the heels of announcing its new partnership with European budget airline Norwegian, JetBlue unveiled its “Blue Basic” program for economy travelers, offering steep discounts to fliers who want cheaper tickets and fewer luxury flight amenities.

JetBlue’s new Blue Basic economy tier features steeply discounted ticket prices without assigned seats and no priority boarding options. Blue Basic tickets are non-refundable, non-transferrable and earn only a third of the TrueBlue frequent flier miles.

This means you’re more likely to get stuck in a middle seat or be left without overhead space for your carry-on. But if saving dollars is your travel priority, Blue Basic will still get you there and earn you some miles.

Checked baggage rates remain the same for all JetBlue passengers: $30 for the first, $40 for the second (except for Mosaic fliers, who fly with free checked bags). But in true JetBlue fashion, even the economy fares promise to keep a few basic perks, including free snacks, Wi-Fi and DirecTV.

By adopting the à la carte model many budget airlines use, JetBlue officials said they hope to keep passengers hooked on low flight prices while ultimately increasing JetBlue’s revenue by marking up the cost of optional amenities.

The TrueBlue program offers loyalty perks for regular JetBlue fliers, such as no blackout dates, no expiration on points, the ability to pool your points with other JetBlue rewards members and a JetBlue credit card that earns up to 3X points on purchases through JetBlue’s business partners, including Amazon.

JetBlue’s Mosaic tier offers even more bonuses for qualifying (i.e., ultra-frequent) JetBlue users, such as early boarding, waived cancellation/change fees and complimentary alcohol on domestic flights. But if you’re looking to just focus on the basics, JetBlue now offers a cheap way to do so.

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Rebecca High

Rebecca High is a producer, writer, and editor from Los Angeles. Reincarnated from her previous lives as both an expat living in Asia and a reality TV producer, she now spends her time hunting down the best coffee experiences all over the world, watching all the food porn, and perfecting her avocado toast-making skills. She’s passionate about international affairs, social justice, and tech development aimed at providing humanitarian relief and solving environmental issues.

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