JetBlue Airways, New York-based airways company, has raised baggage fees to an industry high of $30 for the first checked piece of luggage earlier this week. In doing so, it has broken away from the pack of its industry peers including American, Delta and United which all charge $25 for the first checked bag. However, the Southwest Airlines still allows two checked bags for free while Spirit and Frontier, the nation’s largest ultra low cost carriers, charge $50 and $40 respectively.
The additional baggage fees are also going up on the JetBlue. Information broke out through the sources that the story on Monday morning, the fee for checking a second bag on JetBlue is also going up from $35 to $40 while the fee for checking a third bag is moving from $100 to $150. Oversized and overweight baggage fees have also gone up from $100 per bag to $150.
The new fee structures have all been updated the website of JetBlue.
“Customers consistently tell us what they love most about JetBlue: free Fly-Fi on all aircraft, live television and free entertainment, the most legroom in coach, free snacks, and great service,” said Doug Mcgraw, Vice President, Corporate Communications at JetBlue Airways. “We routinely review and adjust our ancillary pricing to ensure a healthy business so we can continue offering the best customer experience of any U.S. airline.”
Mcgraw also added saying that the airline’s Blue Plus fares, which typically cost $10-15 more than standard economy fares, include a free checked bag along with other benefits.
JetBlue’s increased fees indeed come at a time in which the airline is working overtime to boost profits and make up for higher operating costs. After an excellent first quarter, the airline was hit hard by 42% higher fuel prices and increasing maintenance costs on an aging fleet. The airline’s second quarter, as a result, was far weaker.
Already, the airline has taken action to cut back on costs outside of raising baggage fees. Late in July the carrier cut jobs at its New York headquarters. In December, it increased the fee for same-day flight changes and created a fee for standby.
Those distinctions may ultimately start to erode as the price of fuel continues to rise, but for now, JetBlue still has plenty of ammunition to call itself unique from other legacy carriers.
The new fee structures went into effect immediately and will be applied to any flights which will be booked after August 27th.