JetBlue Adding Checked Bag Fees, Cutting Down On Legroom

One of the last remaining airlines holding out against fees for checked bags has fallen prey to the siren song of money: JetBlue, which had persisted in offering a complimentary checked bag even as other airlines tacked fees on, announced three new “bundled” fare options for fliers, with the cheapest fare now requiring an extra fee to check a bag. That, and it’s stuffing more seats into plane cabins, which means less legroom for you.

In a press release today detailing the company’s plans for getting investors bigger returns, JetBlue says the three new options will roll out in the first half of 2015.

“The first of these will be designed for customers who do not plan to check a bag, while the latter two will offer one and two free checked bags, respectively, along with other attractive benefits, including additional TrueBlue points and increased flexibility,” the press release says.

It’s unclear at this point how much that fee will be to check a bag if you buy a fare in the first bundled option, but it’s happening, nonetheless.

Another revenue-boosting effort? An Airbus A320 “Cabin Refresh,” as JetBlue calls it, which means using “lighter, more comfortable seats” with larger seatback screens with more power ports. These new seats will allow the company to increase the number of seats it can fit on planes. More seats = more knees up against those seats, as legroom gets more precious.

Despite this, JetBlue claims it will continue “to offer the most legroom in coach.”

UPDATE: JetBlue tell us via Twitter the new seats do not impact “living space,” which is a variable that includes headroom, legroom, and ankleroom, according to a blog post they offered as reference.

JetBlue claims that the new seats provided additional legroom in the current configuration: 1″ according to the blog post. This space is presumably what they will recover with the new seat configuration, allowing them to continue to claim “the most legroom in coach,” while adding more seats.


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