Skift Take

With consumers' short attention span, JetBlue's new fare options and checked bag policy may not be such a big deal, especially when coupled with some lower fares and lower change fees.

If there’s one thing Twitter users love it’s hating something — anything.

Today was JetBlue’s day to be less loved that it usually is.

The changes in JetBlue’s fare structure and baggage fees were publicized yesterday at six in the morning, New York time, but it took a few hours before the complaints rolled in on Twitter. Four hours later JetBlue’s brand sentiment stood at 68% positive on Topsy and conversations were trickling in at one tweet per minute, according to Twitter Curator.

Flyers did not feel the perceived sticker price shock until noon yesterday, when the velocity rose to six tweets per minute while sentiment fell to 61% positive — not a huge drop considering the enormity of the changes and Twitter users’ penchant for complaining first and understanding second.

JetBlue told Skift in the past that its social customer service team does not respond to every tweet. Instead the team decides which tweets to answer to maximize community benefits through select conversations. This restraint was on display today.

Some JetBlue customers claimed to be distraught as JetBlue scrapped its free first-check bag policy and these flyers tweeted emojicons showing sighs and disappointment. Some were so annoyed they vowed never to fly JetBlue again.

Flyers took a few jabs, arguing how JetBlue succumbed to the pressures of Wall Street and sold out. Some customers expressed frustration that they now will have to change their carrier of choice. Some vowed to take their business to Southwest, where the first two checked bags still fly free for now at least.

JetBlue did reply to tweets clarifying that travelers who booked flights before June 30 do not need to worry about the new baggage fee policy. JetBlue indicated it is proud of the service it provides to its customers, arguing that the new fare structure allows for flexibility. There were no apologies.

The backlash on Twitter was expected, and it was an opportune time for competitors to listen in on conversations and hijack the exchange. Southwest did just that a few times throughout the day.


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Tags: fees, jetblue airways, twitter

Photo credit: This is a screenshot of JetBlue's new homepage, which has a link to the new checked bag policy. JetBlue

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