JetBlue Eliminates Free Standby, Increases Price For Same Day Flight Changes

Even the “good guys” occasionally make negative changes. Yesterday I wrote about how JetBlue is adjusting their policy on refaring. Back in the day, if your JetBlue fare dropped between when you booked and departure, you could get a voucher for the difference in fare. It was a nice way to feel comfortable about locking in a ticket in advance, and it didn’t cost JetBlue much, given that they were giving out vouchers rather than cash. Eventually they changed their policy to only allowing you to refare within 14 days, and then this week they’ve changed the policy to allowing you to only refare within five days of when you book, which is much more restrictive.

But it looks like they’ve made two other changes that have the potential to impact more passengers.

JetBlue raises the cost for same day flight changes

JetBlue lets you pay to confirm a seat on another flight the same day (assuming it has any availability, even if it’s not the same fare class), when you make that change the day of departure. The fee for this used to be $50, though JetBlue has raised their same day flight change fee to $75.

JetBlue eliminates free standby

JetBlue used to let you standby for an earlier or later flight the same day at no cost. Now JetBlue has eliminated free standby, and has raised the cost of that to $75. Since there’s no reason to standby when you can just confirm a seat for $75, that fee only applies when a flight is sold out and you can’t make a confirmed same day change. If you don’t clear onto the flight then that fee is refunded.

Bottom line

It’s unfortunate to see JetBlue change their policies like this, though I guess it’s not surprising either. As before, Mosaic members can make free same day flight changes.

(Tip of the hat to Deals We Like)

Comments

  1. I still think American has an underrated same day change policy. Unlimited free standby (not same day confirmed change) for all elites, for earlier and later flights. Used this many times at a Platinum.

  2. what u mean by free same day changes for Mosaic ? – Is there no fee for the same day changes and just needs to pay the fare difference or is it completely free ? Like i book cheap flight for the day and can i request for costlier morning flight for free , if iam mosaic ?
    I am a Mosaic now thanks to SW CP.

  3. It’s about time JetBlue did this. People would buy the cheap flight then stand by on the original flight they wanted. It was a huge loophole.

  4. @King
    As a Mosaic there’s no fee whatsoever to switch to a different flight on the same day (provided there is a flight available.) You can do so starting 24 hours prior to the original flight, even if the new flight was going for much more money. At any time beforehand you can change your ticket and just pay the fare difference.

    It’s an awesome benefit, as many times it’s saved me a lot of money when the flight I wanted was going for significantly more. Alaska’s policy is almost as good (and for them they charge a much fairer $25.00)

    I’d say being a Mosaic saves me about $1,000.00 a year.

  5. @Alpha. It is really good to know. Then i think it is time to apply for barclay card to get 60000 points now and MS 50 k for Mosaic next year.

    So main question- This free standby , is it applicable for points booking ?

  6. Mosaic is one of the best elite statuses out there as far as saving money is concerned. (Obviously, they have no first class to get upgraded to, though, which is a minus compared to other US carriers.)

  7. Ultimately, dumb move for JetBlue. Yes, the cheaper flight loophole existed, BUT, by not allowing people to take earlier flights, you’re removing capacity for later flights to handle IRROPs. From what I’ve seen, and from the bases my friends work out of, load factors are nice and high.

    Sad to see how great JetBlue was to now acting just like another legacy carrier. For many of the routes I need to fly, they’re quite a bit more expensive than the other carriers. I’ve even booked J on a legacy for the price JetBlue wanted for economy.

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