JetBlue Is Using Coronovirus Fears To Sell More Tickets

If you have a previously purchased airline ticket, JetBlue’s normal cancellation rules apply. However if you buy a new ticket starting tomorrow through March 11 for travel completed by June 1, no cancellation fees will apply.

The airline says this is about getting consumers to buy tickets who are afraid of coronovirus, and the policy even applies to their basic economy and vacation package fares. However they’re not giving refunds, just travel credits.

JetBlue does not serve any of the regions that have been materially affected by coronovirus. They won’t fly to Europe until late next year at the earliest.

This is a brilliant marketing move for an industry rocked by coronovirus fears. However understand it for what it is – entirely about selling new tickets, not doing anything for existing customers who had already purchased theirs on the airline. In fact given coronovirus concerns maybe they could even restore the cleaning they used to do between flights in Boston?

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. Better than saying “See grandma one last time” I suppose but as you point out, it still hurts customers who had previously bought tickets.

  2. Maybe Spirit will use the “See Grandma one last time” tag line @Christian, too funny.

    I think it’s smart on Jetblue’s part. This virus will spread and when it spreads more in the USA the travel market will suffer. Globally the travel market is taking a beating so better to get out in front of this a bit.

  3. I think it’s a great idea and should be congratulated. Lots of people may be wanting to travel, but worried that by the time of the flight their destination could be facing an outbreak and/or quarantines. I don’t agree that they’re using the situation to “sell more tickets” as the headline proclaims, but to prevent a big drop off in future sales. I have a trip planned in two weeks to a destination not yet affected, but I’m concerned it’s close enough that sometime between now and the date of my return it could be. Of course anywhere could be affected, so it’s understandable that many are reluctant to buy tickets at all. I’m not so worried about getting the virus as about being able to return normally.

  4. Agreed that they’re not trying to “sell more tickets”; they’re trying to stop the bleeding.

    Also, I didn’t realize that tickets were people and that they could be afraid.

  5. Wow, this is a cynical post. I’d take this any day of the year over other airlines and their stinginess when people want to cancel existing reservations over concerns. Great job, JetBlue!

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