JetBlue just announced a pretty significant change. They will be adding two new fare options — Blue Basic and Blue Extra. I personally am not a fan of these new changes as I hate too many options, but for some it might work out well.
The Blue Basic fare class is, as the name describes, pretty basic. Absolutely no changes or cancellations, even for a fee. And no standby option given. This even holds true for Mosaic member. Travelers who purchase this fare class will also not be able to select a seat until 24 hours prior to departure. During the boarding process, you’ll also board last.
The Blue Extra fare class will allow you to pay for your seat with baked in insurance. For travelers who purchase this fare class, you’ll be able to fully cancel and change your flight for no fee. (Of course you’ll have to pay the fare increase if you change your flight though). You’ll also be eligible for complimentary same day changes (with no fare increase charged) and go standby.
My family will still probably still purchase the regular Blue fare tickets. My husband has JetBlue Mosaic status, so with that, we can change and cancel a flight for no fee — absolutely no reason for us to purchase Blue Extra flights. Unless the fare difference is quite substantial, you probably won’t find us booking a Blue Basic fare as that same Mosaic benefit doesn’t exist.
I’d say about 90% of the time, when we book a JetBlue flight, the fare always goes down at some point between the time of booking and the day of departure. With JetBlue Mosaic status, we can always get our flight re-priced for no fee. If we book a Blue Basic fare that same benefit will not exist and could ultimately cost us more versus the lower price I ultimately find. And since we are flying with a family of four, I do not love the thought of not being able to book seats together ahead of time.
One potential benefit of booking the Blue Extra fare is that you can opt for a same day change 24 hours prior to your flights original departure time. If your desired flight is significantly more expensive than another flight on the same day, you can book the cheaper flight and hope that there are still seats available the day of travel (well really 24 hours in advance). With this benefit, booking a Blue Extra fare could potentially even save you money — although you are taking a gamble.
What are your thoughts on these changes?