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JetBlue Makes a Big Update to Basic Economy Baggage Policy — and It’s Making Flying Cheaper

JetBlue will include a carry-on bag with its basic economy tickets in the fall, making it cheaper to fly with the carrier.

Starting Sept. 6, travelers who fly on a Blue Basic ticket will receive a complimentary carry-on bag, JetBlue shared with Travel + Leisure. The new policy will apply to all Blue Basic tickets, regardless of the purchase date.

Currently, most Blue Basic tickets don’t include a carry-on bag and travelers who bring a bag must pay extra and check it ($65 for a first or second checked bag). The exception is for transatlantic flights when Blue Basic tickets include a carry-on bag, but travelers must pay for a checked bag.

“Carry-on bags are an important piece of travel to customers, and 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,” Marty St. George, the president of JetBlue, said in a statement shared with T+L. “We’re always looking for ways to evolve our offering in response to customer preferences. This is a win-win as we improve the customer experience and keep JetBlue competitive in our industry.”

When the new policy goes into effect, travelers in Blue Basic will receive one carry-on bag and one personal item included with their tickets, much like travelers flying on a Blue fare get now. Blue Basic travelers will still have to pay for a checked bag and won’t receive other perks of higher fare categories like the ability to make changes to their ticket or no-fee seat selection.

The decision to include a carry-on bag in Blue Basic tickets comes a couple months after JetBlue revamped how it charges for bags, introducing a peak and off-peak pricing structure, which went into effect on March 22. It also comes after the airline quietly raised baggage prices in February.

JetBlue isn’t the only airline to charge basic economy travelers for carry-on bags. United Airlines, for example, similarly charges basic economy passengers for anything above a personal item on most flights, but includes one on flights to Canada, South America, across the Atlantic, and on international flights across the Pacific, and includes a checked bag on international flights across the Pacific, according to the airline.

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