There’s no doubt that airlines have been hit hard by the uncertainty of the coronavirus. Despite afflicting far fewer people than the common flu (which has killed more than 15,000 people in the USA alone this year, versus ~3,000 deaths from the Coronavirus worldwide), widespread panic has swept the earth as containment efforts have widely failed.
JETBLUE WAIVING CHANGE AND CANCELATION FEES
This morning I received an email from JetBlue that announced they will suspend all change and cancelation fees for newly booked tickets:
- This is valid for flights booked between 27 February – 11 March 2020
- This is valid for travel completed by 1 June 2020
EVEN BLUE BASIC FARES?
As you can see from the email, this will apply to all fares offered by JetBlue, including Blue Basic fares, which usually can’t be changed or canceled.
Passengers who choose to cancel their flights will receive a travel credit for the full value of their ticket, which they can apply towards a future flight. Customers who want to change their flights can apply the full amount from their original booking to a different itinerary, although fares differences may apply.
PREVIOUSLY BOOKED TICKETS DON’T QUALIFY
It’s also worth noting that the email says “we are waiving change and cancelation fees for all JetBlue fares…for customers that book over the next two weeks (02/27 – 03/11/20).” In other words, previously booked tickets don’t qualify for this.
This promotion is clearly intended to generate additional business and put people at ease when they book flights over the next two weeks.
While there are no current travel restrictions to the locations we fly, customers can book with confidence on jetblue.com and jetbluevacations.com and know that changes or cancellations will be allowed without penalty should the situation change.
Jetblue is acknowledging the huge uncertainty that the coronavirus is creating and attempting to put people at ease which is commendable, particularly when other airlines are taking the low road.
I predict other airlines will match this policy but if not, JetBlue is creating quite a competitive advantage to book with them over others.
What do you think about JetBlues announcement? Good for business? Rub you the wrong way? Indifferent?