JetBlue Lets You Fly Anywhere for a Month for $599

I’m sure many of you were hoping to see a post today on Republic winning the auction for Frontier thanks to labor thwarting the Southwest bid, but I didn’t have enough time to do the research last night to write a post. I’ll have more next week either here or on BNET.
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Every so often an airline comes out with a great promotion that catches people’s attention. It’s easy to put out a fare sale, and those don’t usually get much attention, but JetBlue has put out something that’s certainly eye-catching this week. It’s the all-you-can-fly pass. One month, $599 (plus international taxes and fees), and you can fly anywhere you want in JetBlue's All You Can Fly Promothe JetBlue system.

First, I have to say that this isn’t exactly a JetBlue invention. Others have tried it in the past (some in the very distant past), and there are other types of passes like this that still exist today. Most notably in the last decade has been Air Canada’s plethora of pass products, but JetBlue’s effort here is still a great one. For $599 plus international taxes and fees, you can fly anywhere JetBlue flies between September 8 and October 8.

Want to fly every single day? Go right ahead. As long as you can afford the taxes, you’re welcome to do it. You might expect that there would be a bunch of restrictions here, and you’d be . . . wrong. If there is a seat to sell, it’s all yours. The only real restrictions are that you need to make your bookings and changes at least three days before departure. Any changes within three days (or no-shows), and you have to pay $100. That’s a deal. And you get 35 TrueBlue points so you’re a third of the way to a free ticket.

Why the heck is JetBlue putting out such a rich offer? September 8 is the day after Labor Day, and that’s when traffic tanks. Kids are back in school, there are no more holidays in September, and it’s too early for kids to be pulled out of school again for a vacation. For an airline with a huge leisure focus like JetBlue, this is an awful time of year. It’s particularly bad in Florida and the Caribbean where it’s peak hurricane season. Those are JetBlue’s bread-and-butter markets.

So they figure that they can get some people on airplanes with this move. It fits with their brand, and it will get them great press. It already has. Anyone want to take bets on how many blogs pop up with people documenting their 30 days of travel?

I like this move a lot, because it’s creative and it’s simple. Great stuff.

[Updated 8/14 @ 849a to reflect that only international taxes and fees are charge - domestic ones are included]


15 Responses to JetBlue Lets You Fly Anywhere for a Month for $599

  1. David SFeastbay says:

    Decades ago some airlines had this type pass programs. A lot of people tried to see how much they could fly on the pass in the time given. Some airline buffs (called geeks now) would study an airlines routes to plan their trip where there were in the air as much as possible. They would get into an airport late at night and sleep in the terminal until the first flight of the day the next morning to continue their adventure. A lot of students did this as back then meals were serviced all the time and that’s how they ate.

    But back then it really was for only the cost of the pass, now a days there is all the added taxes that are charged even on a free domestic ticket.

    I hope the spirit of yester-years prevail and people do try and see how much flying they can do in a month. It would be fun to read of their adventures both good and bad.

  2. Robin Johnson says:

    This sounds like a really good deal for someone with one or more business trips planned, who’d like a vacation trip (or two) too during the month. Of course us airline buffs will be on it like a shot! I remember Delta had a great deal sometime in the eighties which I used to cross the country five times!

  3. JK says:

    Reminds me of Mohawk’s Weekends Unlimited back 40 or so years ago [I think it was around '67 or '68] for the wonderful price of $25, with taxes, $26 plus change.

    Oh, those noisey BAC-111s, and the high-winged F-27s with the huge windows, to take in the sites from DCA to Buffalo, Detroit to Boston, and much of New York in between.

    Great for a weekend, but a month. And, with allowance of only 1 flight, per city, per day, the hotel and food prices away from home might add on a lot more than one is prepared to pay.

  4. Sadly, it’s teasing a starving man with a bone. They don’t fly to Dallas.

  5. Cranky you forgot more about the airline business than I will ever know, but I’m highly skeptical about the Jet Blue pass, at least as it relates to me. I live in New York, but I like to visit your wonderful state. NY-SF and NY-LA are highly popular routes even during the slow times, and I can’t help wonder how many “available” seats will actually be available on these routes for people who buy an unlimited pass.

    I used to be a Starwood member because they supposedly had no blackout dates for using points. But on one convention weekend in San Francisco I was told there were no rooms available for points, though a top-of-the-line suite was available for purchase. I went on hotels.com and guess what? I got a room below the rack rate. So much for no blackout dates.

    I used to think Jet Blue had more integrity than the legacy airlines, but some public incidents over the years has given me serious pause for concern. I know I’m in the minority, but I think frequent flyer programs are for suckers (unless you are a really active flyer); these is absolutely no transparency and airlines can easily manipulate their programs. Similarly, I remain dubious about Jet Blue’s pass. As the saying goes, “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.”

    So let’s make a deal: if I buy an unlimited pass and can’t use it because no “available” seats are actually available the new time I fly to LA, I get to stay at the Snyder residence to make up for the full price ticket on Virgin America I have to buy. :)

    Keep up the great work! Even when I disagree with you, I know in my heart you are probably right.

  6. Travis says:

    @ eric starkman:
    As a JetBlue employee, I can say the offer is completely legit. The restriction may come in a limited number of passes being sold. But, if there is a seat available on any flight, anyone who gets a pass (before they sell out) can have it.

    The promo is having exactly the desired effects; Free, almost unavoidable media coverage; flights are filling up; and many of the customers who have bought the pass had never flown JetBlue before.

    While other airlines are laying people off, JetBlue is offering overtime to our call-center employees so we have enough people on the phones to handle the increased call volume this promotion has generated.

  7. CF says:

    JK wrote:

    Reminds me of Mohawk’s Weekends Unlimited back 40 or so years ago [I think it was around '67 or '68] for the wonderful price of $25, with taxes, $26 plus change.

    I seem to remember a column in either Airways or Airliners magazine with a detailed report from someone who take advantage of it. Cool.

    The Traveling Optimist wrote:

    Sadly, it’s teasing a starving man with a bone. They don’t fly to Dallas.

    Yes, but Austin is very close and you can get from there to the Northeast, Florida, and the West Coast nonstop.

    eric starkman wrote:

    I used to be a Starwood member because they supposedly had no blackout dates for using points. But on one convention weekend in San Francisco I was told there were no rooms available for points, though a top-of-the-line suite was available for purchase. I went on hotels.com and guess what? I got a room below the rack rate. So much for no blackout dates.

    This might be a different issue. Hotels.com will buy blocks of hotel rooms that the hotel itself can’t resell. So it’s possible that the hotel had sold out its inventory while Hotels.com still had some available. I’ve never had trouble with Starwood – love the program.

    I used to think Jet Blue had more integrity than the legacy airlines, but some public incidents over the years has given me serious pause for concern. . . . So let’s make a deal: if I buy an unlimited pass and can’t use it because no “available” seats are actually available the new time I fly to LA, I get to stay at the Snyder residence to make up for the full price ticket on Virgin America I have to buy. :)

    Not sure what they’ve done to question their integrity, but you don’t have to take their word for anything here. You can call them up and make reservations to fly every single day of the pass today if you want. It’s not standby and you book it outside of 3 days prior to departure, so you can put your plans together right now.

  8. @ Travis:

    From a promotional standpoint, the unlimited pass is a brilliant idea, no question about that. Reporters are suckers for gimmicks and most don’t have the time or the knowledge to investigate the legitimacy of offers like this. That’s why newspapers are poised to go out of business; Jet Blue has garnered an avalanche of free publicity for a product that hardly constitutes “news.” I applaud your marketing people!

    That said, Cranky likes it, and like the character Mickey in the famous cereal commercial, if he likes it, maybe it really is a good deal. I’ve just been burned by the airline industry one time too many to trust any incentive or affinity offers.

  9. @ CF:
    I respect readers on this site know a lot more than me when it comes to airline and travel, but the fact that hotels.com could sell me a room at my favorite San Francisco hotel but the hotel wouldn’t let me use points suggests to me that inventory can be manipulated. On the whole I found the Starwood program quite good — I’m just suspicious of the “no blackout” claim.

    What concerns me about Jet Blue’s program is the “available” requirement. As I understand the program, it requires a leap of faith that Jet Blue won’t manipulate its “available” inventory on a flight that is proving highly popular.

    I’m still steaming from an incident with Delta involving my frequent flyer miles and maybe that’s clouding my judgment and sense of trust. I’m just more comfortable paying for seats I know are available at the times — and to the cities I want.

  10. CF says:

    eric starkman wrote:

    What concerns me about Jet Blue’s program is the “available” requirement. As I understand the program, it requires a leap of faith that Jet Blue won’t manipulate its “available” inventory on a flight that is proving highly popular.

    You really don’t need to take a leap of faith. You can check the availability before you buy the pass and then just make the reservations right there. And by the way, it would be incredibly easy to discover if JetBlue were holding back inventory and there would be lawsuits almost immediately. They aren’t that dumb.

  11. @ CF:
    OK, I fold. Jet Blue’s Pass is an incredible deal!

  12. One important condition you didn’t mention is the restriction to one flight per day from any given airport. So, together with the 3 day rules, no speculative bookings are possible. This makes sense.

    The other important thing for those who like frequent flyer miles is that earning for the entire pass is fixed, and is set on the old program (pre changes). Thus the pass is no good as a mileage run.

    It is, however, great value if you can use it for more than a couple of trips and don’t need last minute availability.

  13. Well, I’ve purchased the pass and plan to blog about it! Should be fun. :)

  14. @ David SFeastbay:

    A lot of people will be using Everlater to tell their stories: http://blog.everlater.com/2009/08/who-is-flying-on-the-jetblue-all-you-can-jet-pass/

    There is some other creative stuff going on out there, like two guys who are only spending 12 hours or less per city, and at least one meetup group. I can see a whole mini-community growing out of this.

  15. Sold out and sales discontinued as of Wednesday 8/19.

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