Southwest is making buckets of money by not charging bag fees but JetBlue, squeezed for profits, needs to please Wall Street and start charging for first-chedked bags.
JetBlue officials confirmed today that the airline is on track to introduce new fare families, which means some passengers would pay fees for the first checked bag, during the second quarter, which ends June 30.
Marty St. George, JetBlue’s executive vice president, commercial and planning, said the fare families would be introduced gradually, with only a small percentage of passengers being able to view them initially.
Speaking during JetBlue’s first quarter of 2015 earnings call April 28, St. George said the airline is “fixated” on ensuring that crew members get the proper training to handle the new fares. He said the airline is striving to make the fare families — details of which have not been revealed — simple to understand for both crew and passengers.
“I think we are doing about as much as we can,” St. George said, adding that the fare families and bag fees would be “accretive” to JetBlue.
The rollout of these expanded ancillary services for JetBlue comes with a new technology platform from Datalex, replacing a Sabre platform.
St. George declined to provide an estimate of what percentage of JetBlue passengers would likely end up paying for bag fees.
In other news, JetBlue CEO Robin Haynes said the airline is “working actively” on flying to Mexico City from Orlando, although he declined to provide further details.
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Photo credit: The new Mint class on JetBlue, another new source of revenue for the airline. JetBlue