Brad Tuttle over at Budget Travel Online writes about two disturbing announcements from JetBlue in the past few weeks. The first is that the airline quietly raised the maximum price of its one-way flights by $100, from $299 to $399. The second change comes in regard to penalties for excess baggage.
Until recently, JetBlue was the lone holdout among the major domestic carriers by not assessing a penalty fee for checked bags weighing up to 70 pounds. Now the carrier has joined the ranks of every other airline by assessing a new $20 fee for bags weighing 51 to 70 pounds, and $50 for bags weighing 71 to 99 pounds. The reasoning here, in theory, is that heavy bags add weight to the plane, and heavy planes use more fuel; and fuel, as we’ve been told ad nauseum, costs an arm and a leg these days.
One problem: Fuel costs just happen to be plummeting. In fact, Virgin, Qantas, Austrian, and KLM have actually lowered their fuel surcharges in recent days because of the decreased costs.
Given the timing of this announcement, and some of the other unsavory news coming from the JetBlue camp, I can only come to one conclusion: JetBlue is nickel-and-diming its way toward becoming just another airline.