Look at that smug little plane. Just look at it. “WE ARE TAKING ALL YOUR MONEY LOL FOREVER,” it trills, while lounging on the tarmac.
It’s true, friends. According to Gothamist, JetBlue has just implemented a new fare scale that imposes a $20 bag fee on passengers in its lowest class. So unless you hazard a flight on an aircraft prone to losing its parts midair, you will have to shell out money in order to check your luggage.
News of JetBlue’s villainy does not come as a surprise. In November the airline announced plans to create three hierarchal fare classes—Blue, Blue Plus, and Blue Flex—and to charge its peasant “Blue” class for checked baggage. Now we know that fee will be $20, with an additional $5 charge at the counter. Another $15 scores you a “Blue Plus” designation and one “free” checked bag. And if you’re feeling especially flush, you can spend $100 more than the baseline price, ascend to the “Blue Flex” class, and enjoy the privilege of checking two bags without additional charges.
JetBlue asserts that these new fees will have little impact. “Half of the customers don’t even check bags,” insists Marty St. George, executive vice president for commercial and planning. “In effect what’s happening is, the customers who aren’t checking bags are paying for the customers who do.”
Ok, cool. Yet between plans to decrease passenger legroom and the new baggage fees, JetBlue is poised to increase its operating income by $430 million. Interpreting these changes as efforts toward customer satisfaction seems a bit far-fetched. Traveling Blue class in the Airbus A320? Well then, after you fork over your $20-$25, you can tuck yourself into a seat with 3 inches less leg room than before. But tighter seating will mean fifteen extra seats, so just consider this an opportunity to make new friends. Or nurse your wounds with free Amazon Prime streaming, the one bone JetBlue sees fit to toss its patrons.
Flying can be prohibitively expensive, but JetBlue previously emerged as one of the least egregious options. And now? They can join a host of other airlines on the traveler’s shit list.
Image via Getty.