Today’s The Day: JetBlue’s Checked Bag Fees Are Now In Effect

Say goodbye to that free checked bag when flying on JetBlue: The company announced last November that it was going to start charging passengers who fly with checked bags at some point, and that point is today.

Customers buying tickets on the airline’s lowest tier of fares will have to pay $20 during online check-in or $25 at the ticket counter — one way. If you want to bring that bag home, it’ll be another fee.

The move leaves Southwest Airlines as the sole remaining carrier that lets all travelers check a bag for free.

If you don’t want to pay a bag fee, customers can upgrade from the lowest “Blue” fare bucket to a “Blue Plus” level that will usually cost about $15 more than the base ticket price.

Investors have been all about this change, though many consumers are less than pleased to see the airline give sway to the siren song of cold, green cash. But JetBlue says many travelers don’t check bags as often as they did in the past anyway.

“Half of the customers don’t even check bags,” Marty St. George, JetBlue’s executive vice president for commercial and planning told Reuters. “In effect what’s happening is, the customers who aren’t checking bags are paying for the customers who do.”

He says this new approach allows customers to pay only for what they need, pointing to the “Blue Flex” fare level as an example: it’s about $100 more than the one-way base fare and gives customers two free checked bags and no fees for changes or cancellations.

And besides, this is all about the customer anyway, St. George tells the Associated Press. JetBlue is doing this for you! Which means the airline says it’s investing in new seats and TVs with some of the money it’ll get from the bag fees.

“Some of these changes are going to help pay for what’s the biggest product upgrade JetBlue has had in the history of the company,” he told the AP.

If you’ve already booked a JetBlue flight before today, these changes won’t apply to you, only to new reservations.

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