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The rumors are true: JetBlue—long hailed as the airline holdout for ancillary fees—is adding a highly controversial checked bag fee and taking back some of your legroom.
Only six months after the famously egalitarian carrier debuted its new premium Mint class, JetBlue is taking another step toward becoming more of a traditional airline by introducing, in mid-2015, a tiered airfare structure that will bundle checked bags and other, yet-to-be-named benefits into ticket prices.
“The first fare bundle will be designed for those customers who don’t traditionally check a bag; the latter two will offer one and two free checked bags, respectively, along with other benefits,” explains JetBlue representative Anders Lindström. JetBlue has yet to reveal either the ticket prices or the fee to check a last-minute bag at the airport.
Travelers aboard JetBlue will also notice slimmer seats—and more of them. In 2016, the airlines will start rolling out new interiors for all of its Airbus 320s, which will squeeze an additional 15 seats on board by reducing seat pitch from a 34-inch standard to 32 inches per seat.
Until mid-2015, when the new model is implemented, passengers flying with JetBlue can continue to enjoy a complimentary checked bag and endless Terra Blues potato chips. Fortunately, there is no sign of those disappearing anytime soon.