JetBlue is lowering many of its basic economy fares, called Blue Basic, to make them more competitive with the ultra-low-cost carriers such as Spirit and Allegiant. In the process, they're also taking eliminating the right to bring a full-size carry-on.
On the plus side, it will now be possible to make changes in a Basic Blue itinerary for a fee; on the minus, in many cases the fee will be higher than the fare. The new restrictions take effect in July on tickets sold after this week.
Part of the strategy behind the baggage change is to free up overhead space for travelers on regular-price tickets. JetBlue's planes have enough carry-on space for 60% of its passengers, and plans to use a guaranteed overhead space as a lure to get passengers back post-pandemic.
An airline memo explained it: "As customers return, we want to hold on to a little of this zen during the boarding process and make overhead bin space an expectation, not a gamble." Full-fare passengers who don't get a space will get a gate check and a $25 voucher.