Knowing-JetBlue-Economy-Fares

Blue Basic vs. Blue: Here’s What You Need to Know About JetBlue’s Economy Fares

JetBlue Airways is perhaps most famous for being a low-budget airline with the comfiest economy seats in the industry—at least in the US, anyway. But while JetBlue is acknowledged as a low-cost carrier, it operates more like the major carriers in one major way: it offers basic economy fares. In keeping with its charming naming system, Blue Basic is the cheapest fare JetBlue provides, giving budget-conscious travelers who need fewer frills the perfect option for saving extra money. But just what does Blue Basic entail, and how restrictive are these fares vs. the airline’s staple Blue option?

Let’s take a look at these two fares offered by JetBlue to help you decide if Blue Basic tickets are worth it.

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JetBlue Overview and Fare Breakdown

JetBlue is a relatively young airline compared to its competition, some of which, like Delta, are nearing their one-hundredth anniversary. But, despite its youth, the airline has grown quickly, becoming one of the most lauded and beloved airlines in the US for everything from its roomy economy seating to its first-rate business class experience.

Travelers looking to take advantage of JetBlue’s flight experience have five ticket options to fit various budgets.

  • Blue Basic
  • Blue
  • Blue Plus
  • Blue Extra
  • Mint

The airline also offers what it calls Even More® Space seats. Customers can purchase them as an add-on to enjoy even more legroom and other perks.

Mint stands alone as JetBlue’s first-class option on domestic flights and its business class option on international flights. Inclusive of all the perks JetBlue offers, Mint fares aren’t considered the best solely among JetBlue’s fares but industry-wide.

While the four remaining fares are considered Economy class seats, all being located in the Main Cabin, there are distinct differences between these fare options. For example, Blue Basic is JetBlue’s cheapest fare, while Blue Extra is the most expensive economy class fare. And while Blue, Blue Plus, and Blue Extra share many similarities, Blue Basic stands alone as the best choice when money is the greatest travel concern.  

Overall, each class offers different perks that travelers may find most appealing, from earlier boarding groups (Blue Extra fares) to additional baggage allowances (Blue Plus fares) and no change or cancellation fees (Blue, Blue Plus, & Blue Extra fares).

What’s the Difference Between Blue and Blue Basic?

Though they’re the cheapest options JetBlue offers, Blue Basic and Blue fares have less in common than Blue has with the other Economy classes. We’re talking no bags vs. free carry-ons, fees vs. free cancellation charges, and fewer rewards vs. more points earned. No-frills fares are just that: no frills.

So, between the bare-bones flying of Blue Basic vs. the standard comforts of Blue, let’s look at how these differences could impact your travel experience with JetBlue Airways.

Blue Basic vs. Blue: Advance Seat Selection

To choose your perfect seat on a Blue Basic fare, you’ll have to pay $5 to $25 each way. A steep price for picking your seats. The other option is to wait until 24 hours before your flight when seat selection becomes free. The obvious caveat is that the best seats will likely be gone, and you may be stuck squeezing into a middle seat. 

On the other hand, Blue fares include advance seat selection. So, if you’re worried about getting the best seats on the plane, Blue fares allow you to choose your seat right when you book. 

Blue Basic vs. Blue: Boarding

JetBlue boards its passengers in groups, with Blue Basic in the last boarding group. Typically, this would concern Basic fare passengers on other airlines because the remaining overhead bin space will be limited, if not nonexistent, by the time of boarding. 

Fortunately, or unfortunately, as you’ll see below, this isn’t a concern for Basic Economy ticket holders on JetBlue.

And while not dead last, Blue doesn’t have much of a leg up over the airline’s basic economy ticket as they board next to last.

Pro-tip: Upgrading to Even More Space gets passengers early boarding.

Blue Basic vs. Blue: Carry-On Bags

Blue Basic fares won’t get you any extra benefits here. Unlike other major carriers, JetBlue does not allow a carry-on bag with its Basic Economy fares. Hence, you generally don’t have to worry about running out of overhead bin space. 

However, on some routes, specifically those to/from London, basic economy fares do include a carry-on. Other exceptions include Mosaic members, passengers combining Blue Basic with an Even More Space seat, active military, and unaccompanied minors.

Meanwhile, Blue fares include a free carry-on bag on all routes. 

As a bonus for Blue flyers on domestic flights, JetBlue guarantees that carry-on bags will make it on board, or they’ll issue a $25 credit to your JetBlue Travel Bank.

Blue Basic vs. Blue: Personal Items

The only baggage allowed with a Blue Basic fare on every route is a personal item that can be stored under the seat in front of you. 

This same benefit is given to Blue passengers, who can bring a personal item on their flight on top of the standard carry-on bag. 

Blue Basic vs. Blue: In-Flight Experience

One area the Basic Economy experience doesn’t lack in comparison to Blue is amenities. Both fare options include similar in-flight benefits for customers to enjoy. 

Seating

Treating yourself to the best economy legroom in any domestic carrier doesn’t cost extra. Every Jetblue passenger flying in the Main Cabin gets at least 32-34 inches of legroom. 

Entertainment

All of Jetblue’s seatbacks come equipped with TVs, some of which boast brand-new touchscreens. Passengers can watch featured titles, free live TV, and on-demand shows. 

Free high-speed Wi-Fi is also available on every JetBlue flight, so if the in-flight entertainment isn’t enough, you can watch on your devices. In addition to more content, the newer touchscreen models have in-seat power to keep your devices fully charged throughout the flight.

Food

It doesn’t matter what class ticket you buy; the snacks are endless in Economy. Regardless of fare type, you can treat yourself to free brand-name snacks and refreshing drinks to wash them all down. On flights over three and a half hours, you can also purchase EatUp boxes or EatUp Café items. 

In addition, flights to and from London include a hot meal service and free wine, beer, and liquor. So, passengers 21 and over can throw back a toast to the skies, the Atlantic, or the Brits while making their way overseas.

Blue Basic vs. Blue: Checked Bags 

Neither Blue Basic nor Blue include a free checked bag on domestic or short-haul flights. However, the big difference between the two economy fares is that Blue gets a free checked bag for flights to and from London. 

Checked bags can be added to Blue Basic fares and Blue flights (outside London) for a fee of $35 for the first bag and $45 for the second bag.

Blue Basic vs. Blue: Expedited Security

JetBlue offers an expedited security feature called Even More® Speed to make getting in and out of airport security effortless. Unfortunately, neither Blue Basic nor Blue comes with Even More Speed included. While it’s accessible as a reasonably cheap add-on purchase, it’s only available in 49 cities, which makes it worth considering if the value is there.

Pro-tip: If you want Even More Speed already included, it comes with purchasing an Even More Space seat, Blue Extra fare, or Mint ticket.

Blue Basic vs. Blue: Cancellations & Changes

Unless your plans are set in stone, a Blue Basic economy ticket is a risky choice. JetBlue charges $100 for changes/cancellations on flights in the US, Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America and $200 on all other routes. 

No one can predict emergencies, but if you have an inkling you might have to change your travel dates, Blue tickets are a much safer bet. With no change or cancellation fees, passengers are only responsible for paying the fare difference.

Blue Basic vs. Blue: Same-Day Switches

Both fare options are eligible for a same-day switch, and both will incur a $75 fee. Beginning at midnight on the day of your flight, you can log into your TrueBlue account and access your reservation. From there, you can make a guaranteed same-day switch to an earlier or later flight with no fare difference applied. 

Pro-tip: Mosaic members can make same-day switches as early as 24 hours in advance. The $75 fee is also waived.

Blue Basic vs. Blue: Same-Day Standby

Like same-day switches, same-day standby costs $75 on both Blue and Blue Basic tickets. However, unlike switches, standby is based on availability, so there’s no guarantee you’ll be able to fly out on a different flight.

Pro-tip. Mosaic members and customers with refundable fares are not charged a standby fee.

Blue Basic vs. Blue: TrueBlue Points Earned

While every Blue Basic economy fare is eligible for TrueBlue points, they come at a significant earnings disadvantage compared to the other fare options. Blue Basic only earns one point per $1, and online booking bonuses are also limited to one point per $1. Compare this to Blue, which earns three points on every $1 and three bonus points per $1 for online booking. 

Pro-tip: Blue Basic is the only fare that doesn’t receive full TrueBlue points. Blue, Blue Plus, Blue Extra, and Mint all receive equal points per dollar spent.

Blue vs. Blue Basic FAQ

Still unsure about the differences between flying Blue vs. Blue Basic? You want to ensure you’re getting the most out of your money. With that in mind, here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions to help you decide which fare is right for you.

Can Blue Basic Change to Blue?

No, you cannot change a Blue Basic ticket to a Blue ticket. If you accidentally purchased a Blue Basic fare when you meant to buy a Blue one, you have a 24-hour window to cancel so you can book the correct fare.

Outside of the 24-hour window, cancellations cost $100 within the US, Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America, while all other routes cost $200. 

Do You Earn TrueBlue Points on Blue Basic Fares?

Yes, you can earn TrueBlue points with a Blue Basic economy fare. However, they do earn less than all other fare types. 

Blue Basic fares only earn one point per $1 and one bonus point per $1 for online booking. Meanwhile, Blue, Blue Plus, Blue Extra, and Mint all earn three points per $1 and three bonus points per $1 for online booking. 

So, if earning points is your main concern, consider purchasing a Blue or above fare type.

Do You Get a Carry-On With Blue Basic?

Blue Basic tickets do not include a complimentary carry-on bag. In fact, JetBlue will charge you $65 for bringing a carry-on bag to the gate and will make you check it instead. Exceptions are made for some flyers:

  • Mosaic members
  • Active US military
  • Unaccompanied minors 
  • Traveling to/from London
  • Customers who add Even More Space to their Blue Basic fares

Outside of these exceptions, Blue Basic customers will have to make do with a single personal item stuffed under the seat in front.

Can You Upgrade a Blue Basic Fare?

Yes, if you purchased a Blue Basic fare, you can upgrade it. JetBlue allows Even More Space add-ons to all its economy class fares, including Blue Basic Economy tickets. Simply choose an Even More Space seat when booking, and the cost of the upgrade will be added to your total.

If you’re flying roundtrip or with a connection, the seat upgrade will have to be purchased separately for each leg of your journey.

Pro-tip: Even More Space Seats can’t be booked with points, so you’ll need a card on hand to complete your purchase.

Are There Any Exceptions to Blue Basic’s No-Frills Service?

Yes, there are exceptions to Blue Basic’s bare-minimum services. Both Mosaic members and JetBlue credit card holders possess different benefits across each fare type, including Blue Basic. 

Mosaic members boast:

  • One personal item, a carry-on bag, and two free checked bags
  • Priority boarding
  • Fees waived for same-day switches and standbys
  • Even More Speed included
  • And more

 Plus/Business credit card holders enjoy:

  • One personal item and one checked bag
  • Card bonus of 6 points per $1 spent
  • 50% savings on eligible inflight purchases

Is It Worth it to Fly Blue Basic?

It all comes down to personal preference. Blue Basic is the most stripped-down fare option JetBlue offers, while Blue fares provide a few additional perks when you’re flying. But for flyers who have firmly set plans and don’t need a lot of fanfare, flying Blue Basic can help you save more money. And for people who like to spend less on how they travel and more on actually enjoying their travel, Blue Basic makes that a lot easier.

Here’s What You Need to Score Great Deals with Next Vacay

Now that you have the lowdown on JetBlue’s Blue vs. Blue Basic fares, the only thing left to know is how to score amazing deals for your next flight. And whether you’re heading to LA, the Caribbean, or some other continent entirely, Next Vacay can help you find the cheapest deals to save big. So, the next time you want to splurge on an upgrade and get out of Basic Economy, you can do so guilt-free. 

Signing up takes minutes for priceless deals that’ll have you globetrotting in no time. So sit back, relax, and get ready to plan your next trip with Next Vacay.

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