And then there was one – one airline with free bags, that is. Maybe. We can’t jump to conclusions yet but the word from Bloomberg is that JetBlue is considering charging a fee for a first checked-bag, an amenity which has been free since the New York-based airline began flying in 2000.
This would leave Southwest as the only “free bags” U.S. airline – if it happens.
LISTEN: Analyst Rick Seaney isn’t surprised. What is surprising are his predictions.
Report: JetBlue “Warming” to Bag Fee
Bloomberg cites last week’s conference call with analysts and media in which JetBlue execs kicked around the idea of fee bundles. As the news site reported, “JetBlue appears to be warming to a first-bag fee to help boost its profits, which have consistently lagged what Wall Street has considered appropriate given the industry’s consolidation and solid profitability.”
When Might This Happen
JetBlue has rarely made its “one free checked-bag” policy a splashy and ongoing part of its advertising – certainly not like Southwest. Still it’s a valuable perk and its loss would be felt by some – at first, perhaps, though JetBlue’s good prices, relatively roomy planes with seatback screens are also popular. And to be clear, no decision has been made. A new fee may never happen but it if does, Bloomberg’s guess is it wouldn’t be added until 2015. FareCompare has contacted JetBlue for comment and we will update with any new information.
UPDATE: A JetBlue spokeswoman told FareCompare they are looking at the concept of bundling multiple services for a single price, though they are not yet saying what will be or won’t be included. So the answer to the question - will there be a new bag fee – is the same: Maybe.
In the meantime, enjoy the free bags while you can.