JetBlue WestJet Expand Space for Pay

JetBlue has made a lot of fuss about the extra legroom in their cabins. It is one reason I love them. I also have been very happy to pay the premium to get the extra row emergency exit seats. They call this Product “Even More(TM) Space”.  On JetBlue’s Airbus A320 aircraft, Even More Space seats with 38-inches of legroom are offered in rows 2-5 plus emergency exit rows 10 and 11.

I like it because not only do you get more room (38″ instead of 33″), you also get Priority Boarding which means your luggage is first away. I have also found that these seats are the last to fill and I have often ended up with two seats to myself!  In some airports, Even More Space has meant priority security access.

JetBlue have announced they are adding additional Even More Seating space on their Embraer E190 fleet.  For an additional fee, sixteen seats in rows 1, 12, 13 and 14 now offer the extra legroom and benefits.

The small print is, of course, to give four rows 5″ extra, means that 20″ needs to come from somewhere. Does this mean twenty of the other rows will see their legroom fall from 33 to 32 inches? This seems a shame to reduce one of JetBlue’s advantages. The reality, however is that airlines seem to be all reducing their services and benefits and then charging people extra fees to enjoy for what used to be standard benefits!

At the same time, JetBlue are introducing a new tier to their Frequent Flyer Program: True Blue. The new tier is called TrueBlue Mosaic and includes:

  • Free second checked bag for everyone flying on the member’s reservation
  • Free Even More™ Speed, providing expedited security at 36 airports for everyone flying on the member’s reservation
  • Early boarding with early access to overhead bin space for everyone flying on the member’s reservation
  • Ability to use TrueBlue points to purchase Even More™ Space seats for extra legroom
  • Access to a dedicated 24/7 customer service line

TrueBlue members will be automatically upgraded to TrueBlue Mosaic when they have earn 15,000  flight points in a calendar year.

I am interested that Mosaic holders do not automatically get the extra space seat. True they have the option of getting the seats for points and not cash but the airline still wants the revenue from these passengers. Most of the benefits they are offerring won’t cost the airline much. Faster security and priority boarding cost the airline nothing. An extra bag oir two costs a little in terms of fuel.


Over at Canadian carrier Westjet, the airline announced the introduction of Premium Economy seating across its entire fleet. The airline will provide introduce four rows of extra legroom seating with 36 inches of pitch. Bundled with that will be convenience features such as priority boarding and free on-board amenities. The reconfiguration will begin in August and will be completed in December 2012.

At the same time, WestJet is “standardising” its regular seat pitch at 31 – 32 inches. In other words, some of the other rows will lose some of their “excess space” to free up that space.



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