These days, it seems like every airline is rolling out a “basic economy” option: a lowest-possible fare that cuts back on perks like seat selection, legroom and a free carry-on bag.
Enter JetBlue’s (reluctant) foray into the basic economy market: A new option tentatively called Blue Save is set to roll out in 2019.
The budget race
These options are great for travelers who value savings above all else — almost as if you’re getting paid to take a middle seat and squeeze all your clothes into a small backpack.
But for others, there’s a downside: These ultra-low-cost fares make it harder to get an apples-to-apples comparison in multi-search engines that sort flight results according to price. A good seat that’s a decent value might not even show up on the first page of search results because ultra-cheap seats dominate the top of the list.
For airlines, this means that pressure is building to offer a basic economy option just to land on the first page of search results.
Details on Blue Save aren’t firm yet — not even the name is official — but it appears JetBlue Airways is bent on protecting its reputation for quality. See the screenshot below for how JetBlue’s fare options will shake out in 2019:
Even better, JetBlue is stating that its basic economy fares will let you bring both a personal item and a carry-on bag at no extra cost. On the other hand, JetBlue basic economy travelers probably won’t get to select their own seats and will likely be among the last to board the plane. But for some frugal travelers, the low price will be worth the sacrifice.
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