As FareCompare's Rick Seaney predicted earlier this year, JetBlue will begin charging for first checked-bags for some of its customers beginning in 2015.
New Bag Fees to Begin in 2015
Until now, all JetBlue passengers got a first checked-bag for free. That will no longer be the case according to its press release, once the airline begins offering three different "branded fare bundle options" sometime in the coming year.
One fare option is 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."
In other words, if you pay more for your ticket, you will still get a free bag.
What's Behind the Move
It's all about money, pure and simple. Baggage fees are an incredible source of revenue; in the first quarter of this year, Delta alone took in more than $190 million. And as several media reports have noted, Wall St. has been pressing JetBlue to get in on this money stream for years and it seems the time is now.
Any Free Bags Left? Yes
Southwest Airlines still offers two bags for free. However, travelers looking for the best fares must compare Southwest prices to be sure that – even with a free bag – they're getting the best deal available. As FareCompare's Seaney says, no single airline always has the best deal.