Here's what to know about the basic economy option coming to JetBlue.

By Stacey Leasca
October 01, 2018
Robert Nickelsberg/Getty Images

JetBlue is joining the ranks of airlines offering basic economy ticketing.

The popular airline has long bucked the trend of offering the low-cost tickets that other airlines including Delta, United, and American have all gotten on board with. But, according to JetBlue President and COO Joanna Geragthy, basic economy is now a necessary evil.

“At JetBlue, we never liked the 'no frills' approach,” Geragthy wrote in a memo obtained by Business Insider. “But with these competitors now offering basic economy on many routes we fly, Customer behavior suggests our success is at risk if we do not disrupt this market by lowering fares without sacrificing the experience."

According to Business Insider, the airline will begin offering the basic economy ticketing sometime in 2019. Basic economy will then join its other pricing options, which will likely be rebranded to Blue, Blue Save, and Blue More.

While the lower fare may seem attractive, it’s key for travelers to know that they may be paying more in the long run anyway. Bbasic economy fares are just that — basic. Typically, travelers with this fare cannot select their own seats, may have to pay for overhead bin space, and will have to pay extra for checked bags and onboard snacks. That’s why many airlines thoroughly warn passengers before booking the low fare so they aren’t blindsided by the extras later.

But, perhaps JetBlue will be different. As Geragthy added in her memo, guests that book basic economy will still have access to “the full JetBlue experience” which includes ample legroom in coach and free in-flight entertainment and snacks. What they will likely miss out on includes “things like boarding order, seating, and change/cancelation flexibility.”

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