A popular discount air carrier is planning to introduce a big change to the way it does business.
JetBlue (JBLU) will abandon its long-held policy of providing one level of service for all customers in June 2014 when it debuts a new premium class. The higher-priced service will only be available on flights between New York and Los Angeles and New York and San Francisco, USA TODAY notes.
Passengers who pay for premium class on JetBlue flights will sit in a section offering specialized menus, amenities and seats that can fully recline.
Flights between New York and California’s two largest cities are frequented by business travelers willing to pay more for a bit of luxury, a fact quickly noticed by airlines. Attempts to cash in on premium passengers on those routes have sparked a game of one-upmanship among carriers, each trying to top the other’s premium service offerings.
While offering the new premium service will allow JetBlue to cash in on passengers willing to pay more on those routes, the move could endanger consumer perception that the company treats all passengers equally. JetBlue’s new premium class comes as other airlines are moving to charge fees for added luxury services.
Shares of JetBlue rose more than 1% in Tuesday morning trading.