Et Tu, JetBlue? Carrier Considers Adding Basic Economy Fares

It's becoming increasingly hard for travelers to hide from those dreaded basic economy fares. At first limited to domestic routes on Delta, American, and United, basic economy has expanded to include even international. As hateable as these fares may seem, you can be sure they aren't going anywhere.

In fact, you'll be seeing a lot more of them as other carriers consider introducing these pared-down fares. At a recent industry event in Miami, JetBlue revealed that it, too, is "studying the implications of basic economy fares," and while there are no immediate plans to add them, "it could quickly do so if it deemed worthwhile,' according to a report by Airline Weekly.

JetBlue already has a tiered fare system, from Blue, Blue Plus, Blue Flex, and Mint, its premium cabin available only on certain routes. Blue fares do not include a checked bag, and it wouldn't be such a stretch to introduce a tier below Blue that wouldn't allow seat selections or ticket changes of any sort.

If such a limited ticket sounds unappealing to you, remember, that's entirely by design. The whole point is to encourage travelers to book the higher fare tier, a strategy that's clearly working.

If JetBlue does jump on the basic econ bandwagon, that leaves Southwest who has so far managed to resist charging for bags (Southwest still offers 2 free bags in economy, which was once standard), and still doesn't charge a fee for ticket changes.