At some point recently JetBlue has quietly increased the prices they charge for their “Even More Legroom” seats. Previously offered in the $10-$40 range, depending on the segment length, the new prices range from $5-$75. And while the prices are still somewhat related to the segment length, the correlation is not quite as strict. Indeed, there are a few quirks in the new price structure that have shorter flights more expensive than longer ones (e.g. Long Beach to Portland, OR is more expensive than Long Beach to Seattle).
The increases come as Continental has introduced an up-charge for non-elites to choose their exit row seats, ones with similar increases in leg room, and with much higher prices than JetBlue charged previously or even charges under the new scheme. Perhaps JetBlue is looking to cash in on the perceived value of that extra legroom and still remain comparatively less expensive. Or perhaps they are just pricing based on what the market will bear in general. Las Vegas is a more expensive market now. So is Burbank. Apparently those look like good opportunities to realize a bit more revenue. And JetBlue realizes tens of millions of dollars annually from the EML sales and other fees; increasing those numbers is easier than raising fares and has the potential to increase the carrier’s profitability.
Here are a few maps and charts that show some of the new EML prices from a few JetBlue hubs.
From Long Beach:
The EML seats were never really a compelling value to me. The fact that most seats on JetBlue have 33-34” of pitch is quite enough for me. I’ll take them if they’re free (who wouldn’t??) but paying extra for them was quite uncommon for me. With the new, higher prices that frequency will drop even more.
Maps generated by the Great Circle Mapper – copyright © Karl L. Swartz.
UPDATE (4.4.10 20:44 EDT): The new pricing is apparently a one month trial to “to better match the value of these seats with customer demand, based on the route.”
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