JetBlue is adding a new fee for assigning seats in economy. This is objectively a negative development for passengers, though (unfortunately) probably a pretty sensible change.
In this post:
JetBlue starts charging for some regular economy seats
JetBlue has Even More Space seating, which is the carrier’s extra legroom economy section located at the front of the cabin, as well as at exit rows. This has long been available for an extra fee, or for select Mosaic members.
Beyond Even More Space seats, though, JetBlue hasn’t had fees for assigning standard economy seats. That has finally changed, as JetBlue has just created the concept of “preferred” economy seats. These are the non-extra legroom economy seats located toward the front of the economy cabin.
There’s now a fee to assign these seats. The fee varies by route, and as you’d expect, it’s lower than the Even More Space seat cost.
JetBlue is smart to make this negative change
This is objectively a negative change from JetBlue, since you’ll now have to pay to assign seats that were previously free. That being said, in all honesty I don’t really blame JetBlue for making this change, and think it’s logical.
JetBlue is in a tough spot financially, as it’s in the awkward market position between ultra low cost carriers and the major global legacy carriers. JetBlue has a fantastic inflight product, better than on most legacy airlines, with seat back entertainment, free Wi-Fi, more legroom, tasty snacks, and more.
The problem is, JetBlue isn’t really able to command a revenue premium for its better product. The airline has tried, but hasn’t had much luck. So when the major legacy carriers similarly charge for seats toward the front of economy, you can’t blame JetBlue for trying to do the same. Some people will pay it, and that’s basically free revenue.
Again, I wish things weren’t that way, but JetBlue is in a rough spot, and I don’t think anyone is going to book away from JetBlue because of this policy.
JetBlue is now charging to assign preferred seats in economy, which is any seat with regular legroom located toward the front of the cabin, behind the Even More Space section. This is ultimately a BS fee, if you ask me, but it’s also one that legacy carriers charge.
As much as I hate to say it, since JetBlue has a hard time commanding a revenue premium by offering a better product, it makes sense for JetBlue to try to join the legacies with more junk fees like this. Some people are willing to pay these fees, so…
What do you make of JetBlue’s new fee for preferred seats?