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JetBlue offers low rates with less benefits



JetBlue's new Airbus A321neo at New York's Kennedy Airport.

Leslie Josephs | CNBC

JetBlue Airways offered a basic economy fares with other airlines on Tuesday: the cheapest tickets, which lack perks, such as seat pre-selection. This was previously free for the lowest fares on a flight and is a defensive game against fast-growing Cheap airlines like Spirit and Frontier.

Passengers buying the basic economy fares of the New York based airline will only be able to select a seat 24 hours before the flight and board the aircraft last. Cancellations are not allowed.

Last year, when the airline announced its plan to offer reduced fares, airline president Joanna Geraghty promised that "customers who choose these fares will agree on certain limits". She also promised not to feel the passengers as "second class citizens". All passengers still have access to free Wi-Fi and can bring a full-size travel bag. JetBlue offers more legroom than other low cost airlines.

The changes are part of a revised tariff structure at JetBlue The New York-based airline is replacing its Blue Flex fares with a tariff called Blue Extra, which offers a faster ride on safety lanes, earlier boarding and more ticket flexibility.

Geraghty "We're pretty conservative about the upsell and take rate assumptions," she said. For other airlines, the basic economy fares have been proven, as passengers are willing to pay a higher tariff to them to avoid.

JetBlue shares remained unchanged in premarket trading.


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