JetBlue to Charge for Checked Bags, Add More Seats

by  Christine Dayao | Nov 20, 2014
Jetblue airplane tailfin
Jetblue airplane tailfin / rypson/iStock

Must all good things come to an end? We used to think that JetBlue could do no wrong, but two recent announcements will be robbing passengers of our favorite perks of flying with the airline: free checked bags and spacious legroom.

While JetBlue has been just one of two U.S. airlines that don't charge for the first checked bag -- Southwest is the other -- that's due to change starting the first half of 2015. Under a new fee structure, travelers who choose the cheapest fare option for a seat will have to pay for any checked bag. The other two (more expensive) options will offer one and two checked bags respectively, plus some other “benefits” like additional TrueBlue points. There’s no word yet on how much the fees will be.

Sure, unlimited snacks and WiFi remain complimentary, but this is a clear sign that JetBlue's start-up era has come to an end. Which brings us to our next point. We hate that JetBlue's starting to play the PR game of trying to make bad things sound good. They've also announced an "Airbus A320 Cabin Refresh" that we're not finding refreshing at all. Fifteen seats will be added to the airline's said aircrafts, bumping the total of 150 up to 165 -- and shrinking seat pitch, as space between two seats is referred to -- down to 33 from more than 34To distract you from the shrinking amount of legroom, the retrofitting will also include larger seatback screens with more entertainment options and power ports.

To be fair, JetBlue will still come out on par with or even ahead of other U.S. carriers in terms of legroom. The bigger question is: Where will JetBlue draw the price-gouging line in years to come?

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