Airlines checking out on free check-ins
The trend towards increased baggage fees continues with U.S. airliner JetBlue canning free check-ins.
American airliner JetBlue has announced major changes to their previously lenient and flexible baggage rules in response to calls from shareholders to boost revenue.
The once consumer-oriented airline seems to have adopted a more commercial-based philosophy with increased baggage fees and reduced leg room due to extra seats being installed, enabling more passengers on-board per flight, which will inevitably result in tighter restrictions in carry-on luggage.
Prior to new changes, the airline had gained increasing popularity for its customer service, offering free snacks, drinks, in-flight entertainment and generous baggage allowances, however new fee structures means no more freebees when it comes to checked luggage. As of 2015, JetBlue customers will have the option of choosing from one of 3 types of fares: budget, mid-range or premium. The budget fare will exclude any checked bags, allowing for carry-on luggage only while the mid-range fare covers a carry-on and 1 check-in and the premium fare buys 2 check-ins and some extra loyalty points. Just how much these fares will cost has not yet been released.
JetBlue has assured that passengers will still enjoy complimentary drinks, snacks and entertainment included in all fares.
JetBlue is one of the last of the American airlines to jump on board the trend towards increased baggage fees and other airlines are sure to follow. Virgin America and Frontier airlines reduced free perks and increased baggage pricing earlier this year.
Many major airlines in Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East already have strict baggage allowance policies, including carry-on weight restrictions.
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