Ad Alert

JetBlue Blue, Blue Extra: No Change or Cancellation Fees

Not to be confused with a refundable fare.

Ad Alert

JetBlue Blue, Blue Extra: No Change or Cancellation Fees

When booking a flight on JetBlue’s website, consumers have the option to upgrade their fare from Blue Basic to Blue or Blue Extra for an additional charge. One of the touted benefits of the premium packages is no change or cancellation fees.

The peace of mind of knowing that you won’t be charged if you have to change or cancel your flight, even if that means paying extra, is likely to appeal to many consumers. If you’re running late, you don’t need to rush out of the house, leaving your youngest of five at home … alone.

Just don’t confuse free change or cancellation with a refundable fare.

After receiving a tip from a consumer, investigated the marketing at issue and found that while JetBlue prominently advertises to consumers at the time of booking that there are no change or cancellation fees with Blue or Blue Extra, fine print reveals that the “fare is non-refundable” and funds for cancellations are issued as “a JetBlue travel credit, valid for 12 months from original ticketing date” (meaning that if you canceled your flight because you were unhappy with JetBlue’s services, you’re stuck with the airline, and if you can’t travel for a year, you will have totally lost what you paid).

But in order to read the fine print, consumers who choose to upgrade to Blue, for example, need to scroll down to the bottom of a pop-up message that appears after they select a returning flight. Meanwhile, consumers can quickly X out the box, which compares the perks of Blue with Blue Extra, and proceed with their reservation. In other words, the disclosure is easy to miss.

With regard to consumers’ ability to change their flight, the fine print notes that changes are “subject to fare difference and fare rules applicable on date of change. Does not apply to same-day switches.”

What does the law have to say about all of this? According to the FTC, fine print isn’t supposed to contradict other statements in ads or clear up false impressions the ad might leave and it cannot be used to cure false or misleading ad claims. In addition, disclosures of important information must be conspicuous. reached out to JetBlue for comment. Check back for updates.

Find more of our coverage on travel here.

Our Ad Alerts are not just about false and deceptive marketing issues, but may also be about ads that, although not necessarily deceptive, should be viewed with caution. Ad Alerts can also be about single issues and may not include a comprehensive list of all marketing issues relating to the brand discussed.

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