On Tuesday, JetBlue became the latest airline to offer a Basic Economy fare. The new fare is called Blue Basic, and the offering is part of a broader revamping of its fare structure. By introducing the new fare option, JetBlue is hoping to avoid losing out to other airlines, including the big three legacy carriers.
The three biggest carriers in the United States, American, Delta and United, have all introduced Basic Economy fares as a way to compete with low-cost airlines such as Spirit and Frontier.
With JetBlue's new Blue Basic fare, flyers will be able to bring one personal item that fits under their seat as well as carry-on bag, as long as there is available space. That's not all. Passengers will also be able to choose their seat for free, starting 24 hours before the flight. Other airlines charge Basic Economy travelers for this perk.
Those who want to rush on the plane before everyone else may not like the new Basic Economy fare option. Flyers traveling on a Blue Basic fare will be the last to board the plane, just like they would on other carriers offering this no-frills fare option. Another disadvantage of the Blue Basic fare is that changes and cancellations aren't allowed.
The Blue Basic fare is already available on some flights, for example, flights operating from Ft. Lauderdale to Nassau, Bahamas as well as flights from New York JFK to Long Beach, California. According to the airline, over the next month or two, it will offer its new Basic Economy fare option on most of its routes.
On another note, JetBlue has also revealed it is making changes to other fare types. The airline will no longer offer Blue Flex fares, and instead, it will offer Blue Extra. With Blue Extra, passengers will no longer get two free checked bags, which is a perk they enjoyed with the Blue Flex fare. With Blue Extra, passengers will enjoy priority boarding, the ability to change their ticket along with complimentary advanced seating.
JetBlue's Blue Plus fare - the fare option that includes one checked bag - will remain available in select markets the carrier serves. Its Blue and Mint fare options remain unchanged.
In 2021, JetBlue plans to offer transatlantic flights, and at this point, it has not revealed if it will offer Blue Basic on these flights across the pond.