Travel

JetBlue Scraps 'Free Checked Bag' Policy

1 min read
This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine

JetBlue, long a hold-out among its low-cost airline peers, has given in.

Starting as soon as Tuesday, the airline will introduce a fare scale wherein the lowest-priced tickets won’t include a free checked bag, according to Bloomberg. That would make Southwest the only major American airline to allow all customers to check up to two bags for free.

JetBlue is also debuting redesigned “slimline” seats later this year, with less padding and a configuration that makes room for up to 15 more people on a 150-passenger plane.

The changes were announced in November, but customers have been enjoying the last days of the complimentary baggage policy until this week. By 2017, JetBlue expects the baggage policy change to boost its operating income by at least $200 million.

JetBlue’s consumer-friendly brand took a hit when it announced the planned changes in November. But that might just be a speed bump on JetBlue’s way to the bank: While JetBlue made only $21.99 million off its previously generous baggage fees in the first quarter of 2015, its more miserly competitor Delta made $198.1 million. Southwest, meanwhile, only took home $10.1 million.

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