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JetBlue Returns Free Carry-Ons to its Cheapest Blue Basic Fares

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A little more than three years after JetBlue took away free carry-on bags from its lowest Blue Basic fares, the airline will add them back later this year. 

On Tuesday, JetBlue announced that beginning Sept. 6, passengers flying on its cheapest, bare-bones Blue Basic fares will be allowed to bring a carry-on bag for free again, according to a news release

In 2021, JetBlue joined United in banning carry-ons for basic economy fares, leaving Blue Basic customers with just a personal item. Recently returned JetBlue President Marty St. George has now reverted the airline to its old ways, again allowing all JetBlue flyers the option to bring a free carry-on. This leaves just United as the only major U.S. airline not to allow carry-on bags on basic economy tickets. 

It's the first positive change JetBlue has made to its baggage policy in recent years. Earlier this year, JetBlue went further than any other airline with its baggage fees by introducing dynamic pricing for its checked bag fees, charging more to check a bag during peak travel periods. 

No other amendments were made to Blue Basic fares. You still won't be able to choose a seat or change your flight when booking a Blue Basic fare, and canceling will still cost $100 per person for U.S. flights and $200 for flights to Europe. 

As of Tuesday morning, the change to JetBlue's baggage policy is already being reflected on its website and on Google Flights. 



Jetblue Blue Basic


For flights before Sep. 6, 2024, travelers who purchased a Blue Basic ticket will not be able to bring a carry-on. They'll be restricted to a personal item or have to pay for a checked bag starting at $35 one-way. 

In a statement, St. George hinted that JetBlue's carry-on policy had been a competitive disadvantage for the New York-based carrier. 

“When presented with a choice between JetBlue's award-winning service and another carrier's basic offering, we want JetBlue to be the easy winner,” he said in a statement. A major player in the Northeast, JetBlue was often facing competition from American and Delta's basic economy products, both of which allow free carry-on bags. Recently, even the ultra low-cost carrier Frontier announced a new bundle that includes a free carry-on bag.

In 2019, the airline first announced its Blue Basic fares, but insisted it would do basic economy more humanely. Executives said they would “take better care of (travelers) than other airlines do.”

It appears the airline is recommitted to living up to that declaration in 2024. 


Bottom Line

Starting in September, travelers flying JetBlue's lowest Blue Basic fares will again be able to bring a free carry-on bag. 

The announcement comes a little less than three years after JetBlue banned carry-ons from its cheapest fares. 

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