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Is JetBlue’s All-You-Can-Jet a Great Deal? Not Really

{ Posted on Aug 18 2010 by Marcus Alston }

JetBlue announced today that by “popular demand”, it is bringing back its All-You-Can-Jet pass, which allows any purchaser to travel to an unlimited number of  JetBlue destinations around the world over a one-month period.

The Cost.  $699 for an unlimited pass with no travel day restrictions or $499 for an unlimited pass that excludes travel on Fridays and Sundays.  Travel must take place between September 7, 2010 and October 6, 2010.  Last year, the unlimited pass cost $599 and they sold out quickly.

The Catch:

1.  Travel must take place between September 7, 2010 and October 6, 2010.  This stinks.  Confining the travel period is pretty limiting and you only have about 30 days.

2. JetBlue does not cover most of the world.  Their flights are limited to the U.S. and the Caribbean, plus San Jose, Mexico, and Bogata, Columbia.  The airline serves 61 cities with 650 daily flights.

3. You only have 1 month to maximize the benefit of the “All-You-Can-Jet” pass (the “Pass”) by traveling to multiple locations, and don’t forget you will have to pay for any hotel, food, and other expenses separately.

4.  To realize a savings you probably need to take at least 3 round trip flights before you start saving money based on the average domestic flight of about $300 (Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics).   Just to break even, you need about 2 trips.  However, there are many deals on the Internet and low cost carriers such as Southwest Airlines where you could get a round trip flight for under $200.  In this scenario, you would need about 4 round trip flights to make the Pass worth it.

5.  For international flights and Puerto Rico, taxes and fees are not included.  For domestic flights, taxes and fees are included.

6.  Each flight must be booked and ticketed no later than three (3) days prior to the flight’s scheduled departure.

7.  Changes or cancellations of flight bookings made within 3 days prior to the flight’s scheduled departure will incur a $50 change/cancel fee.

8.  If a customer no-shows for a flight, a penalty fee of $100 will be incurred. The Pass and all existing reservations will be suspended until the penalty fee is paid.

9.  Were you really planning on taking a trip during this time period or is this Pass going to make you incur an expense you would have not ordinarily incurred?  If it’s the latter, query whether buying something when you would not have otherwise is really a good deal for you at all and whether you are really “saving” anything.  Is this expense in your budget?  Is the purchase of the Pass along with the required additional trip expenses such as lodging and food going to put you in more debt?

10.  Travelers must join JetBlue’s frequent flier program, TrueBlue, to participate.  Not a bad thing, and you do get points towards frequent flier miles for buying the pass.  For more details, click here.

The Real Reason for the Deal.  No it is not because of Steve Slater, the ex-JetBlue flight attendant who cursed out a passenger over  a week ago and exited the plane down the emergency slide with a beer.  This time of year is historically one of the slowest for the airline industry.  The promotion is an opportunity for JetBlue to attract more demand and to fill seats that they project will otherwise remain empty.  This is the second year that JetBlue has offered this and last year it created great publicity for the airline.

Conclusion.  Unless you were already planning on taking multiple trips (at least 3) this year anyway, I would pass on the Pass (pun intended).  This “deal” is just another way to cause consumers to purchase something that they do not really need. It sounds cool and when I first looked at the deal I thought it was amazing, but after you think about all the “catches” and what you have to do to make it a real deal, you are better off without the Pass.  Only for a few percentage of people does the Pass really make financial sense.

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3 Responses to “Is JetBlue’s All-You-Can-Jet a Great Deal? Not Really”

  1. You summed it up well. That’s exactly how I see it too!

  2. What a great resource!

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