JetBlue announced that it was increasing fees for checked baggage: from $25 to $30 for the first bag, $35 to $40 for the second. And the line also increased the top ticket change fee from $150 to $200, although fees on cheap tickets remain less than the maximum. The new fees have already gone into effect. JetBlue didn’t charge bag fees until 2015 but now has already increased its prices.
Presumably, the fee increases pass muster with the financial analysts at major funds—the folks who increasingly control airline policy through their equity holdings. And those financial analysts have apparently decided that JetBlue should morph from being a niche line with a measurably better product than its big competitors offer to a “me, too” line with policies and products that mimic Delta, the current “model” for how an airline should operate. Rising fuel prices can also be attributed to this fee increase.
Other airlines are also looking to boost revenue, just last week SmarterTravel reported that Southwest will charge more for Early Bird Check-In for select flights and United will charge for seat selection at the front of the plane for economy passengers.
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Consumer advocate Ed Perkins has been writing about travel for more than three decades. The founding editor of the Consumer Reports Travel Letter, he continues to inform travelers and fight consumer abuses every day at SmarterTravel.