A week after Delta offered a $59 annual subscription guaranteeing overhead bin space, JetBlue is conducting its own experiment in charging passengers to check a carry-on bag.
For $5, you can check a carry-on bag at the check-in gate in Orlando, saving you from lugging it through the airport and security. Like any other carry-on, participating bags must be 22”x14”x 9” and weigh 25 pounds or less.
JetBlue confirmed to USA TODAY it is running a trial at Orlando International Airport to gauge customer interest, rationalizing that the boarding process will go faster if there are fewer passengers holding up people behind them as they try to squeeze their bags into crowded overhead bins.
Would you pay $59 a year for overhead bin space? Delta is betting the answer is yes
“We are testing a new feature in our Orlando ticketing lobby allowing travelers to check a carry-on bag meeting certain size and weight requirements,” Philip Stewart, the airline’s corporate communications manager, told USA TODAY. “In an effort to streamline the travel experience, we hope customers will enjoy carrying fewer bags through security and a quicker boarding process at the gate. We look forward to gathering feedback on this trial from our customers and crew members.”
Passengers who opt to check their carry-on would pay a $5 fee at check-in and hand the bag over with their checked luggage before proceeding to security. They'd pick up the bag with their other luggage at baggage claim at the destination airport. (Photo: Andrew Burton, Getty Images)
So what’s good and bad about this offer?
The bad: Your carry-on just became a piece of checked luggage you won’t have with you on the plane. So don’t put your laptop, tablet, medication or change of clothes in that bag because you won’t see it again until it hits the baggage claim carousel at your destination.
The good: If you can squeeze your gear into one or two carry-on-sized bags and check that for $5 apiece, it could be a bargain compared to paying JetBlue’s standard bag fees, which are $30 for your first checked bag or $40 for a second, each way. The airline still allows passengers to bring one carry-on bag and a small personal item free of charge.
Stewart also noted JetBlue passengers can still gate-check bags for free, dropping them off at the jetbridge before boarding and picking them up at the destination airport’s jetbridge.
JetBlue’s experiment comes as airline CEOs participate in quarterly earnings calls to tout their third-quarter profits to shareholders and the media. In many cases, those numbers are driven by bag fees, which are often the carriers’ biggest ancillary revenue source.
In the first six months of 2019, U.S. airlines made a combined $2.8 billion in bag fees, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. JetBlue made $174 million.
Airlines make bank off your bags: See how much they’ve earned so far this year
Boeing 737 Max:American, Southwest vow to make Boeing pay for costly grounding
Source: Read Full Article