JetBlue is launching a basic economy fare to help it compete with Delta, United, and American

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  • JetBlue Airways announced it will now be adding its own edition of basic economy to its seating choices, joining domestic rivals American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Air Lines in offering lower priced economy-section fares.
  • JetBlue President and COO Joanna Geragthy wrote in a letter to crew members the airline's "success is at risk if we do not disrupt this market by lowering fares without sacrificing the experience."
  • Basic economy was created by America's "Big Three" airlines as a reaction to lower fares offered by ultra-low-cost carriers like Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines.
  • Basic economy targets those customers who are keen on value seating. In exchange for the lowest possible ticket, these passengers in basic economy give up such common add-ons like early boarding, overhead space, and free carry-on bags.

JetBlue Airways announced it will now be adding its own edition of basic economy to its seating choices, joining domestic rivals American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta Airlines in offering lower-priced economy fares.

In a note addressed to crew members sent to Business Insider from a JetBlue spokesperson, JetBlue President and COO Joanna Geragthy wrote, "At JetBlue, we never liked the 'no frills' approach. But with these competitors now offering basic economy on many routes we fly, Customer behavior suggests our success is at risk if we do not disrupt this market by lowering fares without sacrificing the experience."

According to Geragthy's note, sometime next year JetBlue will change their fare options from Blue, Blue Plus, Blue Flex to new designations, considering possible working-title options Blue, Blue Save, and Blue More. According to the letter, these are tentative labels that are subject to change, with the final choices to be announced later.

A new JetBlue fare-class will be geared toward customers looking for flights at the lowest possible price point, which will put the New York-based carrier firmly in line with the basic economy standards offered by other domestic airlines.

Basic economy was created by America's biggest three airlines-American, United, and Delta-as a reaction to lower fares offered by ultra-low-cost carriers like Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines. Basic economy seeks to allow larger airlines to remain competitive against those super-low fares others offer without sacrificing the revenue generated by their traditional economy-class seating prices.

Basic economy targets those customers who are keen on value seating. In exchange for the lowest possible ticket price, these passengers in basic economy give up such common add-ons like early boarding, overhead space, and free carry-on bags.

In her note to crew members, Geragthy writes that customers in JetBlue's new basic economy will still have access to "the full JetBlue experience" like the most legroom in coach, free in-flight entertainment and free snacks, but they may find some limits on "things like boarding order, seating and change/cancelation flexibility."

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