Skift reports that JetBlue is considering a first checked bag fee.
The challenge they currently face is that they need upgrade their tech to offer different fare options.
A fee may be part of JetBlue’s new fare structure, Powers said yesterday, as the New York-based airline creates classes of tickets whose price would include services such as one free piece of checked luggage. While fliers could still choose a cheaper seat, they would have to start paying for any baggage, not just their second suitcase.
Only in the airline industry is adding a fee considered not nickel and diming customers.
“If you chose to buy a bucket without attributes and show up with a bag, you probably should pay for it,” Powers said. “It’s a terrific way, and in a JetBlue-friendly way, of monetizing all the excellent product attributes we have without doing what we’re absolutely opposed to — nickel and diming and gouging customers.”
I don’t love Southwest (and even more the case after they devalued their points), but I do love that:
- They offer first and second checked bag free to everyone.
- They offer a companion pass which credit card signup bonuses and hotel points transfers can help you earn.
- Their awards redeposit without penalty.
Southwest was even earlier to the internet game than JetBlue, largely because of JetBlue’s novel earlier investment in inflight live tv.
JetBlue’s performance has lagged the industry this year. But just like United managing by doing what Delta does, it’s not clear that undermining your unique selling proposition will make you more attractive to consumers.
Still, I suspect that JetBlue hasn’t gotten enough credit from consumers for not charging these fees. If they don’t earn extra business or a revenue premium foregoing the revenue, it’s hard to justify continuing to do it.
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